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Nama-whatta? Some Basic Yoga Terms

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New Bedford Yoga

Pam Teves Yoga
by Pam Teves

Although the ancient practice of yoga started more then 2,500 years ago, you can still stop in a class today and experience ancient traditions, which include poses, breathing techniques and group chants. Over the past year and a half of teaching yoga, I’ve found that until a student really understands the meaning of some Sanskrit terms, they will simply mouth the word, not making a sound, or bow their head a little deeper to shy away from speaking the word aloud.

In the hopes of making that OM chant a little louder, I will provide some background information and definitions that explain what the heck your yoga instructor is saying.

*OM* (or AUM) is the sound of the universal vibration, and it is said to be the sound from which all sounds started. It can be used in class for a way to unify the class and our practice.

*Namaste* is usually the term the teacher will say to end a practice. Simply put it means, “I respect and recognize your inner self and you respect and recognize mine.”

However, the twist to these basic definitions is that they can be interpreted in many different ways. OM and Namaste have many translations, and once you start learning a little more you may add to or take away from the basic definition.

And, finally;

*Asana* essentially means, “pose.” If your yoga teacher uses Sanskrit terms you may notice that they all rhyme, and most poses end in Asana.

For example:

– Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
– Bakasana (Crow Pose)
– Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

So the next time you’re in class chant that OM a little louder and don’t forget to end with a Namaste.

If you’ve ever been in a class offering arm balances and inversions (crow, headstand), but haven’t been given enough time to work on them, Pam is holding a workshop to practice. Please check out www.southcoastyoga.net under Schedules and Events for more details,
or e-mail her at southcoastyoga@gmail.com.

Arm Balance and Inversion Workshop!

Tuesday, November 29 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm

This will be an hour and a half workshop to practice arm balances and inversions! We can start with a short warm-up flow, then get into some arm balances then get upside down! All levels welcome and only $10 a person!

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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