Learn Yoga- Yogic Lifestyle & Common Yoga Terms Demystified

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Take the plunge to Learn Yoga. Dive in head first by having an emotional understanding of Yoga through terms, symbols and sounds. The Yogic lifestyle involves all of these things which we explore in this post.

We live in a new age. Weird is wonderful. Connect with it on a deeper level. Breathing heavily can be awkward. Remember that you’re doing it for a reason. It is greatly beneficial for your body and your mind. You’re here to learn Yoga and all these weird things falls under the Yogic Lifestyle. Let go of the ego and take a grip of your mat with an emotional understanding.

Learn Yoga Terms their Symbols & Sounds

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Learn Yoga- Symbols & Sounds Guide

Yoga is a lifestyle. A guided path. To align thinking, breathing and acting. You actually use Yoga every day. Taking Yoga beyond the mat and into your daily life. Frequent Yoga practice ensures a happier being. It’s science. That’s the magic to it. It goes deep. It’s about everything. Yoga practice allows you to better control urges like annoyance and irritability. Enabling you to manage stress and anxiety more effectively. Yoga teaches you patience and appreciation. These are things that help increase happiness juice into the brain.

 1. Learn the meaning behind Namaskar/ Namaste

the meaning of namaste presented in a learn yoga picture

What: A Yogic gesture. Namaskar is the action of putting your hands in prayer pose. Namaste is a greeting or ‘Yogic Prayer’.

When: Usually, if you hear, ‘Namaste’ it means the Yoga class is finished.

Benefits: Transfer of subtle energy from teacher to student. From Yogi back into the earth and vice versa.

2. Understanding Mantras

learn yoga mantras in this example of a Kundalini Yoga Mantra

What: A word, sound, syllable or prayer is sung/chanted or spoken. It is a kind of technique used to reach a meditative state. AUM chanted 3 times in Yoga practice is like a Mantra. Different kinds of Yoga will have different kinds of Mantras. The example in the picture is a mantra commonly used in Kundalini Yoga.

When: Anytime. A mantra is chanted at the beginning and/or end of a Yoga class and during meditation.

Benefits:  Believed to have psychological and spiritual powers of calming the mind and soul.

Learn more about Mantras and Music Consciousness

3. Om / AUM

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What: Om or pronounced A-U-M is the sound of the Universe. It is essentially the Vibration of Creation.

  1. The “A” in A-U-M represents the Waking State- This is our Conscious Mind
  2. The “U” in A-U-M represents the Dream State- Our Active Unconscious or Subconscious Mind
  3. The “M” in A-U-M represents the Deep Sleep State- Our Unconscious Mind
  4. Maya- This is our illusion and experiences with external world- Notice that this circle is what separates the dot from the other three curves-The illusion of Maya separates us from Samadhi
  5. Samadhi- This is pure Consciousness

When: At the beginning or end of Yoga Practice. I like to chant Aum in the shower or in my car when I am alone, It’s really an anywhere kind of Mantra.

Benefits: When Om is chanted blissful cosmic energy is released into your being from the universe, as it is the Universal Sound of Creation.

I need a deeper understanding

4. Pranayama

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Learn Yoga- Pranayama

What: Pranayama is Yogic Breath control. In Sanskrit Prana means ‘vital energy’ or ‘life force’. Yama means ‘control’. Pranayama utilises breathing to influence the flow of prana in the nadis or energy channels of the pranayama kosha or energy body. Pranayama uses breathing techniques to achieve this, but it is not only limited to this. More on prana later.

When: Through-out the Yoga class- During Asanas and sequences, in meditation and in mantras. At the end of the class, your Yoga teacher may introduce you to a breathing exercise. There are many different techniques to breathing, that Yoga teaches you.

Benefits: Purifies the body and respiratory system. Brings in extra oxygen to the lungs. For cleansing and energising.Yogic breath helps you to get into and out of a yoga pose. Pranayama and Asana go hand in hand. Better control of the flow of prana. More on prana later.

5. Understanding Asana

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Learn Yoga- Asanas

What: Asana meaning Posture in Sanskrit. It is the physical pose or posture in Yoga Practice.

Benefits: The Physical practice of Asanas is considered to:

  • Improve Balance, Flexibility and Strength
  • Reduce Stress and Anxiety
  • Increase Energy and Lower Fatigue
  • The increase of natural endorphins leading to a happier being

6. Surya Namaskar

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Learn Yoga- Surya Namaskar

What: Surya Namaskar means Salutations to the Sun in Sanskrit. This is a Yoga warm up routine based on a  specific sequence of Asanas.

  1. Pranayamasana (Prayer Pose) – natural breathing
  2. Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose)-  Inhale while raising arms
  3. Padahastasana (Hand to Foot/ Forward Fold)- Exhale while bending forward
  4.  Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)- Inhale while stretching right leg back
  5. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose or Down Dog)- Exhale while taking the left leg back
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (salute with eight parts or points) -The breath is held out in this pose there is no respiration.
  7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) -Inhale while raising the torso and arching the back
  8. Parvatasana (Mountain Pose or Down Dog) -Exhale while taking the left leg back
  9. Ashwa Sanchalasana (equestrian Pose) -Inhale while stretching right leg back
  10. Padahastasana (hand to Foot Pose or Foward Fold) -Exhale while bending forward
  11. Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arms Pose)- Inhale while raising arms
  12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)- natural breathing
When, Benefits and General Contra Indications of Surya Namaskar 

Best practised in the morning and during any Hatha Yoga class. It shows gratitude to the sun. Try it at home after a 5-minute meditation and basic stretches like neck rolls, cat, cow etc.

Benefits: Strengthens back and helps balance metabolism. Stimulates respiratory and digestive system. This set of 12 Yoga Asanas brings your body, breath and mind together. It is best practised in the morning as it revitalises your body, refreshes your mind and energises your being- helping you feel and remain energised and calm through-out the day. This set of asanas brings oxygenated blood to the brain, increasing mental clarity.

General Contra Indications: Cautions of inverted posture apply, shouldn’t be practised by people with high blood pressure, or coronary artery diseases, people who have had strokes, slipped disk, back conditions, cases of a hernia and intestinal tuberculosis

7. Shavasana

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Learn Yoga- Shavasana

What: Dead mans Pose or Corpse pose. Shava meaning Corpse in Sanskrit.

When: You can sleep when you hear your teacher say Shavasana or Relaxation. The Yoga class is finished.

Benefits: Instills deep healing and total relaxation of body and mind.

Learn Yoga Symbols and their relation to these Yoga Terms.

References:

‘Asana Pranayam Mudra Banha’- Swami Satyananda Saraswati 2014 Golden Jubilee Edition Bihar Yoga

The Internet- articles referenced

Personal Understanding of Yoga

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