The confusion is real during Yoga classes, especially when your yoga teacher tells you to practice your pranayama ( pronounced: praw-nah-yah-ma) meaning controlled breathing while maintaining your asana (pronounced: ah-sah-na) meaning posture or pose. All of this terminology can leave you scratching your head. When you are a beginner it can be very intimidating and scary to start a new workout practice, but that's ok, everyone is working towards their own goals and brushing up on some commonly used yoga terms will give you the confidence to walk into a class and you will be a Yogi before you know it.
All yoga terms derive from Sanskrit, which is a language of ancient India, so essentially Sanskrit is the language of yoga used to describe poses and practices. Below you will find the top 5 terms most commonly used in yoga classes.
Meaning: A respectful greeting typically used at the end of a class meaning "I bow to you" your teacher will say it first then the class will respond with "Namaste"
Meaning: Controlled breathing, prana refers to your breath and ancient Yogis used breathing techniques to achieve inner harmony, peace and to manipulate their energy.
Meaning: A flow of poses accompanied by controlled breathing, for example, your teacher will lead you through a flow of poses starting with downward god, plank, cobra pose, then back to downward down and you would repeat the flow for a specific number of times.
Meaning: Chakra translates to "wheel" and there are seven chakras in total located in the body. Each Chakra is represented by a different color. The root chakra is red, the Sacral chakra is orange, Solar Plexus Chakra is yellow, the Heart Chakra is green, the throat Chakra is blue, the Third Eye Chakra is indigo, and the Crown Chakra is purple. Your teacher may want you to focus on a specific chakra that you would like to balance. When all Chakras are in harmony you will experience improvements in all areas of your life.
Meaning: Mantras are phrases or words repeated during meditation to give you something inspirational to focus on, it could be "believe" or "live for now".