Yoga is an amazing way to relax, recharge and get in tune with your body. The practice helps to decrease stress levels and increase mindfulness in a way that is both peaceful and rewarding.

For some people, though, yoga is just an excuse to take a 5-minute nap at the end of class in really comfy pants.

The real challenge for a number of yoga newbies can be understanding the lingo. Most of us don’t speak Sanskrit on the reg.  The translation of most yoga poses can be especially confusing to some. Like, “Why is my yoga teacher talking about birds?”  Fear not, for I present to you everyday words and their yogi definitions.

1. Crow

General definition: The crazy, black bird that makes a lot of noise — and, of course, you may also be forced to eat it from time to time.

To a yogi: A serious yoga pose that is not for the faint of heart. It requires you to balance on your arms while your knees are just above your elbows. Perfecting this pose requires a lot of practice and maybe even a yoga retreat. It’s typically one of the more difficult poses to perform.



2. Warrior

General definition: Someone who is ready to fight. Visions of samurais may be dancing around in your head.

To a yogi: Warrior pose is a side pose that opens your legs, hips and promotes strength. It doesn’t actually promote the aggressiveness one may associate with a stereotypical warrior. The warrior poses are known for their ability to promote mindfulness and to help foster non-judgment while reducing anxiety. This can be helpful for anyone looking for that extra bit of warrior strength to overcome adversity.



3. Cat

General definition: A furry, sometimes aloof animal that often demands things done on their schedule.

To a yogi: There’s no aloofness with the cat pose. It’s where you are on all fours, stretching your back like a cat. This is a great move that can really loosen up any tight back muscles.



4. Tree

General definition: A beautiful, potentially behemoth structure that grows out of the ground. It provides shade for a good yoga location, too.

To a yogi: The tree pose is a balance pose that promotes strength and length. Just like the tree, you are putting roots to the ground and, also like the tree, praying to stay upright for as long as possible.



5. Mountain

General definition: A great big rock sticking out of the earth — with snow on it.

To a yogi: A rewarding pose that strengthens and stretches. Mountain pose opens you up to the sky as you bring your hands together and point upward.



6. Chair

General definition: The thing you sit in while you’re attempting to be productive at work.

To a yogi: To those who practice yoga, the chair pose may involve a love/hate relationship, as it really works your booty. From this pose, you can also work your arms, upper legs, pelvis and hips by adding in fancy twists or balance by transitioning into warrior 3. It can help open you up to find your inner strength.



7. Om

General definition: Om is such a fun noise to make, but you may get some strange looks if you’re chanting it to yourself while you’re walking down the street.

To a yogi: This peaceful and relaxing tone is thought of as being the sound we made when we were first created. This noise if usually said before during and after yoga classes and usually provides a bit of peace as one engages with the tone.



8. Namaste

General definition: What you might associate with not leaving. “Hey girl, you wanna go out tonight?” “Namaste here, thanks.”

To a yogi: Namaste is a great word when you’re a yogi. It means the divine light within one individual salutes that light in another individual. This is typically the way yoga practices will end with a gesture of peace and light. So this, too, will be how we end our list — passing on these powerful wishes “Namaste” signifies.



Yoga provides a great basis for mindfulness. Yoga terms, however, are often foreign to individuals until they practice yoga. These few terms might help offer some unique insights into what your yogi is talking about. And if not, well, I’m sure you only went to yoga for the savasana.




Jennifer Landis is a Jersey girl at heart and temper, but enjoys living life in Central PA. She drinks tea like it's going out of style because coffee makes her poop and she needs all the caffeine she can get to keep up with her toddler, puppy, and handsome husband. She loves writing, running, yoga, and peanut butter. You can check out her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or follow her on twitter @JenniferELandis.

Write A Comment