Beginner Yoga Dictionary

Hey guys!

Recently I have been trying to bring yoga back into my life. Summer’s over (tears) and the stress of the year can get to be a lot. I love yoga to help me unwind and find my inner peace/bliss/zen. Anyways, when you’re just starting yoga, words like ‘om’ and ‘namaste’ can be a little confusing. Hopefully this ‘dictionary’ will help you through your first (or 50th) yoga class and make doing yoga at your house much more enjoyable.

Asanas - “manner of sitting” as in any yoga pose or posture.

Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana) - Begin by sitting on the ground with a straight spine. Bring your feet together and towards your pelvis so that the soles of your feet are touching. Have energy pushing your knees to the ground and slowly start flapping your knees up and down. Release your torso over your feet  and then come back up. Straighten your feet back to the starting position.

Cat Stretch (Marjariasana) - Begin on the ground on all fours. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and your arms straight. Inhale and tilt your head back and push your stomach downward. Follow this by a counted movement where you drop your chin to your chest and arch your back. Do these two 5 or 6 times for full benefits.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana) - Stand straight with your feet under your hips and your arms outstretched in front of you. Bend your knees and slowly ‘sit’ into an imaginary chair. Keep your arms parallel to the ground and ensure your knees don’t go over your toes. Lengthen your spine and ‘sit’ straight.

Chakra - Energy centers throughout the body.

Child Pose (Shishu Asana or Balasana) - Sit on your heels and bend forward to put your forehead on the floor. keep your arms on the floor with your palms up. Gently roll up.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) - Lie on your stomach with your toes flat and your legs close together. Slowly lift your head and chest but keep your navel on the floor. Try to straighten your arms and tilt your head back. Gently bring yourself back down to the ground.

Corpse Pose (Shavasana) - Lie flat on your back with your arms a little away from your body and your legs a little apart. Pay attention to each body part individually and continue to breathe throughout the whole duration.  

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) - Come into a forward fold and slowly walk your hands forward. Think about your sit bones being pulled to the sky. Keep your heels on the ground and your shoulder blades wide.  Walk your hand back in and return to a standing position.

Karma - Eastern concept of cause and effect.

Namaste - A greeting of one’s soul.

Mantra - A words/syllables to inspire and repeat while meditating.  

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) - Stand with your feet together and shoulders relaxed. Slowly bring your arms up so your finger tips are reaching for the sky. Your arms should be straight and your palms facing each other.

Om - A common mantra to repeat.

Pranayama - Controlled breathing during yoga.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) - Stand with your feet together and your arms by your side. Bring your arms over your head and bend forward at your hips. Think about your sit bones being pulled to the sky and try to relax into the pose. Stretch your arms forward and use your core to help return to standing position.

Tree Pose (Vrikshasana) - Stand tall and slowly bend your right knee to bring your right foot to the top of your left thigh. When you are balanced raise your arms over your head with your palms together. Keep your spine straight and look out into the distance. Slowly release your right leg and repeat on the left.

Vinyasa - A sequence of yoga poses (ex. sun salutations).

Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) - Start standing with your feet wide apart, your right foot turned out and your left foot turned a little in - the heel of your right foot should be in line with the center of your left foot. Lift your arms so they are out to the sides and parallel to the ground. Bend your right knee so that it makes a straight line with your right ankle. Turn your head over your right foot and sink deeper into the stretch. Come out of it gently and repeat on the left.

So, that’s it - a beginner yoga dictionary. In the future I would love to do posts like this about different types of yoga etc. Let me know what you want! If you have any questions about anything or would like more detail, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to help you out. Also share pictures of you doing these poses with us for a chance to be featured!



Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© Shadow and Gloss. Design by Fearne.