8 Yoga Terms Every Yogi Must Know


Asana is roughly translated to ‘seat’

Asanas are postures or poses. Any yoga pose you are asked to do can be referred to as an asana. You will notice that the Sanskrit name for most yoga poses ends in asana.

There really isn’t much to this term. It is a term that’ll be used to replace “pose.”

When you hear an instructor use the term asana, just think of it as a fancier term for pose.


Savasana is roughly translated to ‘corpse pose’

Savasana can be used at the start or during a yoga class to centre and connect with the breath bringing awareness to the present moment. But mostly it is used at the end of a yoga class as a blissful space for meditation and relaxation.

Savasana is one of the most beneficial poses of a yoga class as it allows the body and mind to surrender, settle and balance.

When you hear an instructor use the term Savasana set up as comfortably as possible and enjoy the feeling of pure bliss.


Prana is roughly translated to “vital life force”

Prana is the energy that flows through your body, just like blood flowing through the veins and arteries. It is also known as Chi or Qi.

When you hear an instructor use the term Prana in class they will most likely be referring to the energy within your body.


Yama is roughly translated to “to control”

Prana means life-force and Yama means to control then Pranayama has been translated to the act of controlling your breath.

Pranayama (breathing practices) can be used to create more energy (prana) within the body or to calm the energy (prana) within the body.

When you hear an instructor use the term Pranayama in class they are referring to breathing exercises.


Mudra is roughly translated to “Gesture”

A Mudra is most commonly a hand position but can also be a pose that facilitates the flow of energy in the body.

Mudras aid concentration, focus and connection to yourself during yoga or meditation.

The most common mudras are;

Anjali - Pressing Palms together at the heart

Jnana - Forefinger and thumb touching to form a circle, the other three fingers stretching away

When you hear an instructor use the term Mudra, they are most likely about to guide you through an energetic hand gesture.


Mantra is roughly translated to “secret message”

A mantra is a word, phrase or sound that is repeated silently or out loud during a yoga or meditation practise.

Mantras work in two ways. Firstly the meaning of the words that are being repeated. Secondly the repetition of the words gives the mind something to focus on, drawing attention to the present moment and stimulating the body’s relaxation response.

When you hear an instructor use the term Mantra they are referring to a word, phrase or sound.


Namaste is roughly translated to “the divine within me sees and acknowledges the divine

within you”

Namaste is a greeting and also a sign of respect and admiration reminding us that we are all one.

Namaste is generally said at the end of a yoga class with the hands pressed together in prayer (Anjali Mudra) and the head bowed.

If you have been to a yoga class before you have heard an instructor say Namaste.


Yogi and Yogini are not Sanskrit words they are English jargon.

A Yogi is the male and also the gender neutral term for anyone who practices yoga, where as yogini is the female term.

You do not need have been practising yoga for decades, regardless of experience if you are practising yoga you are a yogi/yogini.

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