Yoga Glossary

Here is a glossary of some of the Sanskrit terms used in Sun Power Yoga classes. We use the Sanskrit words to honour the ancient yogic traditions and because of the beauty and descriptiveness of the language.

 

Surya Namaskar

'Salute to the Sun'. This is a flowing sequence of 12 postures which, with variations, forms the basis of the first part of a Sunpower class
Ujjayi breath 'Victorious breath'. This is the audible, resonating breath produced by slightly closing the back of the throat. It focusses the attention on the breath and accompanies all poses
Asana The sanskrit word used to describe a yoga pose. It's original meaning is 'a comfortable seated position', in which one can meditate.
 Namaste  'Prayer' position with the hands. There are several definitions, but my favourite is 'The god in me greets the god in you'
 Prana  'Life force / vital energy'. The practice of yoga raises prana in the body, bringing vitality and strength

 

Moola Bandha The lowest of the three locks or 'seals', which prevent the escape of prana from the body. The muscles of the pelvis floor are engaged and drawn upward
Uddiyana Bandha The 'flying lock', achieved by pulling the navel up and back towards the spine. This bandha is a strong protector of the spine
Jalandhara Bandha  The 'throat lock' - the chin is pressed down to the chest (advanced pose)
Maha Bandha 'The Great Lock' - all three bandhas applied together - often associated with retaining (holding) the breath

 

Kapalabhati 'Skull Shining Breath'. A dynamic, diaphragmatic breathing exercise, performed at the beginning of a Sunpower yoga class
Pooraka The inhalation of breath
Rechaka The exhalation of breath
Kumbaka The retention of breath

 

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