Cultivating Wellness In A Time Of Uncertainty By Discovering YogaDec 02, 2020 07:07PM ● By By Susan Nye
By encouraging mindful movements, time on your mat allows you to take a well-deserved break from the lists, errands, and worries that fill the day. Yoga encourages you to slow down and leave the rest of the world behind while you concentrate and breathe through each pose. That mindfulness helps you manage stress and instills a sense of well-being. Studies have shown that regular yoga practitioners generally experience less anxiety and depression. Now learn some yoga terms.
Yoga Has Its Own Vocabulary
With its origins in India, Sanskrit is the language of yoga. Most instructors use a combination of English and Sanskrit when teaching. It doesn’t take long to recognize Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations), Vrksasana (Tree Pose), and more. A few key Sanskrit terms:
The word asana refers to the physical poses and postures practiced during yoga.
Pranayama refers to breathwork or breathing techniques. Prana translates roughly to life force and yama means to control.
A form of pranayama, the ujjayi breath is commonly used throughout a class. Also called ocean sounding breath and warrior’s breath, it involves deep inhales and exhales through the nose.
Drishti is a focused gaze that helps practitioners maintain balance and concentration.
Shavasana, also called Savasana
Translated as Corpse Pose, it is the final pose in most yoga classes. Shavasana provides restorative relaxation and helps reduce anxiety.
Translating from Sanskrit, namaste means I bow to you. Typically said at the end of class, it is a respectful way for student and teacher to acknowledge their time together and on the mat.
An Ancient Tradition
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in India. It first became popular in the western world in the mid-20th century. While most poses are derived from hatha yoga, a number of different styles have developed.
Hatha yoga gets its name from the Sanskrit words for sun and moon. Students move through poses to develop strength and flexibility, physical and mental energy.
Vinyasa yoga links breath and movement in a continuous flow of poses. The flow can be slow, dynamic, or mindful.
Kripalu is a gentle hatha yoga practice that emphasizes meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation.
A very physical, flow-style yoga, Ashtanga yoga consists of six series of specific poses.
Also called hot yoga, Bikram classes are very physical and given in rooms set at 105° with 40 percent humidity. A set series of poses are performed in a specific order.
Practitioners slow down and hold poses in yin yoga. Beginners start at a minute per pose and work up to five minutes or more. Yin is designed to increase joint circulation and improve flexibility.
Restorative yoga emphasizes alignment, rest, and healing. Practitioners use props for support while holding and relaxing into poses for at least five minutes.
Kundalini yoga challenges both mind and body with chanting, singing, meditation, and poses paired with breathwork.
Where to Practice:
Hogan Sports Center at Colby-Sawyer College in New London
Rainbow Connection Yoga in New London, Wilmot, and online
Cow Face Yoga in New London
Yoga Connection in Grantham and online
To continue reading this story please see page 89 in Image Magazine Winter 2020 digital edition.