Want to dive deeper into yoga philosophy and asana with the research of Sanskrit? Join Richard Rosen—writer and co-founder of the previous Oakland- and San Francisco Bay-based Piedmont Yoga Studio—for Sanskrit 101: A Beginner’s Guide. Through this 6-week introductory on-line course, you’ll study Sanskrit translations, refine your pronunciations, discover its historic highlights, and extra. But, much more considerably, you’ll rework your follow as you start to know the sweetness and which means behind the unique language of yoga. Sign up today!
Why undergo the difficulty of making an attempt to roll that r in Vrksasana when you’ll be able to simply say “Tree”? Or twist your tongue into “pash-chee-moh-TAHN-AH-sa-na” when you possibly can simply say “Seated Forward Bend”? For one factor, Sanskrit offers 2,000-Three,000 years’ value of context for the yoga poses as we all know them. Plus, learning the traditional language could be as invigorating on your mind because the bodily follow is in your physique. Let’s contemplate a couple of extra the reason why learning Sanskrit might be useful to you as a yogi.
1. You’ll really feel extra snug “talking yoga.”
Yoga is an historic apply from a overseas land that may really feel to the typical Westerner not solely mystical but in addition inaccessible. Some primary information of Sanskrit can remove that intimidation issue. Learning the roots of widespread yoga pose names, philosophical phrases, and different lingo will demystify the traditional language and deepen your understanding of all the yoga follow. For instance, the basis phrase of āsana—which we often translate as posture or seat—is ās, which suggests to be current, to take a seat quietly, to rejoice, and to proceed to do something with out interruption. Doesn’t that shed a bit extra mild on what you’re doing on the mat?
2. It will reveal deeper meanings of widespread yoga poses.
No matter how lengthy you’ve been training yoga, learning Sanskrit can present wealthy context for the shapes you already know so properly. For instance, do you know Shoulderstand—now thought-about the “Mother” of asanas, because of B.Okay.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga—didn’t begin as an āsana in any respect? In reality, Sālamba Sarvāṅgāsana, which interprets to “supported all-limb pose,” was referred to as viparita karani mudra, or “inverse action seal”? The now-common āsana truly originated as a physique seal, or mudra, meant to protect amṛta, the elixir of immortality, within the head. That’s why you may typically hear yoga academics tout the pose’s potential to reverse the ageing course of.
Three. It will illuminate new layers of yoga philosophy.
Yogis typically undertake the Sanskrit phrase for a Hindu idea that the English language cannot simply describe with a single phrase. But with out understanding Sanskrit or Hinduism, the phrase’s which means can get twisted and morphed. So should you’ve ever struggled to understand a philosophical idea like dharma, for instance, it’s not your fault! You’ve possible heard it misused by fellow English audio system. Diving into Sanskrit might help, since you’ll study that the phrase dharma comes from the basis phrase dhir, which suggests “to hold.” Dharma, then, actually signifies that which holds, is agency, and the common regulation holds collectively.
four. It will even train you some issues about English, too.
Did you realize that that Sanskrit and English are kin? Distant ones, sure, however it’s true. Both come from the Indo-European household of languages. That’s why some Sanskrit phrases you already know can give you new perception into the English language. For instance, you’ll be able to in all probability guess that nāva means “boat” if you understand the widespread yoga pose Nāvāsana (Boat Pose). But nāva can also be associated to our English phrases “navy” and “nausea,” which originated as a time period to explain seasickness.