Become a Yoga Teacher for Kids

If you’re not a yoga expert, some of the terms we use might be unfamiliar to you. At The Yoga Kids, we always explain to our students the meaning of any non-English words used in our classes, so I thought it would be helpful to offer this short “yoga dictionary” for parents, friends and students to better understand what we do, and why.

Along with an emphasis on the benefits and techniques of breath awareness, our classes also incorporate elements of hatha yoga and kundalini yoga, as well as several other terms – but what exactly do they all mean?

Here are some fascinating definitions of essential “yoga language” words and phrases for you to learn — and then go forth and impress your friends!

Become a Yoga Teacher for Kids

Yoga – Among other nuanced meanings, the literal translation of yoga from Sanskrit is “unity”, or “connection”. Yoga refers both to the connection of the senses and the mind, and to the relationship between our breathing and our thought. Yoga is one of six ancient Hindu philosophies, and can also be defined as an “evenness of mind.”

Hatha – Literally meaning “sun-moon” (Ha = sun, Tha = moon), the West’s most popular yoga tradition emphasizes the use of poses (or asanas, see #5 below), physical effort, and breathing exercises (pranayama, see #6 below) for balance and inner peace.

Kundalini – The yoga practice of releasing one’s spiritual energy through breathing (pranayama), allowing the awakening and
centering of the mind, senses, and body.

Namaste – “I bow to the divine in you.” A respectful and thankful greeting, from one inner soul to another.

Become a Yoga Teacher for Kids

Asana – The general word for a yoga pose or posture incorporating stretching and balancing the mind and body.

Pranayama – The practice of abdominal and diaphragmatic breathing and awareness (as opposed to less-healthy upper body breathing) with the goals of calming, reducing stress, mastering the mind, and improving physical and overall health.
Did you learn something? What I find remarkable about yoga terms is the way they all intertwine while pointing to various aspects of our health and wholeness, or “oneness”, of our minds and bodies. Some yoga definitions are actually quite difficult to understand because they refer to concepts and ideas that aren’t frequently acquired in Western society. In other words, the more you learn, the less you know!

I hope this short dictionary gave you some new knowledge and maybe even piqued your interest to learn more about yoga!

Become a Yoga Teacher for Kids