If you’re new to yoga, you might find yourself in a yoga session hearing words that you don’t recognize. Trying something new is hard for anyone, but it’s even harder when the activity you’re doing is in a foreign language. For a beginner, even the basic Sanskrit translated definitions can be confusing. New yogis don’t need to know what every complex pose means, but it would be helpful to know some of the basic terminology you might encounter in your practice.

Basic Yoga Terminology

Here is our list of basic yoga terminology that will better prepare you for your practice.



Asana means “manner of sitting” and can be any posture or pose.


There are seven energy centers, or chakras, located throughout every yogi’s body. They are: the root chakra in the base of the spine, the sacral chakra in the lower abdomen, the solar plexus chakra in the upper abdomen, the heart chakra in the center of the chest, the throat chakra in the throat, the brow or “third eye” chakra in between your eyes, and the crown chakra in the top of your head.


“Namaste” is a greeting used in yoga to honor another’s soul and everything they encompass. It means you are unified in your practice and directly translates to “I bow to you.”


“Om” is a meditation mantra that is meant to clear the mind, body and soul.

Fire Breathing

Rapid breathing that engages the diaphragm.

Jnana Mudra

This is a frequently used meditation position. The forefinger and thumb come together to form “OK,” with the palms of the hands resting upwards towards the sky.

Sun Salutation

Sequence of asanas that start with mountain pose, and move into standing forward bend, lunge, plank pose, chatarunga, upward-facing dog, and ends with downward-facing dog.


A flowing sequence of poses, such as the cat-cow combination or sun salutations. We practice Vinyasa here at Yogis On The Go. You can read more about why here.



It’s Important To Know Your Basic Yoga Terminology

Now that you understand the fundamental phrases in yoga, you should have a better understanding and be able to develop a deeper practice. If you are interesting in learning more or have any questions, contact one of our yogis any time and connect with us on Facebook.