Yoga practically has it’s own language, and it can be quite intimidating for people at first. So here is a short list of common and useful yoga words and phrases and what they mean.


Asana: The word ‘asana’ is Sanskrit for ‘pose’. Asanas are one of the many aspects within yoga and consists of specific postures.

Acro/Partner Yoga: Working with a partner blending yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage.

Anusara Yoga: A heart centred approach developed by John Friend. Anusara Yoga combines Tantric philosophy and alignment.

Ashtanga Yoga: A style of yoga popularised by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Sanskrit definition is ‘having eight limbs or parts’. Follows six series of sequences that the student progresses through. It also includes specific breath control techniques (Bandhas).

Bikram/Hot Yoga: A sequence of Asanas that takes place in a heated room.

Chakras: There thought to be seven main centres of spiritual power in the body that corresponds to important centres.

Jivamukti Yoga: A slower, more relaxed form of Vinyasa Flow. Has a devotional aspect.

Kundalini Yoga: Brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1969. It uses classic poses, chanting, meditation, and breath work to gently releasing the Kundalini or serpent power which is thought to be found at the base of the spine.

Hatha Yoga: Hatha Yoga is the foundation for all asana forms of yoga. Classes tend to focus on going into postures and holding them, slowly working into the pose through breath and relaxation.

Sivananda Yoga: Pranayama, Sun Salutations and 12 basic Asanas.

Vinyasa Flow: Vinyasa Flow classes consist of a series of sequences designed by the teacher to flow from one pose into another with close awareness of the breath.

Yin Yoga: Combines yoga with Taoist philosophy. Works on more prolonged stretching by working on connective tissues instead of muscles. Includes postures that develop strength and muscle tone, balance, and stamina.