The Technical Language of Yoga

The Technical Language of Yoga

The thought of learning a new art or science always sounds exciting, isn’t it? But as we delve deep into it and start learning, we encounter certain challenges that might persuade us to continue or quit.

One of the most common challenges is the language.

But we must acknowledge that every science has its own set of terminologies that aptly describes it and distinguishes it from other fields. It provides an identity to its unique content and helps understand the minute details and intricacies associated with that science/subject. Moreover, it requires a sincere effort from the learner to utilize and apply the learnings in that particular field in its true form to reap the expected results.

Similar is the case with learning yoga. Sanskrit being its technical language cannot be replaced with words that are though easy to understand but can distort the meaning of certain learnings. If we talk about asanas, we can call Vriksha Asana as a tree pose but cannot call Nataraja asana as a dancing pose as it can be any dancing pose thus making it ambiguous to understand. The language of yoga has been quite thoughtfully drafted in the ancient scriptures with each word and sutra leading towards a deeper meaning explaining the interconnection between this science and human beings.

 Just like medical science has words derived from Greek and Latin, like the cerebrum, cerebellum instead of using words like walnut to describe parts of the nervous system, similarly yoga contains words derived from Sanskrit that must be used as they are. In fact, the word yoga is itself a Sanskrit word. But, why do many of us refrain from using or intimidated by the language? Is it difficult and outdated or there is a hesitation that it will make us odd one out if we use it?

When we are committed to our learning then the language should not be a barrier rather it helps us to unearth the actual meaning behind that science giving us a holistic and clear view of the subject. Moreover, the yogic wisdom imparted by legendary yogis was traditional in Sanskrit that keeps it still alive. The more time we invest in understanding this precious science the better we explore this vast ocean.

This write up is an excerpt from Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Chairman: ICYER and Yoganjali Natyalayam – Video

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