Check back frequently as we add to this list of Frequently Asked Questions for anyone interested in yoga.
What does it mean when we say Namaste at the end of class?
We typically say Namaste at the end of class with hands in prayer position, thumbs touching the heart center or the third eye. The word is a Sanskrit word meaning “bow to you”. In a fuller sense of the word, it is said from a place of gratitude and of oneness of those in the class – the teacher seeing and acknowledging the divine in each student.
What is the significance of saying OM together in a class? The symbol of OM is the most sacred and common written yoga symbols. It is believed to be the first uttered word of the universe and is said to encompass all the vibrations of the universe. It is the unifying sound and energy that binds us all together.
Why do some of the teachers say the pose names in a different language? Yoga’s traditional language is Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. All of the poses have a traditional Sanskrit name as well as an English translation. So, sometimes you might hear a teacher cue the class using this beautiful Sanskrit language. It may be confusing at first, but after you repeat the poses in practice for a while, you will begin to recognize the words without much effort. An example is: Uttanasana means Standing Forward Fold.
At Body Mind & Sol, we take a functional approach to our practice. What does that mean? There are two approaches to yoga: a functional approach and an aesthetic approach. Think Instagram or any yoga magazine when you think aesthetic. What does the pose LOOK like? Aesthetics is about the striving to achieve the “perfect” pose in the way the body looks. At BMS, we don’t subscribe to that approach. Instead, we practice with function in mind. How does the pose FEEL or function in your body? Every single person in every single class is going to experience every single pose differently. Our only concern is that you experience the pose in a way that feels appropriate and adequate for YOUR body. There is no such thing as a perfect pose in our classes.
What is the purpose of Savasana at the end of class? The last pose of most classes is Savasana, or corpse pose, rest pose. Savasana is the pose of death. It is the death of our practice. It is our opportunity to leave behind anything that no longer serves us and to be reborn to a new opportunity, a new day. Savasana is also the pose where our bodies get to assimilate everything that we did during our practice – organize it, file it, store it away for future use. It is a state of contentment and peace.