Sanskrit, is it important?

Why do we need to know this ancient language name in this modern Yoga era? Why not just using the translated name?

The Sanskrit term for poses or chants are often difficult to remember and pronounce. However, by knowing the Sanskrit word for the common yoga poses or the philosophical terms leads me to understanding yoga practice deeper. Yoga is not only about poses, but there are more such as the Sanskrit ancient language, philosophy, health, and etc.

Honestly, it took me awhile to remember the names for each poses even though I had been attending classes quite regular ha ha!. Well, I still try to remember some of the asanas in Sanskrit. But somehow, it feels authentic to me, to insert some Sanskrit during my teaching practice and use the English as well. It is believed that this style creates classes that brings more students while also bringing the original context of yoga.

Here are a few of the Sanskrit words that We basically already recognise:

1. Asana – It means the physical practice of the yoga poses; either sit, stand or relax poses. It is also the ending of each poses’ names, like Trikonasana – Triangle Pose or Bakasana – Crow Pose.

2. Supta – This word means reclined where we lie on our back, such as Supta Padangusthasana – Sleeping Thumb to Foot Stretch Pose.

3. Ardha – This refers to half (half lift or half fold), like Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose or Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Half Lotus Standing Forward Bend.

My study in Tirisula which taught by very generous yet traditional masters made me realise that yoga is more than just an exercise with poses to do. I realise that yoga is something that people have to respect and truly know what is the meaning and purpose. By studying Sanskrit, I realise yoga is one of the most historical activities ever in the existence of human kind and perhaps religion since I have learnt some of buddhism.

I feel it is quite important not just exercising, but paying tribute to yoga in other words, respecting the ancient activities in any way possible in this modern world. I am grateful that the masters have shown an example of what yoga truly is and I hope me and other yogis can spread the existence of yoga now and in the future.

 

– A. Natalia

Yoga as a career

Just in two more weeks, I will be graduating from my YTT course! Well, I guess that is my first step into exploring few options that I might consider. My passion for yoga is unexpected. Sometimes, a random thought comes across my mind when I’m in the studio bonding with the teachers & friends and feeling the energy that drives me happy; I feel deeply drawn to pursuing a career in yoga.

Of course, the journey is not easy and smooth. However, would I be considering yoga as my main career in my life? Hmm well, my mind still wanders. Yes I love practicing yoga; yes I would like to teach and serve others. Why not, right?

I THINK yoga as a career is a commitment. Doing yoga everyday as a full-time job surely plays a big impact in my lifestyle. I think yoga career lifestyle is widely categorised not only as a teacher, but also can be something else such as a studio owner, or probably building a yoga community. If I take this path, I would have a different life and different focal point of goals as a yogini. Now, still in wander if this is the path or purpose that I shall decide. But I believe at this very second, everything can just change and I will just go with the flow where it leads me to!

I believe to become a Yogini is a very beneficial thing to do in my life; not only for me, but also for other people who want to study or acknowledge the importance of yoga. I hope I can help or guide others, and for sure myself to practice more to be better.

I am convinced that anyone with the willingness to stick through the tough moments can build the yoga career of their dreams!

 

– A. Natalia

Ego vs Alignment

As someone who is very into yoga, I realised one thing that most people do but they don’t realise it; that is the application of proper alignment and being truth (Satya) in practicing our yoga rather than having this sense of competition. Having the correct alignment, it allows us to feel our body in non-violence (Ahimsa) as per Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

Comparison creates obstruction to our individual progress. It somehow creates mind happiness of self-fulfilment but the body doesn’t. From there, soon you will realise that the foundation is not stable and solid just like a poorly built house. Comparison is natural and unsurprising. As in our daily lives, either work or leisure we tend to have this sense of competition among another. It makes sense that we carry it during our practice. But isn’t it better be truthful to ourselves and use yoga to drop the ego?

Being truth to ourselves; yoga and life are already within ourselves. By keeping our practice correctly and consistently, the fear of not performing good can appear lesser. Practice with a quiet mind, keep our breath powerful and consistent, and be mindful of our movements. Use our heart to listen to our inner self and focus on our personal practice with purpose. It’s us that witness and experience our own individual yoga journey. There will always be a new pose to learn, a new sequence to try, or a new class to experience. This is the beauty of yoga.

 

– A. Natalia

My perspective in Yoga

When I first started my yoga practice, I have no expectations. I only want to enjoy it. Enjoy doing it and be healthy. And I found that in yoga, every pose that I started to practice more of an understanding towards was a humbling thing. It’s like wow, I can’t believe that I can do this. That was kind of my point of view. And of course celebrating all the small things that I have learned!

With inversion or some arm balancing poses, it almost feels like the fact that I have been practicing for more than 2 years, I can’t hold a stable handstand or pincha until now. It’s almost like you feel that your body owe you something because you have been working on it for so long. The poses are just to understand yourself better. It just means that maybe I’m not ready yet, or maybe it’s a mental (fear) or a strength thing. These poses are just meant for you to get to know yourself better and a way to learn something. You are not entitled to holding your handstand or doing other challenging poses. Yoga is a chance to see yourself where you can be at peace, and to have this great sense of compassion. It’s something that I’m grateful for. One of my most attended classes’ instructor always mentions this in his class, “Be on your own limits, but when I say push harder, you are the one that knows your capabilities. And don’t forget to keep breathing”. It gets to my mind that with dedication of practice, a person that is not flexible or strong will improve better.

Overall, this yoga practice has helped me to see that it’s not only a way to stay fit, but also mind-body awareness. Being mindful in my poses – what I eat, breathe and think to stay healthy.

 

– A. Natalia