Sanskrit Words – The Root of It All

The ancient language of Sanskrit is spoken in yoga classes. You hear Chaturanga Dandasana or Bhujangasana and Trikonasana. At first it can be a bit confusing, then you may start to recognize a few repeating words such as eka or hasta, root words that are part of a word describing an Asana.

Here are some common Sanskrit words, root words that are found in yoga practice.

Sanskrit has existed for thousands of years as the primary language of Hinduism and Buddhism. The connection between Sanskrit and yoga has existed since yoga’s beginnings in India. Patanjali’s foundational text, Yoga Sutras, was written in Sanskrit, and poses are often referred to by their Sanskrit names.

The earliest known Sanskrit texts are the Hindu texts of the Rigveda, a collection of hymns, which were written almost 4000 years ago. The language has remained crucial in the practice of Buddhism and Hinduism throughout history. Although it is still spoken by many people all over the world, and is acknowledged as one of the 22 official languages of India, Sanskrit is considered by many to be “dead,” as it ceased evolving some time ago.

Read more: Sanskrit Words – The Language of Yoga

Where to find Sanskrit on the Web

Sanskrit, which is one of the 22 official languages of India and serves as the liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, is one of the oldest languages still in use today—its earliest text, the hymnal Rigveda, is over 3,500 years old. The word sanskrit itself means “consecrated,” “sanctified,” and “refined,” and indeed the language today is mainly seen and heard in the hymns and mantras of Hindu religious ceremonies. Sanskrit is the classical Indian language, and Sanskrit roots and forms are found in most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent.

Read more: Sanskrit Resources on the Web

You’ve probably heard a few Sanskrit words, such as Om, or Namaste at some point or another. When you go to your first yoga class expect to hear several words in this ancient language. We’ll shed some light on many of the basic Sanskrit words you will hear in your yoga class. We’ll begin with Namaste.

Read more: Sanskrit and Yoga meaning of “Namaste”