Your first yoga class can be pretty overwhelming. To help you flow through your new practice, here are a few translations and handy tips to make you feel more at home in the yoga studio.


Yoga in plain English – some basic translations of common terms used in yoga classes


Asana: yoga posture; all the body positions that you will hold and move through during the course of a yoga class

Ayurveda: the ancient Indian science of health

Bandha: internal lock; used for controlling the energy within the body during yoga practice; the three bandhas taught are root lock, abdominal lock and throat lock

Buddha: a buddha is an elightened one; ‘the Buddha’ refers to Siddhartha Gautama, a spiritual teacher who lived, became emlightened and taught in India a long time ago

Chakra: energy centre; the basic system has seven chakras (root, sacrum, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown), each of which is associated with a colour, element, syllable and significance

Dosha: physical body type; there are three doshas in Ayurveda – pitta (fire), vata (wind) and kapha (earth)

Drishti: gazing point during asana practice

Guru: one who brings us from darkness to light, spiritual mentor

Hatha: a style of yoga that balances the energies of the body with those of the mind through physical postures, controlled breathing and relaxation

Karma: action; the law of karma is the law of cause and effect. Karma is based upon the complex, esoteric web of conditions, individuals and relationships in the Universe

Mantra: repeated sound, syllable, word or phrase; often used in chanting and meditation

Mudra: a symbolic hand gesture; the most common mudra is anjali mudra (pressing palms together in prayer at the heart) and gyana mudra (with index finger and thumb touching); they act as a specific gesture to help set the intention in your practice

Namaste: words used at the beginning and/or end of class. Most commonly translated as “the light within me honours the light within you.”; a salutation said with the hands in anjali mudra

Om: the original syllable; chanted “A-U-M” at the beginning and/or end of many yoga classes

Prana: life energy; your beautiful life force

Pranayama: breath control; breathing exercises; pranayama lives at the heart of all yoga

Savasana: corpse pose; final relaxation; typically performed at the end of every yoga class

Surya Namaskar: sun salutations; a system of yoga postures performed in a flow or series

Sutras: classical texts; the most famous in yoga is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Ujjayi: ‘victorious breath’ or ‘ocean breath’; the breath most commonly used when flowing through a yoga sequence; so called because of the sound the breath makes as it enters and leaves the slightly constricted throat

Vinyasa: a dynamic practice of yoga postures, which are linked into a flowing sequence by the breath. Vinyasa emphasises the importance of the journey from one posture to the next, often described as ‘meditation in motion’


Yoga @ Active Zen


We are honoured to have you join us on the mat. Yoga is for everybody so no matter where you are on your journey we will assist and guide you to develop your practice

If you are new to yoga, or if this is your first time with Active Zen, please introduce yourself to the teacher so they may help you settle in

Each class will begin with a few minutes of relaxation and stillness to prepare your mind and body for your practice. We then flow into a sequence of postures (asanas) that will firstly warm the body, and then build strength and flexibility

Each class will end with deep relaxation, which is traditionally done in a lying down posture (savasana). This pose is a very important part of any yoga practice, as it allows the body to rest and rejuvenate

As with any physical activity, the breath is deeply connected to your yoga practice. Deep, steady breathing will help calm your mind, especially during more challenging poses. The traditional ujjayi breath is the audible breath heard during a yoga class

Listen to your body and honour what feels right for you. There is no need to perfect a pose

Take rest whenever you feel the need. We highly encourage this throughout your practice


Yogi Etiquette

Arrive 5-10minutes prior to class so as to not disrupt the others and to ensure you get the benefit of a full warm up

Please remove your shoes upon entering the class

Switch phones to silent; we want you to enjoy your time without distractions

Bring your own yoga mat (a few spares will be on hand should you forget yours)

Bring a small towel and water bottle if required

Wear clothing that is comfortable and easy to move in

Refrain from using strong deodorants or lotions

It is advisable to eat only a light snack within an hour of class. This way you will feel lighter and able to move more freely