Have you ever followed your teacher in a Sanskrit chant while thinking, "What does this mean?" or even, "Can we skip this and get right to the postures?" Of course, once you understand something it always has more meaning. And if you're a yogi, it's worth gaining some understanding of this ancient tongue.
In India, Sanskrit is considered a divine language—spoken by gods and capable of connecting mere mortals with the transcendent Self. Reverence for Sanskrit mantras has been adopted by many Western yogis, either in the form of invocations before asana practice, kirtan (chanting), or japa (mantra repetition).