Today's Daily Tip
Why Teach Sanskrit Names?
And there are other benefits as well. For one thing, Sanskrit breaks down the barriers between people who speak different languages. "The beauty of the Sanskrit terms is that they are a universal reference," says Raoult. "No matter where you are on the planet, you have the Sanskrit terms so you don't have to worry. Whether you say the word "plie” [to reference a ballet movement] in Japan or France, it means the same thing."
This universal language creates a deeper, more spiritual connection. Because Sanskrit names communicate meaning through sound and yoke sound and sensation, they reveal to each individual the universal experience of the pose. Knowing the Sanskrit and connecting it to our practice roots us in tradition and gives us a common vocabulary. This is the first step in seeking that connection that is yoga's promise.
If you're ready to start teaching names, bear in mind one simple rule of thumb. "When you begin to introduce the names, is it in the spirit of an inviting in?" asks yoga teacher Aimee Brooks. "Or is there an ‘I know the secret word and maybe if you are around long enough you will too'? If you keep your teaching in the spirit of an invitation, you will arrive at this truth: The faster you can teach your students what the words mean to you, the faster you can begin to talk to each other and share in your understanding."
Marget Braun is the author of DES Stories and past food columnist for Yoga Journal magazine. She is owner of Urban Spa Coaching [www.urbanspacoaching.com], which offers both coaching and yoga. Marget is a graduate of Open Sky Yoga teacher training and teaches yoga at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY.