Learning Sanskrit

Though it is in no way necessary to have a fulfilling practice, I have started to learn the Sanskrit names of the poses. It started as something I wanted to do to deepen the focus on my practice and then changed things, like yoga always does. It’s also a thing that happened when I started trying to get further into it than just knowing the poses.

I plan on getting more into it in 2020, because there really is so much more to yoga than poses. I’ve been trying to dig in and get into the philosophy with some books. Well, I want to learn the philosophy side, what the deal is with chakras and kundalini yoga, and also what the actual benefits are for the poses rather than just how they make me feel.

Most of the books I’ve been looking at for it have both the English name and the Sanskrit name of the poses, with some discrepancies. I have to admit that I haven’t been as good about the pronunciations. It’s the cost of learning them through reading, but I did find the Sanskrit Channel on YouTube and I’m hoping that helps too.

It’s been a little strange and a little “it’s about time” when it comes to studying yoga. There was a time when I would spend hours looking at Pinterest to see how to do poses and I have all those boards of poses, so it’s not entirely foreign to be studying for yoga. It’s just a little funny in the way that my friends and such look at me when I mention it. I’m considered the expert among most of my friends and they can’t imagine that I would have to look anything up. But they also ask me questions all the time about what’s best for this or that thing that needs to be stretched and they all know that I’ve been to the instructor course.

Still. There’s always reason to dig in and study something that impacts my life like yoga does. I love learning the Sanskrit, despite it’s challenges. I even made flash cards so I can recognize the words. It’s not just the poses, but the some of the other parts too. For example, I have flash cards for the 8 Limbs of Yoga.

I always thought of the instructors that knew and used the Sanskrit as more professional, but I’ve realized that’s completely ridiculous. While knowing the original names are great, it doesn’t actually make a person more invested in the practice itself. Understanding the words and the meaning behind what you’re doing does that. I’ve learned in this process that I definitely need to stop confusing those two things.

I’m gonna shoot for both, but we’ll see what happens.

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