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YOGA TEACHING VOCABULARY – Self-Assessment

Introduction

Here you can quickly assess your knowledge of yoga teaching vocabulary, and identify gaps in your understanding.

  • We’ve compiled a comprehensive vocabulary list, plus a list of common Sanskrit components that make up pose names.
  • The vocabulary list includes terminology from anatomy, science, psychology and medicine that address the same subjects as yoga. For example, “reciprocal inhibition” is a physiology term directly related to teaching asana. The Higgs Field is a scientific term that equates to the aether in yoga philosophy. Terms such as “core belief” and “cognitive bias” from psychology address the same subject as vikalpa in yoga philosophy. And so on. Awareness of such terminology increases a teacher’s capability of connecting dots from multiple modalities, speaking students’ language, and modernizing or interpreting teachings for various audiences.
  • For briefer quizzes by subject, see the other self-assessments.

Purpose

We offer a series of free quizzes for yoga teachers to:

  1. Make it easy to self-assess knowledge privately.
  2. Help teachers who identify knowledge gaps to bolster their learning with accessible and practical lessons.

More Free Self-Assessments

For more free self-assessments, see the Standards & Self-Assessment Hub.

Quotes indicate the word is in Sanskrit. Links go to the related Member lessons and teaching support.

  1. Abdominal Cavity
  2. Abduction (in anatomy)
  3. Abductors
  4. “Abhinivesha”
  5. “Abhyasa”
  6. Achilles Tendon
  7. Achilles Tendonitis
  8. Active Inversions
  9. Active Stretching
  10. Adaptation (of yoga practices)
  11. Adaptive Immunity
  12. Adduction
  13. Adductors
  14. Adenoids
  15. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
  16. Adrenal Glands
  17. “Advaita Vedanta”
  18. Aether
  19. Afferent Neuron
  20. Affirmations
  21. “Agni”
  22. Agonist
  23. Agonist – Antagonist Relationship
  24. “Ahimsa”
  25. Air Element
  26. “Ajna Chakra”
  27. “Akash / Akasha”
  28. Allegory of the Cave
  29. Allergic Reaction
  30. Alpha Brain State
  31. Altered State
  32. Amino Acid(S)
  33. “Amrita”
  34. “Anahata Chakra”
  35. “Anandamaya Kosha”
  36. Anatomical Position
  37. Anatomy
  38. Angina
  39. “Anjali Mudra”
  40. “Annamaya Kosha”
  41. Ankle Joint
  42. Antagonist (in anatomy)
  43. “Antara Kumbhaka”
  44. “Antaranga Yoga”
  45. Anterior
  46. Anterior Tilt / Anteversion / “Happy Tail”
  47. Aorta
  48. “Apana Vayu”
  49. “Aparigraha”
  50. Apoptosis
  51. Appendicular Skeleton
  52. Arjuna
  53. Arm Balancing Poses
  54. Arteries
  55. Arthritis & Yoga
  56. Arrhythmia
  57. “Asana”
  58. Ascension
  59. “Ashtanga Yoga”
  60. “Asmita”
  61. “Asteya”
  62. Atherosclerosis / Clogged Arteries
  63. “Atman”
  64. Atom
  65. ATP
  66. Atria
  67. “Aum / Om”
  68. Autoimmune Disease
  69. Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)
  70. Autophagy
  71. “Avidya”
  72. Awakening Experience
  73. Awareness
  74. Axial Extension
  75. Axial Skeleton
  76. Ayurveda
  77. Backbending Poses 
  78. Backbone
  79. “Bahiranga Yoga”
  80. “Bahya Kumbhaka”
  81. “Bandha”
  82. Balance (as a theme)
  83. Balancing Poses
  84. Ball and Socket Joint
  85. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
  86. Beliefs
  87. Belly Brain
  88. Beta Brain State
  89. “Bhagavad Gita”
  90. “Bhakti Yoga”
  91. “Bija Mantras”
  92. Binaural Beats
  93. “Bindu”
  94. Biocentrism
  95. Biofield
  96. Biology
  97. Biomechanics
  98. Blood Brain Barrier
  99. Blood Glucose
  100. Blood Sugar
  101. Blood Vessels
  102. Bone Marrow (See also: Musculoskeletal System Intro)
  103. Body Positivity
  104. Bone Remodeling
  105. Bones
  106. Bone Spurs
  107. “Brahma”
  108. “Brahmacharya”
  109. “Brahman”
  110. “Brahmin”
  111. Brain Hemispheres
  112. Brain Stem
  113. Brain Wave
  114. Brain Wave States
  115. Breathing
  116. Breathing Issues / Restricted Breathing
  117. Bulging Disc
  118. Bunion
  119. Calcaneus
  120. Calf Muscles
  121. Capillaries
  122. Cardiac Muscle
  123. Cardiomyopathy
  124. Cardiovascular System
  125. Cartilage
  126. Celiac Disease
  127. Cell
  128. Cell Biology
  129. Cell-Mediated Adaptive Immunity
  130. Central Nervous System (CNS)
  131. Cerebellum
  132. Cerebral Cortex
  133. Cerebral Spinal Fluid
  134. Cerebrum
  135. Cervical Spine
  136. “Chakra”
  137. “Chandra Namaskar”
  138. Change
  139. Changing Perspective
  140. Choice
  141. Chronic Lymphocytic Thyroiditis
  142. Chronic Pain
  143. Crohn’s Disease
  144. Circulatory System
  145. Clasp Knife Reflex
  146. Classic Inversions
  147. Classical Yoga
  148. Coccyx
  149. Cognitive Bias
  150. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  151. Cognitive Reframing
  152. Collagen
  153. Collagen Type I (Col-I)
  154. Cold Electricity
  155. Collective Experience
  156. Compact Bone
  157. Compression
  158. Concentric Contraction
  159. Congestive Heart Failure
  160. Connective Tissue
  161. Conscience
  162. Conscious
  163. Conscious Mind
  164. Conscious Sleep
  165. Consciousness
  166. Consciousness Expansion
  167. Contraindications
  168. Core Belief
  169. Core Engagement
  170. Core Muscles
  171. Core Strengthening
  172. Coronal / Frontal Plane
  173. Coronary Heart Disease
  174. Corpus Callosum
  175. Cosmic Consciousness
  176. Counternutation
  177. Counterpose
  178. Courage
  179. Cultural Appropriation
  180. Cultural Exchange
  181. Dark Energy
  182. Dark Matter
  183. Darkness
  184. Death
  185. Deep (in anatomy)
  186. Deep Back Muscles
  187. Deep or Intrinsic Back Muscles
  188. Degenerative Scoliosis
  189. Delta Brain State
  190. Detachment
  191. “Dharana”
  192. “Dharma”
  193. “Dharmamegha Samdhi”
  194. “Dhyana”
  195. Degenerative Disc Disease
  196. Diabetes / Diabetes Mellitus
  197. Diabetes Type 1
  198. Diaphragm
  199. Digestive System
  200. Disc Degeneration
  201. Disc Extrusion
  202. Disc Issues
  203. Disc Protrusion
  204. Distal
  205. Dorsal
  206. “Dosha”
  207. Dorsiflexion
  208. “Drishti”
  209. Ductless Glands
  210. Durga
  211. Dysbiosis
  212. “Dvesha”
  213. Dynamic Stretching
  214. Earth Element
  215. Earthing
  216. Eccentric Contraction
  217. Efferent Neuron
  218. Eight Limbs of Yoga
  219. “Ekagrata”
  220. Elements / “Panchamahabhutas”
  221. Embodiment
  222. Endocrine System
  223. Energy
  224. Energy Body
  225. Energy from the Vacuum
  226. Entanglement
  227. Enteric Nervous System (ENS)
  228. Erector Spinae (Spinal Erectors)
  229. Ether
  230. Etheric Energy
  231. Ethics
  232. Eversion (of the foot)
  233. Exoconsciousness
  234. Extension
  235. External / Lateral Rotation
  236. Exteroception
  237. Facet Hypertrophy
  238. Facet Joint Syndrome
  239. Facilitated Stretching
  240. Fascia
  241. Femur
  242. Fibula
  243. Fibularis Longus
  244. Field, The
  245. Fight or Flight Response
  246. Fire Element
  247. Five Elements
  248. Fixator Muscle
  249. Flat Feet / Collapsed Arches
  250. Flexibility
  251. Flexion
  252. Foot Extensors
  253. Foot Flexors
  254. Forces of Nature
  255. Forebrain
  256. Forgiveness
  257. Forward Bending Poses
  258. Fractal
  259. Frontal Cortex
  260. Full Inversions
  261. Functional / Nonstructural Scoliosis
  262. Galt
  263. Ganesha
  264. Gamma Brain State
  265. Gastrocnemius
  266. “Gayatri”
  267. Generosity
  268. Gestational Diabetes
  269. “Gheranda Samhita”
  270. Glands
  271. Glucose
  272. Glycemic Index (Gi)
  273. Glycemic Load (Gl)
  274. “Gheranda Samhita”
  275. Glands
  276. Golgi Tendon Reflex
  277. Gonads
  278. Gratitude
  279. Grief
  280. Groins
  281. Grounded & Grounding
  282. Guillain-barre Syndrome
  283. “Gunas”
  284. Gut
  285. Gut-Brain Axis
  286. Habits
  287. Hallus Valgus
  288. Hallux Limitus
  289. Hammertoe
  290. Hamstrings
  291. Happiness & Joy
  292. Hashimoto’s Disease
  293. “Hatha Yoga”
  294. “Hatha Yoga Pradipika”
  295. Headaches & Yoga
  296. Healthy Posture
  297. Heart
  298. Heart Attack
  299. Heart Rate Variability
  300. Herniated Disc
  301. Hero’s Journey
  302. Higgs Field
  303. Hindbrain
  304. Hinge Joint
  305. Hip Extensors
  306. Hip Flexors
  307. Holding Space
  308. Holographic
  309. Holographic Universe
  310. Hormones
  311. Humoral Adaptive Immunity
  312. Holidays & Observations
  313. Hyperarousal or Acute Stress Response
  314. Hyperextension
  315. Hyperkyphosis
  316. Hyperlordosis
  317. Hypertension
  318. Hypnagogia or Hypnagogic State
  319. Hypnosis
  320. Hypnotherapy / Self-Hypnosis
  321. Hypotension
  322. Hypothalamus
  323. “Ida Nadi”
  324. Immune Deficiency
  325. Immune Over-Reactivity
  326. Immune System
  327. Immune & Lymphatic Systems
  328. Immunity & Yoga
  329. Impermanence
  330. Individual Consciousness
  331. Inclusivity
  332. Inferior (in anatomy)
  333. Inflammation & Yoga
  334. Innate
  335. Innate Immunity
  336. Inner Attention
  337. Insulin
  338. Insulin Resistance / Impaired Insulin Sensitivity
  339. Insulin Sensitivity
  340. Intention
  341. Intermediate Back Muscles
  342. Internal / Medial Rotation
  343. Internal Rotators
  344. Interneuron
  345. Interoception
  346. Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP)
  347. Inverse Stretch Reflex
  348. Inversion (of the foot)
  349. Inversion Poses
  350. Invert
  351. Irritable Bowel Syndrome / Disease
  352. Ischemia
  353. “Ishvara”
  354. “Ishvara Pranidhana”
  355. Isometric Contraction
  356. Isotonic Contraction
  357. “Jal / Jala”
  358. “Jalandhara Bandha”
  359. “Japa”
  360. “Jivatman”
  361. “Jnana Yoga”
  362. Joint
  363. Joint Capsule
  364. “Kaivalya”
  365. “Kaivalya Pada”
  366. “Kapha”
  367. “Karana Sharira”
  368. “Karma”
  369. “Karma Yoga”
  370. Kinesthesia
  371. Kinetic Chain
  372. “Kirtan”
  373. “Kleshas”
  374. Knee Joint
  375. “Kosha”
  376. Krishna
  377. “Kriya Yoga”
  378. “Kumbhaka”
  379. “Kundalini”
  380. Kyphosis
  381. Lakshmi
  382. Lateral
  383. Lateral Arch (of the foot)
  384. Leg Length Discrepancy (LLD)
  385. Leukocytes
  386. Letting Go
  387. Ligament
  388. Ligand
  389. Limbic System
  390. Limiting Beliefs
  391. Lordosis
  392. Lower Crossed Syndrome
  393. Love
  394. Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  395. Lumbar Spine
  396. Lupus
  397. Lymph Nodes
  398. Lymph Vessels
  399. Lymphatic Drainage
  400. Lymphatic Fluid (Lymph)
  401. Lymphatic System
  402. “Mahabharata”
  403. “Manipura Chakra”
  404. “Manomaya Kosha”
  405. “Mantra”
  406. “Maya”
  407. Medial
  408. Meditation
  409. Meditation Seats
  410. Melatonin
  411. Metabolism
  412. Microbe
  413. Microbiome (or Gut Microbiome)
  414. Midbrain
  415. Migraines & Yoga
  416. Mild / Partial / Half Inversions
  417. Mindfulness
  418. Mission & Vision
  419. Mitochondria
  420. Mitral Valve Prolapse or Regurgitation
  421. Molecular Biology
  422. Molecule
  423. Moon Phases
  424. “Mudra”
  425. “Mula Bandha”
  426. “Muladhara Chakra”
  427. Multifidus Muscles
  428. Multiple Sclerosis
  429. Muscle
  430. Muscle Contraction
  431. Muscle Memory
  432. Muscle Spindle Stretch Receptor
  433. Musculoskeletal System
  434. Myofascia
  435. Myelopathy
  436. Myotatic Reflex
  437. Myth
  438. “Nada Yoga”
  439. “Nadi”
  440. “Namas”
  441. Namaskar / Namaste”
  442. Neck Issues
  443. Nervous System
  444. Neuron
  445. Neurotransmitters
  446. Neutral Pelvis
  447. Neutral Spine
  448. “Nirvana”
  449. “Niyamas”
  450. Noetic Sciences
  451. Non-attachment/Detachment
  452. Nonlocality
  453. Non-ordinary State of Consciousness
  454. Normal Curves
  455. Normal Walking Consciousness / Rational Consciousness
  456. Nucleus
  457. Nutation
  458. Odic Force
  459. “OM”
  460. Organelles
  461. Orgone
  462. Origin
  463. Origin & Insertion Points
  464. Osteo
  465. Osteocalcin
  466. Osteophytes
  467. Overpronation (Of Foot)
  468. Overstretching
  469. Pain
  470. “Panca / Pancha”
  471. “Panchamahabhutas”
  472. “Panchamayakosha” Model
  473. Pancreas
  474. Paradoxical Breathing
  475. “Paramatman”
  476. Parasympathetic Nervous System
  477. Parathyroid
  478. Parinama
  479. Passive Stretching
  480. Patanjali
  481. Patella
  482. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
  483. Pelvic Floor
  484. Peripheral Nervous System
  485. Pernicious Anemia
  486. Peroneus Longus & Peroneus Brevis
  487. Pes Planus
  488. Pinched Nerve
  489. Physics
  490. Physiology
  491. Pineal Gland
  492. “Pingala Nadi”
  493. “Pitta”
  494. Pituitary Gland
  495. Planes of Motion
  496. Plantar Fascia
  497. Plantar Fasciitis
  498. Plantar Flexion
  499. Plasma
  500. Poetry
  501. Positive CBT
  502. Posterior
  503. Posterior Tilt / Retroversion / “Sad Tail”
  504. Postural Issues
  505. Posture
  506. Power
  507. “Prakrti”
  508. “Prana”
  509. “Prana Vayu”
  510. “Prana Vayus”
  511. “Pranamaya Kosha”
  512. “Pranayama”
  513. “Pratipaksha Bhavana”
  514. Pratipasava
  515. “Pratyahara”
  516. “Pratyaya”
  517. Prediabetes
  518. Pregnancy / Prenatal Yoga
  519. Present Moment Awareness
  520. Prime Mover
  521. “Privthi”
  522. Pronation
  523. Prone
  524. Proprioception
  525. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
  526. Protein(S)
  527. Proximal
  528. Psoas
  529. Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis
  530. Psyche
  531. Psychic Sleep
  532. Psychological Defense Mechanisms
  533. PTSD
  534. Pulmonary Circuit
  535. “Puraka”
  536. “Purusha”
  537. Quadratus Lumborum (QL)
  538. Quadriceps / Quads
  539. Quanta
  540. Quantum
  541. Quantum Field
  542. Quantum Mechanics
  543. Quantum Physics
  544. Quantum Theory
  545. Quantum Vacuum
  546. Quintessence
  547. Radiant Energy
  548. Radiculopathy
  549. “Raga”
  550. Raising Vibration (or Frequency)
  551. “Rajas”
  552. “Raja Yoga”
  553. Receptor (in cells)
  554. “Rechaka”
  555. Reciprocal Inhibition
  556. Relaxation Response
  557. Renunciation
  558. Reptilian Brain
  559. Research on the Impact of Yoga
  560. Research on Yoga – Brain Structure & Function
  561. Research on Yoga – Immunity & General Health
  562. Research on Yoga – Mental Health
  563. Research on Yoga – Pain, Inflammation & Conditions
  564. Research on Yoga – Trauma
  565. Research Types
  566. Resistance Stretching
  567. Resolutions
  568. Respect & Honor
  569. Respiration
  570. Restorative Yoga
  571. Reverse Breathing
  572. Rib Flare
  573. ROM
  574. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  575. Rhythms, Flow
  576. Sacred Space
  577. Sacredness
  578. Sacrum
  579. “Sadhana Pada”
  580. Sagittal /Median Plane
  581. “Sahasrara Chakra”
  582. “Samadhi”
  583. “Samadhi Pada”
  584. “Samana Vayu”
  585. “Samkhya”
  586. “Samskara”
  587. “Samyama”
  588. “Sankalpa”
  589. Sanskrit
  590. “Santosha”
  591. “Sattva”
  592. Saraswati
  593. “Satya”
  594. “Saucha”
  595. Scalar Energy
  596. Sciatica
  597. Scoliosis
  598. Scrub (in asana)
  599. Seasonal Yoga
  600. Second Brain
  601. Self-Acceptance
  602. Self-Realization
  603. Sensory Motor Amnesia
  604. Sesamoid Bone
  605. Sesamoiditis
  606. Shadow
  607. Shadow Work
  608. “Shakti”
  609. Shin Splints
  610. “Shiva”
  611. Shoulder Issues
  612. SI Joints
  613. “Siddhis”
  614. Skeletal Muscle
  615. Skeletal System / Skeleton
  616. Sleep Issues & Yoga
  617. Sleepless Sleep
  618. Smooth Muscle
  619. Soleus
  620. “Soma”
  621. Somatic Nervous System
  622. Space, Creating
  623. Space Time
  624. Spinal Column 
  625. Spinal Conditions
  626. Spinal Cord Reflex Arc
  627. Spinal Movements
  628. Spinal Reflexes
  629. Spinal Stenosis
  630. Spine
  631. Spinous Processes
  632. Spiritual Awakening
  633. Spiritual or Mystical Experiences
  634. Spleen
  635. Split Brain Theory
  636. Spongy Bone
  637. Stabilizer Muscle
  638. Standard Anatomical Position
  639. Standing in Neutral
  640. Static Stretching
  641. Stem Cells
  642. “Sthira Sukham Asanam”
  643. Strategic Planning
  644. Stress
  645. Stretch Reflex
  646. Stretch-Related Reflexes
  647. Stretching
  648. Stroke
  649. Structural Scoliosis
  650. “Stula Sharira”
  651. Subatomic
  652. Subatomic Phenomena
  653. Subconscious Mind
  654. Subliminal
  655. Subtle
  656. Subtle Body
  657. Subtle Energy
  658. “Sukshma Sharira”
  659. Superficial (in anatomy)
  660. Superficial Abdominals
  661. Superficial Back Muscles
  662. Superior (in anatomy)
  663. Supination
  664. Supine
  665. “Surya”
  666. Surya Namaskar
  667. “Sushumna”
  668. Suffering
  669. Supine
  670. Surrender
  671. “Sutra”
  672. “Svadhisthana Chakra”
  673. “Svadhyaya”
  674. Swayback / Hollow Back / Saddle Back
  675. Sympathetic Nervous System
  676. Synergist Muscles
  677. Synovial Joint
  678. Systematic Circuit
  679. Tachyon Energy
  680. “Tantra”
  681. “Tapas”
  682. Tamas”
  683. Talus
  684. Tendon
  685. Tensile Load / Tensile Strength
  686. Terrain vs Germ Theory
  687. Theta Brain State
  688. Third Eye
  689. Thoracic Cavity
  690. Thoracic Mobility Issues
  691. Thoracic Kyphosis
  692. Thoracic Spine
  693. Thymus
  694. Thymus Gland
  695. Thyroid
  696. Tibia
  697. Tonsils
  698. Transformation
  699. Transitioning
  700. Transpersonal Psychology
  701. Transverse Arch (of the foot) 
  702. Transverse / Horizontal Plane
  703. Transversus Abdominals (TA)
  704. Trauma
  705. Triune Brain Model
  706. Tuck (or Scoop) the Tailbone
  707. Twisting Poses
  708. Type 1 Diabetes
  709. Type 2 Diabetes
  710. “Udana Vayu”
  711. “Uddiyana Bandha”
  712. Ulcerative Colitis
  713. Unconscious, The
  714. Unconsciousness
  715. Unified Field Theory
  716. Unified Theory of Physics
  717. Union
  718. Upanishads
  719. Upper Crossed Syndrome
  720. Vagus Nerve
  721. “Vairagya”
  722. “Vasana”
  723. Vascular System
  724. Varicose Veins
  725. “Vata”
  726. “Vayu”
  727. “Vedanta”
  728. “Vedas”
  729. Veins
  730. Venae Cavae
  731. Ventral
  732. Ventricles
  733. Vertebrae
  734. Vertebral Column
  735. Vestibular System
  736. “Vibhuti Pada”
  737. Vibhutis
  738. “Vijnanamaya Kosha”
  739. “Vinyasa”
  740. “Vinyasa Krama”
  741. “Vikalpa”
  742. Visceroception
  743. Vishnu
  744. “Vishuddha Chakra”
  745. Vitiligo
  746. “Viveka”
  747. “Vritti”
  748. Vulnerability
  749. “Vyana Vayu”
  750. Water Element
  751. Wheel of the Year
  752. Whole Brain Functioning
  753. Wise Practice
  754. Wrist Issues
  755. “Yamas”
  756. Yin Yoga
  757. “Yoga”
  758. “Yoga Darshana”
  759. “Yoga Nidra”
  760. “Yoga Sutra”
  761. Zero Point Energy
  762. Zero Point Field

Sanskrit Components in Pose Names

  1. adho
  2. ardha
  3. asana
  4. baddha
  5. dwi
  6. eka
  7. hasta
  8. janu
  9. jathara
  10. kona
  11. mukha
  12. nirlamba
  13. pada
  14. paripurna
  15. parivrtta
  16. parsva
  17. paschima
  18. prasarita
  19. purva
  20. salamba
  21. sirsa
  22. supta
  23. tri
  24. urdhva
  25. uttana
  26. utthita

Member lesson: Preparing to Use Sanskrit in Teaching


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