As yoga becomes part of our daily lives, so do the most commonly used yoga words begin to enter our every day vocabulary. I find it beautiful when different languages merge, overlap, get reclaimed and used by people of all cultures. In these globalized times, English is no longer a language just for the English speaking nations, but it is the language that most peoples of the world use to communicate with one another, the language that makes it possible for people of totally different cultures and realities to meet, to communicate, and to fascinate each other.
In my Hatha Yoga classes in Berlin I choose to teach yoga in English. I love to see people from different corners of the world come to our Berlin yoga studio to practice yoga together. I use a lot of Sanskrit yoga words accompanied by an English translation while I teach. Sometimes though, because of Sanskrit having such a different pronounciation to English, yoga students don’t always learn the words correctly or their meaning. That is why I started Berlin Yoga: Terminology Tuesday, a blog where I explain the basic words used during the yoga class.
This week’s words are Anuloma Viloma.
Anuloma Viloma – is also a form of Pranayama or breathing technique. Anuloma literally means “in a natural order or direction” and viloma means “produced in reverse order”. The Anuloma Viloma breath requires one to breathe in through the left nostril and breathe out through the right, and then to reverse that process, breathe in through the right and exhale through the left. The natural way to breathe for a healthy person who practices Pranayama changes every 1 hour and 50 minutes. There is always one nostril that is predominant and can breathe easier then the other, and after that time-frame the predominant nostril changes. By practicing Anuloma Viloma we are balancing out that effect.