Kula, Drishti, Namaste | Yo-cabulary lesson #1

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I recently fell back in love with yoga, after doing it on and off for years (you can catch up by reading this post). While I was not a complete beginner to yoga, I still found myself surprised by some of the unfamiliar words I was hearing during yoga classes and while watching online yoga videos.

I’m going to share some of the yoga terms I’ve come across, along with very simple definitions, in a series I’m calling Yo-cabulary lessons! Get it? Yoga + vocabulary = yo-cabulary! 🙂 I thought I was so clever!

kula drishti, namaste

Kicking off the series this week are our first three yoga words – Kula, Drishti, and Namaste!

What is a Kula?

In simple terms, a kula is a community or a family.

You might hear your yoga teacher say: “If you’ve been in our kula for a while, you will be familiar with this vinyasa.”


What is a Drishti? 

In simple terms, a drishti is a focal point.

You might hear your yoga teacher say: “As we enter tree pose, find a drishti to focus on to help you balance.”


What is Namaste? 

In simple terms, namaste means “the light in me bows to the light in you.”

You will hear “Namaste” most often at the end of a yoga class, and your yoga teacher will likely have his or her hands at their heart when they say it. It is a gesture of gratitude and respect.

Disclaimer: Yo-cabulary lessons are intended to help beginner yogis make sense of the words they hear in yoga class. Much deeper, richer explanations of the words do exist.  Stay at home yogi is not fluent in Sanskrit, nor is she a yoga historian.

Have you come across the words Kula, Drishti, or Namaste before? Are there any other yoga words you would like to understand better?

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2 Comments

  1. I just started yoga for the first time a few weeks ago. I totally had a huge misconception about yoga and I can happily say that I love it! This series is super helpful for a newbie like me…thanks!
    Chantal recently posted…25 Valentine’s Day Gifts Women Actually WantMy Profile

    • Oh yay! I’m so glad you are liking yoga, I wish more people would give it a chance! Check out yoga with Adriene (on YouTube) if you haven’t already! She’s awesome!

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