yāmyāyana – winter solstice याम्यायन

from the dictionary ~ “the sun’s progress (yana) south of the equator (yāmyā)”

Wishing you peaceful, blessed transitions this solstice.. ॐ Śāntiḥ

— This is an example of the posts I’ve been making quite frequently on my newly launched Embodied Sanskrit facebook page, where we take #dictionarybreaks to marvel over the strange, the ambiguous, and refine the colloquial praxis of Sanskrit in yoga today. Join the conversation over here!


Hello darlings!

I freaking love Thanksgiving break. Every year it comes reluctantly — and then arrives with a yeehaw and a party. I can’t believe I have a whole week to figure out my life– This is a serious win!

Fortunately for us at CU Boulder, we are supremely blessed to have an entire week of break, none of those two-days-off crumbs for us. When we break at CU, we mean business. Well, I certainly mean business, anyways. I’ve got loads of my own research and writing to do. And a mountain of papers to grade.

However, none of that is going to stop me from getting out and taking Yoga classes here in B-town!

That’s why I’m initiating the Yoga Thanksgiving Break Challenge 2013

#YogaTBC !!!

The challenge is to get out to a Yoga class other than your personal practice. Now, for me this can be tough, cause I have an ongoing love affair with my practice, and often it just doesn’t feel right to cheat!– However, it’s truly more polyamorous situation. You can attend an actual, in-person class, or even check out an online class.

Again, the point is to get out of your usual practice and dive into the awesomeness of community, the local and the online. Then tell me how it’s going by tweeting at me.

I’m @inasahajaa  and use (#hashtag) #YogaTBC so we can start this new practice revolution!

Feeling grateful for the practice and our growing community!



(art by Eliza Lynn Tobin of Art Asana)


I was recently challenged to stop talking so much about what Embodied Sanskrit is, and just show you instead.

You ask, you receive.

Here’s the breakdown for how we chant pārśvakoṇāsana — parshvakonasana — paarshvuh cone aasana …

The ṇ in koṇa is retroflex, which means that the tongue doesn’t strike the back of the teeth, like we are used to in English. When making retroflex sounds (indicated by the dot beneath the letter, as seen in the Roman transliteration), the tongue actually strikes the hard palate at the roof of your mouth, about an inch behind the backs of your teeth. I talk more about this mouth position here.

Now, listen closely and take your time practicing chanting in the āsana.

Chant it like you mean it, feel how it feels to you right now, then take this handy vocab word straight into your next Yoga class.

(okay, for real — now I’m zippin’ it.)