Bagan landscape and temples. PHOTO: Sarah

Yoga Explained With Memes

In a totally predictable move, I’ve decided to get in better shape for 2018. It turns out lying on the sofa and visiting EVERY stall at the ice cream festival doesn’t transform me into Gisele Bundchen. I could not have predicted this.

So, one of the things I’ve been doing is more yoga.

And yoga is great, but, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of terminology and it can get overwhelming for beginning students. Because yoga teachers are really mellow and enlightened, they tend to describe things in very soothing ways. Those explanations don’t always make sense to those of us living in the smartphone age.

It’s a lot to process someone gently and simply explaining things to you when you’re used to jumping from one hilarious twitter post, to an amazing image on instagram and then to three terrifying news headlines, all within a minute. All of this activity is, of course, interrupted by a constant stream of notifications.

So, I thought I’d help by using memes to explain some of the most common yoga poses and terms. If you’re trying out a beginning class, you’ll probably see each of these in some form or another.

Downward Facing Doge
pronounced: down-werd-fae-sing-dough-shhhh

The downward facing doge is a deceptively complex pose and meme. It seems simple at first, but there’s a lot that can go wrong if you ignore context. Focus on breathing and don’t let yourself get weighed down by complexity or the anxieties of the day.

pronounced: oot-kah-tah-spooder-man

Like spooderman is the goofy cousin to spiderman, Utkataspooderman is the goofy, messed up version of sitting comfortably. Squeeze everything and imagine webs emerging from your body to hold you in position. If you fall down, due to having spindly, little spider legs, just spooder your way back up again.

Grumpy Catsana
pronounced: grum-pee-caught-sauna

The Grumpy Catsana was one of the first terms to appear in the sacred online texts. It can be integrated with other memes and poses and used in a variety of situations. If your teacher asks you to do a Grumpy Catsana, they’re most likely using it as a general term for poses performed with a sense of authentic superiority.

Pronounced: aum-ah-gurd

Om-aherd is a term that can mean a number of things. You’ll hear it throughout class as a way to channel and release energy. It’s a very powerful word and you’ll probably feel awareness streaming through your body when you use it.

One Does Namaste Implee
pronounced: won-dus-nah-mah-stay-imp-lee

One Does Namaste Implee is a way to give respect in your class, by reminding participants of their limitations. It’s the yoga way of saying, “We are all united in our humanness and our inability to do things.” Try saying it to your teacher and they will return the greeting. Do not mention Savasauroman or Bilbo Bandha. Those come later. I should not even be mentioning them.

Keep in mind, I’m only a beginner in the world of yoga! These terms are merely a starting point. If you find them inspiring, I recommend checking out a class near you so you can participate fully in all the memey goodness of this ancient art.

Hi! I’m Sarah. I’m new to Medium, so if you enjoyed this article, I’d love your claps or feedback. You can also follow me on twitter or check out my portfolio. Thanks for reading. 😄

Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts.