Tuesday, January 18, 2022
HomeCultureJapanese Vocabulary for Yoga: Physique Elements

Japanese Vocabulary for Yoga: Physique Elements

Welcome to the second article in our three-part information for doing yoga courses in Japanese!

Within the earlier article, I discussed that once I determined to take yoga classes in Japan I did not assume I might have any bother understanding the directions as a result of I knew all of the components of the physique in Japanese. Should you learn it, you’ll know that’s not true, I didn’t know all of the components of the physique, and I used to be a whole numbskull. It is because there are numerous extra components of the physique than simply your primary 頭, 肩, ひざ, and 足. Actually, there are numerous phrases I didn’t know for extremely particular components of the physique, just like the names of particular person bones, of which the human physique famously has fairly just a few.

These are all lists I want I may have had again once I began taking yoga courses in Japan!

So on this article I am going to show you how to get a leg up and keep away from yoga-related numbskullery by going by means of each the fundamental — and never so primary — phrases for the components of the physique you may hear in a Japanese yoga class. We’ll additionally undergo vocabulary for instructions, associated prefixes and suffixes, positions, and customary yoga poses. Lastly, we’ll evaluate just a few particles which might be typically utilized in mixture with these phrases. These are all lists I want I may have had again once I began taking yoga courses in Japan!

Now, you could be considering, that is a variety of vocab. And also you’re proper, it’s — however please do not assume that you have to have all the things memorized earlier than you even strive doing a yoga class. There isn’t any must numb your cranium cramming vocab. As an alternative, I counsel a strategic method.

Begin first by wanting by means of the lists and getting a way for the kind of phrases you may hear. Then, go forward and check out doing a category. I like to recommend beginning with an internet video, even if you wish to finally take courses in individual. You will probably hear phrases that you simply’re not conversant in; if that occurs, you’ll be able to come again to this text and use it as a reference, both in the course of the class if essential, or afterwards as a evaluate. As I discussed within the first article, making an attempt to recollect new vocab whereas making an attempt to not topple over in crow pose is pretty tough, and making an attempt later to search for these phrases with a decidedly not-fresh reminiscence is, dare I say, nigh not possible, so I hope these lists will show you how to keep away from that kind of scenario.

Now, onto the vocab!

Stipulations: This text assumes you already know hiragana and katakana. If you have to brush up, take a look at our Final Hiragana Information and Final Katakana Information.

Elements of the Physique

Let’s begin with the principle topic of this text — physique components! These lists do embrace primary components of the physique, so some (or many) of those phrases could already be acquainted to you, however by no means concern! There are in all probability just a few unfamiliar ones you’ll be able to be taught at this time as properly. We’ll go from head to toe, then transfer onto the superior vocabulary with these extra elusive bones and joints.

Above the Neck

You will have seen most phrases right here on this checklist as a result of they’re fairly primary. Nonetheless, textbooks sometimes do not embrace おでこ (brow) and あご (chin), that are often utilized in yoga courses.

parts of the body above the neck
あたま head
かお face

ひたい brow
視線 しせん line of sight
はな nostril
みみ ear

ほお cheek
くち mouth
あご chin
くび neck

Higher Physique

Many of those phrases may additionally be acquainted, however one I am going to take care to level out particularly is 上体 (higher physique). Written out, its that means is fairly apparent, however as I mentioned within the earlier article, it was a deceptively tough phrase to grasp in courses as a result of I stored complicated it with its pesky homonym good friend 状態 (situation).

parts of the upper body
上半身 / 上体 じょうはんしん / じょうたい higher physique
かた shoulder
わき armpit
うで arm
ひじ elbow
手のひら てのひら palm of 1’s hand
ゆび finger
むね chest
背中 せなか again

Decrease Physique

Once more, you may probably know most of the phrases on this checklist, however I used to be stunned to appreciate I hadn’t realized the phrases for thigh (太もも), calf (ふくらはぎ), or shin (すね) earlier than my yoga courses.

parts of the lower body
下半身 かはんしん decrease physique
お腹 おなか stomach, abdomen
おへそ   bellybutton
こし hips, decrease again, waist
お尻 おしり backside, butt
あし leg
太もも ふともも thigh
ひざ knee
ふくらはぎ ふくらはぎ calf
すね shin, decrease leg
あし foot
足首 あしくび ankle
足の裏 あしのうら backside of the foot, sole
つま先 つまさき toe, tip of toe
かかと かかと heel of foot
アキレス腱 あきれすけん Achilles tendon

Bones, Joints and Different Superior Vocabulary

Okay, now we’re able to enter extra technical territory, however please do not fret — there is not any must memorize all these phrases directly. Preserve this checklist to make use of as a reference and use it to evaluate after your yoga class. Many of those phrases come up fairly often in yoga classes, so you could discover that you will begin to keep in mind the phrases organically with out even working towards.

bones and joints
首筋 くびすじ nape of the neck, again of the neck
鎖骨 さこつ clavicle, collarbone
肩甲骨 けんこうこつ scapula, shoulder blade
胸骨 きょうこつ sternum, breastbone
背骨 せぼね backbone, spine
背筋 せすじ backbone, line of the spine
肋骨 ろっこつ rib
みぞおち   pit of the abdomen, photo voltaic plexus
鼠径部 そけいぶ groin
股関節 こかんせつ hip joint
骨盤 こつばん pelvis
恥骨 ちこつ pubis
仙骨 せんこつ sacrum
座骨 ざこつ ischium (a part of pelvis)
腸骨 ちょうこつ ilium (a part of pelvis)
尾骨 / 尾てい骨 びこつ / びていこつ coccyx, tail bone
関節 かんせつ joint


Now that we have now the physique lined, let’s take a look at phrases that let you know the place to maneuver these physique components: instructions! You could be conversant in most of the phrases right here out of your Japanese textbooks, however there are different methods of claiming primary phrases like 前 (ahead), 後ろ (behind), and 上 (above) that you simply may not have encountered. For instance, 前方 is used nearly interchangeably with 前, but it surely’s not as generally taught in typical textbooks.

前 / 前方 まえ / ぜんぽう entrance, or ahead
後ろ / 後方 うしろ / こうほう behind
〜の方 〜のほう course of 〜
よこ facet
みぎ proper
ひだり left
左右 さゆう left and proper
中心 ちゅうしん heart
両方 りょうほう either side
反対 はんたい reverse facet
外側 そとがわ outdoors
内側 うちがわ inside

This subsequent checklist can also be associated to instructions, however targeted particularly on the numerous methods to point “above” and “beneath.” You typically hear yoga academics utilizing phrases just like the “sky” and “floor” to imply “above” and “beneath” in English yoga classes, proper? It is the identical in Japanese yoga courses, too.

うえ above
天井 てんじょう ceiling
太陽 たいよう solar
そら sky
頭上 ずじょう above head
した beneath
マット まっと mat
ゆか flooring
大地 だいち floor

Prefixes and Suffixes

Now let’s take a look at prefixes and suffixes. It’s possible you’ll keep in mind from English class {that a} prefix is a linguistic component that’s positioned at first of a phrase to vary its that means. For instance, “uni-” is an English prefix which means “one,” as in “I noticed a unicorn driving a unicycle.” With a suffix, the component is positioned on the finish of the phrase.

Sure prefixes and suffixes get paired up with phrases for physique components or instructions, and you may typically hear them in Japanese yoga classes.

Prefix/Suffix Studying  That means Instance (Translation)
〜幅 〜はば  width of … 肩幅 (shoulder width)
〜側 〜がわ … facet 右側 (proper facet)
〜先 〜さき tip of … 指先 (fingertips)
〜度 〜ど … diploma 90度 (ninety diploma)
両〜 りょう〜 each … 両手 (each palms)
真〜 ま〜 proper … 真上 (proper above)



Earlier than we get to formal yoga poses, there are phrases for just a few frequent physique positions that instructors will typically use interchangeably with the identify for the pose in yoga, or when explaining do a extra difficult yoga pose. For instance, academics could use 仰向け (mendacity face-up) to as a shorthand for corpse pose, or say to maneuver into 四つん這い (getting on one’s palms and knees) earlier than explaining what to do subsequent.

うつ伏せ うつぶせ mendacity face-down
仰向け あおむけ mendacity face-up
正座 せいざ sitting on the knees
合掌 がっしょう placing palms collectively
四つん這い よつんばい getting on one’s palms and knees, getting down on all fours

Fundamental Yoga Poses

Now let’s take a look at names for some frequent yoga poses. After all there are numerous extra poses than I’ve lined right here, however this checklist will take you fairly far. I’ve primarily included the Japanese variations of the poses, however please be aware that relying in your teacher or yoga studio, you could hear the Sanskrit or English phrases used as a substitute.

仰向けの合蹠のポーズ あおむけのがっせきのぽーず reclining sure angle pose
仰向けのねじりのポーズ あおむけのねじりのぽーず reclining spinal twist
椅子のポーズ いすのぽーず chair pose
板のポーズ いたのぽーず excessive plank pose
upward dealing with canine pose
warrior I pose
開脚の前屈のポーズ かいきゃくのぜんくつのぽーず wide-legged ahead bend
合蹠のポーズ がっせきのぽーず sure angle pose, cobbler’s pose
木のポーズ きのぽーず tree pose
子供のポーズ こどものぽーず kid’s pose
コブラのポーズ こぶらのぽーず cobra pose
三角のポーズ さんかくのぽーず triangle pose
屍のポーズ しかばねのぽーず corpse pose
四肢のポーズ ししのぽーず low plank pose
downward dealing with canine pose
reverse warrior pose
体側を伸ばすポーズ たいそくをのばすぽーず prolonged facet angle pose
杖のポーズ えだのぽーず employees pose
トカゲのポーズ とかげのぽーず lizard pose
猫のポーズ ねこのぽーず cat pose (or cat and cow pose)
牛のポーズ うしのぽーず cow pose
ねじった三角のポーズ ねじったさんかくのぽーず revolved triangle pose
ハイランジ はいらんじ excessive lunge
ハッピーベイビーのポーズ はっぴーべいびーのぽーず glad child pose
花輪のポーズ はなわのぽーず yogi squat
針の糸通しのポーズ はりのいととおしのぽーず thread the needle pose
舟のポーズ ふねのぽーず boat pose
三日月のポーズ みかづきのぽーず crescent moon pose
山のポーズ やまのぽーず mountain pose
弓のポーズ ゆみのぽーず bow pose
立位前屈 りついぜんくつ standing ahead bend
鷲のポーズ わしのぽーず eagle pose

Particles Generally Utilized in Japanese Yoga Lessons

Lastly, I might prefer to introduce just a few particles that usually get paired with the phrases we have simply realized. These are fairly primary particles although, so be happy to skip this part if you happen to already really feel such as you’ve received the hold of を, に, and から.

Particle を

The particle を marks the direct object in a sentence. The direct object is the factor that’s acted on or affected by the verb. For instance, in case your yoga instructor says, “Subsequent, we’ll circle our shoulders,” “we” is the topic (the individuals/factor doing the motion, on this case the circling), “will circle” is the verb (the motion the topic — we — will do), and “shoulders” is the direct object (the factor that receives the motion — or what’s being circled). So, in a Japanese yoga class your instructor would say:

  • 肩を まわします。
  • Subsequent, (we)’ll circle our shoulders.

In English, we do not mark the direct object in any particular manner, however in Japanese the direct object is instantly adopted by the particle を. So taking a look at our instance sentence, we all know that 肩 (shoulder) is the direct object as a result of it’s adopted by を. (And I am going to rapidly remind you right here that, as within the sentence above, topics typically get dropped in Japanese sentences — for extra on that, see Particle が (Topic): Topic Omission.) For the reason that very nature of yoga courses includes doing a little verb-action with a physique half/direct object, you may hear を very often.

Particle に

Yoga academics use the particle に in just a few other ways. One of many frequent makes use of is marking the particular course or location the place your physique half must be, or can be. For instance, in case your yoga instructor says to tilt your physique, they might use に to mark the course you need to be tilting your physique in direction of.

  • 体を左側に かたむけて…
  • Tilt your physique to the left facet…

The particle に can be used to point the results of a change. Yoga instructors will typically use this model of に once they let you know to transition to a brand new pose or place. Within the following sentence, 仰向け (mendacity face-up) is marked by に, so に signifies that 仰向け would be the results of the transformation, or in different phrases, the place to maneuver into.

  • 仰向けになります。
  • Lay down face-up.
    (Actually: Flip your self into the laying-down-face-up place.)

One other time you could hear the particle に in yoga courses is when it’s used to show な-adjectives into adverbs. For instance, 水平すいへい is a な-adjective that means “degree” or “horizontal.” When adopted by に, it turns into an adverb.

  • 右足を床と水平に げて…
  • Raise your left foot [so that it’s] degree with the ground…

Particle から

Particle から is much like the English preposition “from,” and it marks a starting level. In yoga courses, to say issues like “exhale from the mouth,” から will get used.

  • 口から いき きます。
  • Exhale from the mouth.

Take 5: 5 Pocket Phrases for Prepared Reference

Whew! Now, we have simply lined a variety of phrases, however as I mentioned earlier than, there is not any want so that you can get overanxious and attempt to be taught all this vocab earlier than you strive your first lesson. Actually, please don’t do this! One of many joys of studying Japanese by doing one other exercise is that there is plenty of alternatives to be taught vocabulary organically. Nonetheless, it definitely does not harm to be taught just a few phrases earlier than you begin, or hold a brief checklist of phrases in your pocket — and so I current Pocket Phrases! These are 5 phrases from this text that I believe could be most useful to know earlier than beginning. They’re phrases that you could be be unfamiliar with, however they arrive up on a regular basis in yoga courses. Heat up by working towards these 5 phrases, or simply put ‘em in your pocket!

視線 しせん line of sight
背筋 せすじ backbone, line of the spine
股関節 こかんせつ hip joint
骨盤 こつばん pelvis
仰向け あおむけ mendacity face-up



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments