I was recently in a yoga class where the teacher told me to ‘sparkle through my toes’ (which I assume meant to spread them, though I could be wrong…) and it got me thinking about some of the common cues that yoga teachers use that sometimes don’t make a lot of sense. If you’re like me and at times could use a translator in a yoga class, then hopefully this list might be a useful read! Here are some of my personal favourites (and I may be guilty of using a couple of them myself):
Meaning: Lift up you’re your collarbones and open your chest. Shine just sounds more whimsical…
Cue: “Walk out your dog”
Meaning: Pulse your heels up and down while in downward dog. This is much more fun to say!
Cue: “Lengthen your spine (or preserve the integrity of your spine)”
Meaning: We know your spine isn’t going to get any longer or shorter, but just try not to slouch into this pose.
Cue: “Dog tilt your sit bones”
Meaning: Stick your bum up really high in the air (but we’re classy, so we don’t say words like bum, butt or ass).
Cue: “Breathe into your hips”
Meaning: Focus on your breath so you don’t fidget.
Cue: “This is a really ‘yummy’* stretch” (*Delicious and scrumptious may also be substituted).
Meaning: This is a really really unpleasantly deep pose. I’m using the word ‘yummy’ to try to sell it to you, and possibly make you think of food to distract from the discomfort.
Cue: “Melt your shoulder blades down your back”
Meaning: Relax them. We just like to sound more poetic.
Cue: “Take another chaturanga”
Meaning: I’ve forgotten the next step in the sequence. Take another chaturanga to give me time to remember it again.
Cue: “Smile into your collarbones”
Meaning: This is another ‘don’t slouch’. We get bored, ok?
Cue: “It’s time for the MOST important part of the class, savasana”
Meaning: Please don’t decide to walk out (noisily), get your phone out to check your texts or decide now is the time to bust out 50 crunches. Just be quiet for 5 full minutes, and I PROMISE you’ll feel better for it.
We know there’s plenty more out there (and a few that we’d sooner rather forget to be honest!). What are your favourites – we would love hear about them!