I don’t know why I thought the yoga classes at the Eco Yoga Park outside Buenos Aires would be in English, but they weren’t. Luckily, with my basic understanding of Spanish and my experience with yoga (and peeking around at other practitioners, of course), I was able to figure out most of the instructions after just a few classes.

Here’s my cheat sheet, which I’ve compiled after three months of taking yoga classes all over Argentina, to get you started with your international practice. So get on your colchoneta (mat) fearlessly, and when all else fails, you can always peek around!

Body

el cuerpo: body
la cabeza: head
la frente: forehead
los ojos: eyes
la nariz: nose
el mentón: chin
el cuello: neck
los hombros: shoulders
los brazos: arms
las manos/palmas/los dedos: hands/palms/fingers
el pecho/corazón: chest/heart
el abdomen: core, abdomen
la columna: spine
la espalda: back
las caderas: hips
el culo: sit bones, bottom
las piernas: legs
las rodillas: knees
el/los pie/s: foot/feet
el talón: heel
el peso: weight
el equilibrio: balance


Breath
Arguably the most important part of yoga in any language. Luckily, in Spanish many of the words are similar to the English ones.

respirar/la respiración/respiro: to breathe/breath/I breathe
profundo/profundamente: deep/deeply
inhalar/inhalado: to inhale/inhale
exhalar/exhalado: to exhale/exhale

Verbs
A bit tricky since different teachers use different conjugations.

abrir: to open
apoyar: to rest, to support
aflojar: to loosen, to get loose
acostar: to lie down
relajarse: to relax
flexionar: to flex, to bend
plantar: to plant (as in, “Plant your foot at a 45-degree angle,” or Planta su pie a cuarento y cinco grados)
sentar: to sit
sentir: to feel
mantener: to maintain, to support
girar: to twist, to rotate, to turn
mirar: to look
activar: to activate

Directions

derecha: right
izquierda: left
al centro: to the center
delante/enfrente: forward, front
atrás: back
otro/contrario lado: (other/opposite) side
arriba: up
abajo: down
lento/lentamente: slowly/slow

Phrases

cierra(n)/abre(n) los ojos: close/open your eyes
manos al junto en su pecho/manos llega en el centro: hands together at your chest/center (heart)

You may not be able to understand everything the teacher says about aligning your chakras or becoming one with the universe, but with this list you’ll at least be able to bust out a revolved triangle like a native. The practice of yoga is the practice of connecting with ourselves and the world around us. What better way to do that than to take your practice traveling?

Buenas ondas!

Can you think of any more important Spanish yoga terms? Add them in the comments!
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