Learn Vocab for Moving Your Body with Yoga

Are you having trouble keeping English in your everyday life? Then attend yoga classes in English.

Yoga is great for helping you integrate practical vocab at a reflex level, where it becomes automatic. By continuously taking yoga classes in English you’ll be able to master these practical words and phrases.

In yoga, there are a lot of different movements that you must do. This article is all about helping you learn the vocabulary that the teacher is likely to say, in order to help you get into a pose. (If you haven’t already, check out the article, Learn Vocab for Parts of the Body with Yoga.)

Many of these words are used over and over again. By studying this list before going to class, it will help you get the most out of the yoga session.

Don’t worry if you can’t understand everything the teacher is saying. Don’t be discouraged if your English is not very good. Yoga is very visual and you can get an idea of what to do just by looking at the teacher as well as the rest of the class.

By taking classes in English, you will learn the language the way native speakers do: through real life experience. Sure, if your English isn’t excellent you will probably struggle understanding everything that the teacher is saying, but that’s great!

Generally, the more you are struggling when learning a new language, the faster you are progressing. If you always stay in your comfort zone, studying by yourself and not trying to speak the language at all, or attend events in that language, you are limiting your growth.

The quickest way to learn a new language is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. This statement means asking as many questions as you can, even if you think it makes you look like a beginner. It means attending as many English speaking events as you can, even if you don’t understand anything that’s going on. The more you can be comfortable with struggling to understand, the quicker you will improve.


Here’s a list of common body movements and cues that you will encounter in most yoga classes and group stretching before practicing sports.


Turn – girar

Rotate – rodar

Shift – deslocar

Bring – trazer

Stretch – esticar

Swan Dive – mergulho de cisne

Reach – alcançar

Grab – agarrar

Touch – tocar

Tuck – arregaçar

Flip over / turn over – entregar

Pull – puxar

Twist – torção

Push – empurrar

Lengthen – alongar

Sink – afundar

Deepen – aprofundar

Center – centro

Halfway – meio

Roll – enrolar

Fold – dobrar

Lead – liderar

Inhale – inalar

Exhale – exalar

Breath – respiracão

Breathe – respirar

External rotation – rotação externa

Internal rotation – rotação interna

Elongate – alongar


Sky – o céu

Earth – a terra

Ground – terreno

Behind – atrás

In front – em frente

Middle finger – dedo médio

Looking – procura

Down – para baixo

Up – acima

Parallel – paralelo

Over – acima

On top of – em cima de

Perpendicular – perpendicular

Straight – em linha reta

Directly – diretamente

Deep – profundamente

Long – longo

Right angle – ângulo reto

Outside – fora

Inside – dentro

Edge – borda

Top – topo

Bottom – fundo

So as you can see, there is a lot of different vocabulary that you will learn when attending a yoga class.

You will learn all of the words that describe different movements of your body and soon you will understand these essential and very practical words of the English language.

By continuing to take yoga classes in English, you’ll learn these and other words at a reflex level. To learn something at a reflex level means when you hear someone say “turn,” you don’t have to think about what it means in Portuguese, you just know right away (it takes about .5 seconds to recall something at the reflex level).

Another benefit of learning English through yoga is that it’s fun! Anytime you can learn English while getting out of the classroom, do it! It’s much more practical and you’re likely to have a lot more fun.

Interested in Attending Real Life Yoga Classes?

If you happen to live in Brazil, a Real Life Yoga Picnic is held every Sunday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil at Praça Floriano Peixoto. We meet at 3pm and after class we have a picnic, slackline, and hang out and get to know each other.

Real Life Yoga is free to attend.

Join our international English learning Facebook community of over 3,000 members to receive more details about the next event.

  • Rinaldo Edo says:

    good topic. make improve my english.

  • Patricia Ferreira says:

    Cool, I’ll try go for Yoga classes!

  • Patricia Ferreira says:

    Cool, I’ll try go for Yoga classes!