Using Sanskrit in Class: Sanskrit Study & Teaching Tips

When you use Sanskrit in the studio, keep in mind that auditory learners want to hear the word, visual learners want to see the word or visualize the spelling, and kinesthetic learners want to do the pose and say the word, or perhaps write it down. To fulfill the needs of a range of learners, make sure to include different expressions of the word during class. – Marget Braun

  • The biggest tip for using Sanskrit in class is to use Sanskrit! It’s a part of the tradition and if you want to share it, your authentic and humble desire will make all the difference. So, take a deep breath, pick a word and go for it!
  • When using Sanskrit terms in your teaching, say the term and follow it with the English translation. When possible, do that a few times throughout class. Not only does translation allow for students who want to know Sanskrit to learn what the terms mean, it also allows students who have no desire to learn Sanskrit to know what you are saying.
  • Introduce Sanskrit to your students by using the Sanskrit terms for postures (along with the name in students’ home language). You might start by choosing one pose that you are confident in pronouncing.
  • Continue to use the Sanskrit term for the posture you introduced in your last class, but add in another new one. Adding one new term each class, and continuing to use already introduced terms will reinforce remembering and associating the Sanskrit words with the postures.
  • Pick one non-posture term and introduce it in class. Then continue to use it throughout the class and, when appropriate, in all classes moving forward. Sanskrit terms like pranayama, asana, satya, shanti and svadhyaya are all words that can be used over and over so that students become familiar and comfortable with them.
  • To fulfill the needs of a range of learners (particularly in teacher training or immersions), write down the Sanskrit words and have students verbalize for themselves.
  • Avoid causing yourself undue distraction by this effort (or anything else you’re challenging yourself with). Prioritize clear, concise instructions.