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"Ashtanga Yoga is 99% transpiration - and 1% explanation"

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

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"Pure for Sure!"

A proverb from Mysore (The city where Ashtanga comes from)

Tradition and Innovation can form a team: We help you gaining always new perspectives on traditional Ashtanga Yoga. Therefore we have been active for you. These articles and online yoga classes are brand new on AYI.info:

Transliteration

Technical encoding

With the spread of computers and the Internet in particular, technical encoding systems developed such as ITRANS, Harvard-Kyoto, Velthis and SLP1. With these systems, Sanskrit texts can be spelled in the correct pronunciation on a regular keyboard.

Pronunciation

Retroflexes

The retroflexes characteristic of the Sanskrit language are produced with the tongue rolled back behind the teeth: vowel (r̥, r̥̄), plosive (ṭ,ṭh,ḍ,ḍh), nasal (ṇ), semivowel (r) and fricative (ṣ).

Pronunciation

Gutturals

Gutturals are produced deep down at the back of the oral cavity, at the bridge of the soft palate and the throat. In Sanskrit, there are guttural vowels (a / ā), plosives (k,kh,g,gh), nasals (ṅ) and fricatives (h). There is no guttural semivowel.

Pronunciation

Dentals

In contrast to the corresponding German sounds, the tongue is not positioned at the dental root (alveolar) but almost between the teeth (dental) for: vowels (l̥,l̥̄), plosives (t,th,d,dh), nasals (n), semivowels (l) and fricatives (s).

Pronunciation

Labials

A sound that is produced either at or with the lips is called a labial. In Sanskrit, there are labial vowels (u, ū), plosives (p, ph, b, bh), nasals (m) and semivowels (v). A labial fricative exists only indirectly.

Pronunciation

Nasals

On the articulation of nasal sounds, the closure at the place of articulation is not released. Most of the air streams out through the nose. The closed back part of the oral cavity thus becomes a variable resonance chamber for ṅ,ñ,ṇ,n and m.

Sandhi

Vowels as final sounds

According to this external Sandhi rule, vowels as final sounds merge with the next word if it also starts with a vowel. If the word starts with a consonant, there is no merger.

Sandhi

Visarga (ḥ) as a final sound

As a final sound, a Visarga (ḥ) is adapted to the following word as an aspirate or sibilant.

Sandhi

Consonants as final sounds

As final sounds, consonants adapts to the following word according to the external Sandhi rules described here.

Pronunciation

Semivowels

Phonetically, a semivowel lies between a vowel and a plosive. In contrast to a vowel, a semivowel does not represent a syllable on its own when articulated. Neither is the vocal tract blocked for the pressure characteristic of a plosive. The tongue moves in the direction of the place of articulation to produce an approximant. In contrast to a fricative, though, the approximation does not go so far as to produce the friction necessary for a fricative. In Sanskrit, there are semivowels for four of the five places of articulation (y, r, l, v).

Pronunciation

Visarga (ḥ)

Translated literally, Visarga means "to send out" or "to release". It creates a lingering sound after the vowel. It can be understood as an allophone of r, s or h and is, depending on context and school of pronunciation, pronounced variably between these sounds.

Pronunciation

Anusvāra (ṁ)

Translated literally, Anusvāra means "lingering sound" or "following (anu) the vowel (svāra)". It either indicates that the preceding vowel is pronounced nasally or is pronounced itself as a nasal consonant.

Devanagari

Short vowels

Vowels are the best starting point when you want to learn the Devanagari script. Here, you will learn how to write or draw those artful letters.

Devanagari

Long vowels

The letters shown above stand for short vowels. For long vowels, the respective letters are extended.

Devanagari

Guttural plosives

These are plosive consonants, which are formed gutturally (i.e. in the throat).

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