YOGA DICTIONARY


YOGA DICTIONARY It is helpful to comprehend the different terms that are referenced by Yoga teachers and books where Sanskrit words abound. Below is a helpful dictionary of the more commonly used yoga terms.
  • Abhinivesha: survival instinct, fear of death, one of the five obstacles to self-realization.
  • Asanas: Yogic posture also called Yogasana designed to help balance the mind and body, the most famous pose is the lotus position.
  • Atman: The Self, individual soul, spiritual essence.
  • Brahman: The Creator of the Universe, the absolute reality, manifests force of life and creation.
  • Chakras: Literally meaning “wheel”, spiritual centres of energy (Prana) in the human system located along the spinal column. Chakras regulate the functioning of the body.
  • Dharma: Duty, morality, ethical way of living, code of conduct, the life of responsibility and right action.
  • Dhyana: Contemplation, meditation, the process of internalization of the mind, the seventh limb of the Patanjali's eight folds Yoga.
  • Guru: Venerable, spiritual preceptor, guide in a spiritual life, soul who can dispel darkness.
  • Japa: Recitation, repetition, continuous chanting of a sacred sound or Mantra practiced verbally or in mind.
  • Jnana: real wisdom, understanding, the power of intellect, knowledge of the Self derived from meditation.
  • Karma: Literally action; includes the law of cause and effect, the consequence of an action, performing positive actions results in positive results.
  • Kosha: One of five sheaths enclosing the Atman, the five koshas are: Physical, Energy, Mental, Wisdom and Bliss.
  • Kundalini: The primordial cosmic energy and consciousness latent in every being that is located at the base of the spine and symbolized by a fire snake lying coiled.
  • Maharishi: A great sage, a great soul.
  • Mantra: Holy chant words used in meditation to quiet the mind or acquire a divine power.
  • Moksha: Freedom, salvation, liberation from the round of birth and death.
  • Mudra: A sealing posture that distributes cosmic energy through the mind and body, this can be a whole-body gesture or a hand gesture.
  • Nadi: Energy channels in the body through which Prana flow, nadi also refers to the veins and arteries of the material body.
  • Nirvana: Final emancipation; is the perfect peace of the mind letting go of anger, passion and desire and other afflictive states.
  • Ojas: Spiritual energy, vigour.
  • Om: Or Aum, a universal mantra, is a sacred syllable which symbolizes Brahman.
  • Padmasana: Lotus pose is the most renowned of all Asanas, Padma means lotus.
  • Patanjali: The person responsible of the Yoga-Sutras and preacher of the eight-fold yoga.
  • Pingaja: A nadi running on the right side of the spine through which prana runs.
  • Prana: Vital energy, soul of the universe, the energy that animates everything, the force sustains life in a physical body.
  • Pranayama: The rhythmic control of the breath, method of controlling prana through inhalation, retention, exhalation.
  • Rishi: A great sage, one who contemplates the reality of life.
  • Sadhana: Spiritual practice, a spiritual discipline, a means of accomplishing something.
  • Sakshi: Witness.
  • Sama: Balanced state of mind, serenity.
  • Samadhi: State of absolute super-consciousness, joy and peace; is the highest state of being, supreme union with God.
  • Samvit: Consciousness, the full energy of knowledge.
  • Sattva: Purity, reality and truthfulness.
  • Swami: Literally: "one with the self", title given to a monk or spiritual master.
  • Tantra: Refers to a collection of religious writings written over a period of 300 years, are best known for their combination of sensuality and religious practice.
  • Tapas: Self-discipline or austerity, mortification, process of burning away impurities.
  • Upanishads: ancient scriptures of Hindu philosophy contain doctrines such as Yoga, meditation and karma.
  • Yogi: Someone who follows the path of Yoga. A female yogi is called a yogini.
  • Vinyasa: The liquid movement from Yoga postures.