Glossary

You may be in a yoga class and hear the teacher using Sanskrit words for different aspects of body, mind & soul exercises. We thought you might find this list helpful in translating some of the more commonly used terms. Use always the box on the right to navigate our Glossary. Feedback for corrections and additions is welcome: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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A


ABHAYA
- fearless
- ABHAYA PAD (h) - liberation, same as moksha

ABHIMAN - pride, conceit, arrogance

ABHYAS - regular practice or exercise

ACAL - steady, immovable, permanent

ACARYA - highly respected teacher

ADHIBHAUTIK - influences from the physical, material world and from other creatures

ADHIDAIVIK - influences from the astral world

ADHYATMIK - influences from one's own body

ADI - first, original, the beginning, the cause, the basis
- ADI ANADI - everlasting, beyond time and space

ADVAITA - non-duality
- ADVAITA VEDANTA - the teachings about oneness, non-duality

AGNI - fire, god of fire, one of the five mahabhutas (elements)

AGYA - order, command
- AGYA CHAKRA - the centre located between the eyebrows, Third Eye centre

AHAM BRAHMASMI - "I am Brahman " - a mantra from the Upanishads

AHAMKARA - ego (see also "antahkarana") "

AHIMSA - the principle of non-violence, the refusal to hurt any living being; the first of the five yamas (see "Raja Yoga")

AJAPA - continuous, spontaneous inner repetition of the mantra

AJNA CHAKRA - see "agya chakra"

AKASHA - space, sky, ether, the fifth element (mahabhuta)
- CHIDAKASH - the space of consciousness, inner space
- GHATAKASH - the inside of a container or a vessel, the inner space of the body
- HRIDAYAKASH - the inside of the heart
- MAHAKASH - the space of the universe
- SUNYAKASH - empty space

AKASHI MUDRA - a yoga technique, gazing into the sky

AKHAND - unbreakable, that cannot be severed

AMAR - immortal, undying
- AMARLOKA - world of immortals; another name for satyaloka

AMRIT - 1. immortality; 2. nectar, ambrosia

ANADI - without beginning, uncreated, eternal

ANAHATA CHAKRA - heart centre (see also "chakras")

ANANDA - bliss, absolute joy
- ANANDAMAY KOSHA - the sheath of desires and pleasure, causal body, the innermost wrapper of the Self (see also "kosha")
- SAT CHIT ANANDA - the absolute of truth, consciousness and bliss; an epithet of the Supreme Spirit

ANITYA - changeable, transient, perishable; op. of nitya

ANNAMAY KOSHA - sheath of nourishment, the physical body; the outmost wrapper of the Self (see also "kosha")

ANTAHKARANA - general concept for the psychic functions, the inner instruments or internal organs:
1) MANAS - the mind, the inner organ of perception
2) BUDDHI - the understanding, the intellect, the ability to make decisions and draw conclusions
3) CHITTA - consciousness
- unconsciousness - deep dreamless sleep
- subconsciousness - dream consciousness
- consciousness - the waking state
- superconsciousness - samadhi, turiya

AHAMKARA - "I am a doer", ego

ANTARYAMI - inner witness

ANUBHAVA - personal experience

ANUSTHANA - an intensive exercise carried out during a pre-set time

APANA - one of the five pranas that function in the body (see "prana")

APARIGRAHA - not accumulating, not collecting of unnecessary things; fifth of five yamas

APMAN - disrespect, humiliation

ARATI - waving lights before an image, part of worship or prayer

ARTHA - 1. object, purpose, aim (see also "purushartha"); 2. wealth, money

ASANA - 1. a seat, stool; 2. posture, position of the body, third limb of Raja Yoga

ASHIRVAD - blessing, benediction
- ASHIRVAD MUDRA - the gesture of blessing

ASHRAM - (A = welcome, SHRAM = to do something); 1. hermitage, or dwelling-place of persons (generally a teacher and his disciples) devoted to the spiritual life. 2. one of the four stages or phases of a lifetime:
1) BRAHMACHARYA - life of a student (traditionally until 25 years old)
2) GRIHASTHA - life of a householder or family man, until children are grown up and independent (age 25-50)
3) VANPRASTHA - life of a hermit or retirement from active business and of thought and study relating to the inner nature of human (age 50-75)
4) SANNYASA - life of renunciation of all worldly desires and ambitions (age 75)

ASHTANGA - eight-limb
- ASHTANGA YOGA - the eight-fold path, Patanjali's system of Raja Yoga

ASTEYA - not stealing; third of the five yamas (see "Raja Yoga")

ATMA - the divine Self, the immortal soul
- ATMA CHINTAN - contemplating on atma
- ATMA GYANA - the Realization of the Self, Self-realization, knowledge of the Self
- ATMA TATTVA - the essence of the Self, the highest principle (see "tattvas")
- JIVATMA - individual soul
- MAHATMA - great soul
- PARAMATMA - supreme soul, God

AVATAR - the incarnation or descent of God on earth

AVIDYA - ignorance, non-science

AVINASHI - indestructible, imperishable, immortal

AYURVEDA - the ancient Indian medical science. Ayur=Life and Veda=Knowledge

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