Skip to main content


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.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


BACHAN - the speech

BAIKHARI - to speak, the last stage of word formation

BANDHA - 1. tie, bond; 2. contraction, binding or blocking
- MUL BANDHA - contraction of the perineum
- UDDIYAN BANDHA - the drawing up of the diaphragm
- JALANDHAR BANDHA - the chin lock
- MAHA BANDHA - all the three bandhas at the same time

BASTI - a Hatha Yoga technique for purifying the intestines

BHAGAWAN - Lord, the Great Master

BHAJAN - 1. worship, 2. spiritual or devotional song

BHAKTI - devotion, love, worship

BHAKTI MEDITATION - devotional meditation

BHAKTI YOGA - one of the four yoga paths, the yoga of devotion and love
- GURU BHAKTI - devotion to the Master
- NIRGUNA BHAKTI - devotion without any form or a symbol
- SAGUNA BHAKTI - devotion through a certain form
- BAGLA/BAKA BHAKTI - "devotion of a heron", false devotion
- PARABHAKTI - the supreme level of devotion, the absolute love

BHASTRIKA - "Bellows breathing", a pranayam technique

BHAV - feelings, affinity, absorption
- DAYA BHAV - feelings of sympathy, compassion
- SANT BHAV - pure, holy, positive feelings and affinity (see also "sant")

- the world, worldly existence, cycle of birth and death
- BHAVA BANDHAN - the bondage of worldly existence, the inevitability of repeated births and deaths
- BHAVA BHAYA - the fear of repeated birh and death
- BHAVA SAGAR - the ocean of worldly existence or ignorance
- BHAVA SINDHU - same as bhava sagar

BHOGA - 1. enjoyment; 2. suffering, experiencing

BHRAMARI - bee hum, a pranayam technique

BRASHT - fall, failure, interruption, break
- YOG BRASHT - a break with the yoga path

BHUJANG - snake
- BHUJANGASAN - "Cobra Pose", a yoga posture
- BHUJANGI MUDRA - the snake posture, a Hatha Yoga technique

BIJA - seed
- BIJA MANTRA - seed mantra, most often a Sanskrit syllable

BINDU - point, dot, drop

BINDU CHAKRA - a centre in the vertex region

BRAHM or BRAHMAN - absolute Reality, the all-pervading divine principle
- BRAHMACHARYA - continence, faring according to Brahman, search for Brahman, the Supreme; celibacy
- BRAHMAGRANTHI - Brahma's knot, a pigtail tied into a bun
- BRAHMAGYANA - knowledge of the Supreme, knowledge of Brahman
- BRAHMAJNANA- see under brahmagyana
- BRAHMALOKA - the highest plane, the plane of Reality, also called satya loka
- BRAHMAMUHURTA - the "golden" hours of dawn; the most auspicious time for the practice of meditation and other spiritual practices
- BRAHMANISHTHA - one established in the Supreme, a realized Yogi 
- BRAHMARANDRA - the gate to Brahma, another name for the sahasrar chakra 
- BRAHMARISHI - 1. a sage who has realized the Supreme (brahman); 2. a sage who is Brahmin by birth
- BRAHMA TATTVA - the highest divine principle (see also "tattva")
- BRAHMA VIDYA - knowledge of the Truth
- BRAHMIK MANTRA - nirguna mantra, a mantra which leads to Liberation

BRAHMA - Creator of the universe, one of the aspect of the Divine Trinity

BRAHMIN - a member of the highest caste in India; scholar, priest; typifies head

BUDDHI - intellect, understanding, the ability to make decisions and draw conclusions

BAGLA/BAKA BHAKTI - "devotion of a heron", false devotion