blog guides yoga

Sh** & sanskrit yogis say

a guide to yoga terminology

ANANDA [ah-nuh n-duh] bliss; the condition of utter joy; extreme happiness

ASANA [AH-suh-nuh]: seat; 3rd limb of yoga; a physical posture or pose in yoga;  yoga postures in sanskrit contain the suffix -asana  i.e. triangle pose is trikonasana (tri= 3, kona= angle, asana=pose). See a list of asanas.

ASHTANGA [ash-TAWN-gah] 8 limbs;  system of yoga that includes: 1) yamas 2) niyamas 3)  asana 4) pranayama 5) pratyahara (sensory withdrawl) 6) dharana (concentration) 7) dhyana (meditation) 8) samadhi; also a school of yoga consisting of a series of poses executed in swift succession combined with deep, controlled breathing

AYURVEDA [AH-yer-vey-duh] life knowledge; an ancient science of Indian health & medicine based on maintaining balance among  5 elements: earth, air, fire, water, & ether.

BANDHA [BAHN-duh] body lock; muscular contractions engaged during yogic poses that effect the flow of pranic energy within certain areas of the body

BHASTRIKA [bah-STRI—kaah] bellowsa breathing technique involving forceful inhalations & exhalations powered by the diaphragm

BHRAMARI [brah-MAR-ee] black indian bee; a calming breathing technique involving the practitioner humming making a sound like a bee

CHAKRAS [CHUHK-rahs] wheels; 7 energy centers running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head

DOSHA [DOE-shah] fault, disease3 biological energies (kapha, pitta, vata) in Ayurvedic medicine; balance, excess or deficiency of any of these energies determine a person’s physical state with regard to vitality, strength and health, both mentally & physically

DRISHTI [DRIH-shtee] view, sight; directed focus of the eyes during yoga practice

DUKHA [DOO-kuh] suffering, illnessbelief from Buddhist tradition that all human experiences are transient & suffering results from excessive desire &/or attachment

GURU [GOO-roo] destroyer of darkness; a teacher, guide, mentor or master of certain knowledge

HATHA YOGA [HATH-uh-YOH-guh] generic term for the various styles of physical yoga practice in the West

JALANDHARA BANDHA [jah-lahn-DHA-rah BAHN-duh] chin lock; 1 of 3 bandhas practiced during yoga performed by elevating the sternum & tucking the chin into the chest

JNANA YOGA [juh-NAH YOH-guh] knowledge; the yoga of knowledge; uses intellect as a tool to understand & uncover true Self; knowledge uncovered through meditation  & study of yogic texts

KAPALABHATI [KAH-pah-lah-BAH-tee] skull-shining; a breathing technique aka Breath of Fire where breathe is forcefully exhaled & passively inhaled, often at rapid rates.

KAPHA [KAH-fah] 1 of the 3 doshas in Ayurvedic medicine; made up of the earth & water elements; also a person in whom this humor is dominant; characterized by inertia & stability

KARMA [kahr-muh] deed, actionin Hinduism & Buddhism- the sum of a person’s actions is viewed as deciding their fate in the future; refers to the laws of cause & effect.

KARMA YOGA [kahr-muh YOH guh] the yoga of selfless service; a school of Hindu yoga advocating action without attachment to the results of one’s deeds

KRIYA [krih-yuh] cleansing practices & techniques within a yoga discipline in order to achieve specific result

KUMBHAKA [kuhm-BAH-kah] voluntary cessation of breath performed during yogic breathing exercises which can occur after inhalation, after exhalation or both

KUNDALINI [koon-dl-EE-nee] coiled one, snake; an energy said to lie at the base of the spine; also a school of yoga consisting of yoga poses, breathing exercises, meditation & chanting mantras

MANTRA [mahn-truh] instrument of thoughtword or phrase chanted aloud or silently that has a transformative effect on the mind

MUDRA [muh-drah] seal, sign; a symbolic gesture using the entire body, fingers or hands

MULA BANDHA [MOO-lah BAHN-duh] root lock. 1 of 3 bandhas practiced during yoga. muscular contraction of the pelvic muscles thought to bring energy up the spine

NADI SHODHANA [nah-dee show-DAH-nah] a calming breathing technique aka Alternate Nostril Breathe that balances the energy between the left & right nostril as well as the sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous system

NAMASTE [NUHM-uh-stey] I bow to you; traditional Indian greeting &/or gesture of respect made by uniting the palms before face or chest & bowing

(JALA) NETI  [NEY-ti] the yogic practice of cleansing the body by rinsing the nasal passages with salt & purified water

NIYAMA [NEE-yuh-muh] restraint; the yoga practice of self-restraint; 2nd limb of yoga

OM [awm] a sacred sound & spiritual icon in Indian religions; a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism

PITTA [PIT-uh] 1 of the 3 doshas in Ayurvedic medicine; associated with fire & water; also a person in whom this humor is dominant; characterized by intelligence, passion & anger

PRANA [PRAH-nuh] life force; life-giving force that sustains the body i.e. breath

PRANAYAMA [PRAH-nuh YUHM-uh] breath restraint; yogic breathing exercises; 4th limb of yoga

RAJASIC/RAJAS [ruh-JAS-ik/ RUHJ-uhs] passion, active, excitable; quality or state of activity or restlessness

SAMADHI [suh-MAH-dee] the highest stage in meditation in which a person experiences oneness with the universe; 8th limb of yoga

SAMSKARA [sam-SKAHR-uh] mental impression; mental & emotional patterns that make up conditioning; “mental ruts” or “grooves” of thought or behavior accrued through life experience.

SANGHA [suhng-guh] community; group, assembly, association

SANKALPA [sun-kul-pah] yogic tool of intention, what you plan to do or promise to yourself

SATTVA [SUHT-vuh] existence, reality, purity; quality of calm, clearheadedness & balance

SAVASANA [shah-VAHS-anna] corpse pose. relaxation pose

SUTRA [SOO-truh] thread; a collection of aphorisms on how to conduct life

SUKHA [soo-kuh] happiness; ease, pleasure, bliss

TAMASIC/TAMAS [tuh-MAS-ik/ TUHM-uhs]  darkness, indifferent; quality of inertia or dullness

UDDIYANA BANDHA [OO-dih-anah BAHN-duh] solar plexus lock; 1 of 3 bandhas practiced during yoga. muscular contraction of the abdomen

UJJAYI [OO-jahy-ee] BREATH victorious breath aka Ocean-sounding breath. A breathing technique practiced by inhaling & exhaling through both nostrils with the glottis held partially closed during asana

VATA [VAHT-uh] wind; 1 of the 3 doshas in Ayurvedic medicine; associated with ether & air; characterized by creativity, movement & indecision

VINYASA [VIHN yah-suh] a flowing sequence of yoga poses

YAMA [YUHM-uh] restraint; moral discipline, 1st of 8 limbs of yoga

YOGA [YOH-guh] to yoke,  join, unitethe physical practice uniting breath, movement & meditation.

YOGA NIDRA [YOH-guh NIY-DRah] yogic sleep; a state of consciousness between waking & sleeping; a guided practice that induces complete body relaxation & meditative state of consciousness

YOGI [YOH-gee] a practitioner of yoga