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YOGA from A to Z

5 Jan 2016   Shanti Gowans
 
 
A
ADHO downward
AHAMKARA I-maker
AHIMSA  non-violence, one of the five yamas
ANANDA Joyful. Bliss. 
ANAHATA  un-stuck sound centre; the heart chakra
ANGA limb
ANGULI fingers or toes
ANGUSHTA big toe; thumb
ANTAR MAUNA inner silence
ANULOMA VILOMA alternate nostril breathing; pranayama practice
APANA downward vital air of the lower abdomen
APARIGRAHA non-greed, non-coverousness or non-grasping; one of the five yamas
ARDHA half
ARTHA wealth; one of the four Vedic aims of life 
ASHA wish, hope
ASANA comfortable seat, pose or posture; third limb of Patanjali’s eight-fold path of yoga
ASTEYA non-stealing; one of the five yamas
ATMAN the indwelling Self
 
BADDHA bound; tied
BAKA crow
BANDHA energy lock or gate, employed to direct prana or seal energy within the body
BHAKTI YOGA the path of love and devotion
BHASTRIKA  bellows breath; pranayama practice
BHEKA frog
BHRAMARI buzzing bee breath; pranayama practice
BHUJANGA snake; serpent
BIJA MANTRA seed sound; the main six are: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, and Om
BINDU point; a subtle energy centre sited towards the back of the head
BRAHMA creator
BRAHMACHARYA celibacy, one of the five yamas
BRAHMAN the all-pervading presence
BUDDHI intellect
 
BEECHMONT is nestled in the picturesque hills, the green behind the gold of the Gold Coast, , where you’ll find natural beauty and yoga, meditation ad Ayurvedic retreat culture year-round. 
 
 
CHAKRA wheel, vortex of subtle energy; energy centre along the spine of the subtle body
CHANDRA moon
CHITTA mind-stuff; memories, thoughts and opinions
CHITTAKASH the sky of the mind
 
DANDA staff, rod or stick
DEVA being of light; god
DHANUR bow
DHARANA concentration; sixth limb of Patanjali’s eight-fold path of yoga
DHARMA virtue, law, purpose, sacred duty, your true calling or true way of life. Yogis believe that our greatest responsibility in life is to this inner possibility, this dharma, and they believe that every human being’s duty is to embody his own idiosyncratic dharma. 
DHYANA meditation; seventh limb of Patanjali’s eight-fold path of yoga
DOSHA qualities that make up an individual’s constitution. There are 3: vata, pitta, kapha
DRISHTI gaze
 
E  
EKA one
EKAGRATA one-pointedness
ENERGY  syn. prana, bio-energy, life force. Harnessed through breathing techniques and yoga practice, life-force energy fuels our radiance and vitality.
 
FUN Shanti Yoga calendar of events - do something different, creative, expressive
 
GANESH elephant-headed son of Shiva; god of beginnings and remover of obstacles
GARUDA king of the eagles; vehicle of Vishnu
GAYATRI MANTRA invocation to light, famous mantra from the Rig Veda
GHERNADA name of sage, the authorof Gheranda Samhita
GO cow
GUNA quality. There are three primal qualities: rajastamas and sattvas
 
H
HALA plough
HANUMAN chief of the monkey army; one of Rama's greatest devotees who came to his aid, making huge leaps across to sea first to find his wife Sita, and then to save Rama's brother.
HASTA hand
HATHA YOGA the yogic path of effort
HEALING Yoga therapy, breathwork, bodywork, a lifestyle consultation, an Ayurvedic herbal oil treatment, mindfulness healing arts appointment or a learning experience with the wisest teacher there are, your body, breath and mind, surrender to the talented hands and wise, generous hearts of our healing arts practitioners.
HRIDYA heart
 
I  
ICCHA  wish
IDA the left, or lunar channel (nadi) flow
INDIA where yoga and Ayurvedic science originate.  
INDRIYAS  sense organs
ISHVARA wish fulfiller; God
ISHVARA PRANADHANA living with constant awareness of god; one of the five niyamas
 
J  
JALA water
JALAN net or network
JALANDHARA BANDHA subtle chin lock
JANU knee
JATHARA abdomen; stomach
JNANA wisdom
JNANA YOGA the yogic path of wisdom
 
 
K
KAMA pleasure. 
KAMA SUTRA  the sutras on pleasure
KAPALBHATI skull shining breathing; pranayama practice
KAPOTA pigeon; dove
KARANI active
KARMA action
KARMA YOGA the yogic path of selfless service
KARNA ear
KARUNA compassion 
KONA angle
KOSHA sheath
KRIPALU compassionate, merciful 
KRIYA a cleansing process; practices to cleanse the body
KUMBHAKA suspended breath; pranayamapractice.
KUNDALINI latent energy at the base of the spine in the subtle body, depiced as a coiled snake, 
KURMA tortoise
 
 
L  
LILA divine play of consciousness 
 
M
MAHA great, mighty, noble
MAHA BANDHA great energy lock
MAHA MUDRA great (calming) gesture
MALA garland or wreath; waste
MAITRI  friendliness
MANAS mind 
MANDALA symbolic, circular diagram or shape, used in meditation
MANIPURA third or solar plexus, jewelled city chakra, sited around the navel in the subtle body
MANTRA sacred sound
MARICHI son of Brahma and grandfather of Surya, the sun god
MATSYA fish
MATSYENDRA Lord of the fishes; a fish heard all the teachings when Shiva was imparting knowledge of yoga to Parvati. Shiva then gave him divine form to then spread the knowledge of yoga. 
MAYA illusion
MAYURA peacock
METTA loving-kindness, the practice helps open your heart to yourself and to others
MOKSHA liberation
MUDRA seal; symbolic gesture of the hands, eyes or body 
MUKHA mouth; face
MULA root
MULA BANDHA root or supportive energy lock at the perineum
MULADHARA first, or root chakra, sited around the perimeum in the subtle body
 
NADA YOGA the yoga of sound
NADI subtle energy channel in the body, through which prana flows
NATARAJA one of the names of Shiva, the lord of the dance
NAVA boat
NETI nose cleansing
NIDRA sleep
NIRLAMBA unsupported
NIYAMA five behavioural precepts; the second limb of Patanjali’s eight-limb path of yoga
 
OM the most powerful, sacred sound of the universe; source and all other mantras
 
 
P
PADA leg or foot
PADA BANDHA foor or grounding; energy lock
PADMA lotus
PARIGHA a beam or bar used to close a gate; gate latch
PARIVRITTA revolved
PARSVA side; lateral
PASCHIM west direction (back side of the body)
PATANJALI compiler of the Yoga Sutras, the earliest, systematic teachings on yoga 
PARIVRTTA turned around, revolved
PIDA pressure
PINDA fetus, embryo
PINGALA the right, or solar nadi, or energy channel
PRANA life force, subtle energy or vital air; wind; breath
PRANAYAMA mastery of the breath; the fourth limb of Patanjali’s eight-limb path of yoga. Benefits include physical well-being, lightness of heart, clarity of mind, inner and outer health and fulfilment, weight loss, purpose, intention, and direction. 
PRASARITA spread out; stretched out
PRATYAHARA withdrawal of the senses; the fifth of Patanjali’s eight-limb path of yoga
PURVA east direction (front side of the body)
 
 
QUIET In silence we grow in stillness we heal 
 
RAJA king
RAJAS quality of activity, action, drive
RAJA YOGA the Royal path of yoga
 
 
S
SALAMBA supported; with support
SAHASRARA the thousand petalled, seventh or crown chakra
SAMA same, equal or even
SAMADHI highest state of consciousness; the eight and final limb of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga
SAMKHYA one of the six philosophical schools from the Vedas; the sister discipline to yoga 
SAMSKARAS karmic imprints or ways of thinking that define behaviour
SANKALPA affirmation in the present tense; positive resolve; a true intention that is formulated in the heart. 
SANTOSHA contentment; one of the five niyamas
SARVANGA the (sarva) whole (ang) body
SASANKA hare, rabbit
SAT  Truth
SATTVA quality of vital balance present in all things
SATYA truthfulness; one of the five yamas
SAUCHA purity or cleanliness; one of the five niyamas
SAVA; SHAVA a corpse
SETU bridge
SETU BANDHA bridge connection
SHALABHA locust; grasshopper
SHARIRA body. There are three: causal, subtle, gross
SHAKTI  energy
SHANTI  peace
SHIRA; SHIRSHA  head
SHRADDHA faith
SIMHA lion
SITALI cooling or sippling breath
SITTING BONES the two ‘knobbly’ bones that extend out from the base of the pelvis (at the buttocks)
STHITI stability
SUKHA easy, comfortable, happy
SUPTA reclining; sleeping
SURYA Sun god
SURYA NAMASKARA sun salutations
SUSHUMNA central nadi or energy channel through which kundalini rises
SWADHISTHANA second or sacral chakra, sited around the tailbone
SWADHYAYA self study (of the sacred texts) one of the five niyamas
 
T
TADA mountain
TAMAS quality of inertia, lethargy, inactivity
TAN to stretch, extend, lengthen out
TANTRA to stretch, expand or free the body beyond physical limitations
TAPAS austerity, one of the five niyamas
TEA  infusion of water and dried leaves of the evergreen plant Camellia sinensis.  How the leaves have been dried and whether they have been fermented, and for how long determines whether the tea is considered a white, green, oolong, or black tea. 
TRATAK to look or to gaze; a concentration  technique, such as candle gazing
TRI three
TRIKONA three corners; triangle
TULA scales
 
U
UD to fly
UDDIYANA BANDHA abdominal or lifting energy lock
UJJAYI victorious or uplifting breath; breathing with narrowed glottis
UPANISHAD sitting beside a teacher; the latter part of the Vedas
UPAVIST(H)A seated
URDHVA raised, elevated, upward
USTRA; USHTRA camel
USHA dawn
UT intense
UTTANA intense stretch
UTTHITA extended; stretched
 
V
VAJRA thunderbolt
VASISHTA a legendary sage
VASTU
VATA wind or air; one of the three doshas
VEDA sacred scriptures
VEERYA brave; courageous; warrior
VIDYA knowledge
VILOMA against the order of things
VINYASA moving sequence of asanas, linked together with breathing, e.g. Surya Namaskara
VIPARITA inversion, inverted, reversed
VIRA hero
VIRABHADRA the great warrior who sprang to Shiva's aid to seek revenge on his father-in-law
VISHNU divinity in its maintaining, sustaining aspect in Hinduism
VISHUDDHI fifth or throat chakra, sited around the throat area
VRIKSHA tree
VRITTI whirlpool; the whirlpool created by thoughts
VRKSA tree
 
W
WATER the elixir of life
 
Y
YAMA ethical practices or restraints; the first limb of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga
YANTRA a geometrical symbol to aid contemplation; a visaul depiction of a chakra
YOGA spiritual practice originating in India, literally means to ‘yoke together, or unite. It is one of the six systems of philosophy from the Vedas, collated by Rishi Patanjali. Yoga acts as an integrative practice on all levels. On the most superficial level, it balances and integrates the body, mind and spirit. The chief aim of yoga is to teach the means by which the individual, huamn spirit may be completely unied with the universal, supreme Spirit.
Shanti Yoga offers a joyful environment celebrating learning,  wellness, and retreat. Train with Shanti Yoga to deepen your practice and share your passion with the world.
YOGA NIDRA yogic sleep; deep, conscious relaxation
YOGA SUTRAS the classical work on yoga by the Indian sage Patanjali.

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Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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