If you are even remotely related to Yoga, chances are you come across a set of Sanskrit words on a regular basis. We have compiled a few of those words for your better understanding.

 

 

 

  • Yoga – Comes from Sanskrit “Yuj” which means “To yoke.” To unite or bring together.
  • Adho – Downward (Adho mukha shvanasana – Downward facing dog)
  • Agni – Fire element.
  • Ahimsa – Non-violence. In thoughts and in action.
  • Ananda – Blissful state. A state of pure joy.
  • Antar – Inside or internal. (Antar Kumbhaka for example, is retention of breath inside one’s lungs.)
  • Ardha – Half. This is commonly used in postures. Ardha chandrasana would mean half-moon pose.
  • Asana – A yoga posture or movement.
  • Aum – The universal mantra. Cosmic Vibration of the universe.
  • Bahir – Outside. External.
  • Bandha – Lock. (a posture in which organs and muscles are contracted to create energy lock in a specific area.)
  • Bhakti – Devotion
  • Bhramari – Sound of a bee . This is a technique of breathing or pranayama.
  • Chakra – Wheel. Chakras are energy centres along the spinal line. These are centres where subtle energy is focussed and at its most intense state.
  • Danda – Stick
  • Dhanura – Bow. Commonly used in dhanurasana. Bow pose.
  • Dhyana – Contemplation or meditation. Dhyana is one of the limbs of Patanjali’s yoga sutras.
  • Dharana – Dharana is an off shoot of the word Dhrimeaning to hold firm. One-pointed concentration. This again is one of the limbs of Ashtanga yoga.
  • Eka – one. (Eka pada Raja Kapotasana – One legged king pigeon pose.)
  • Guru – spiritually enlightened soul, who can dispel darkness, ignorance and illusion from the mind and enlighten the consciousness of a devotee/disciple, Teacher, spiritual preceptor, spiritual teacher.
  • Hanuman – son of the wind god, depicted as a monkey, a great devotee of Rama who helped Rama in his fight with Ravana. Celebate for life and a highly powerful god.
  • Hatha – Pronounced as Ha tta, Many yoga styles spring from hatha. It is the yoga of physical well-being, designed to balance body, mind, and spirit, a science of yoga which purifies the whole physical body by means of shatkarma, asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha and concentration, the path of yoga that starts with the practice of asanas.
  • Japa – continuous chanting i.e repetition of a mantra
  • Kapal – Skull or Cerebrum
  • Kati – Waist
  • Koorma – Tortoise. Used in Koormasana.
  • Kumbhaka – Holding of breath.
  • Kundalini – Retained energy or consciousness resting at the base of the spine. Meditative techniques help rise this energy.
  • Makara – Crocodile (Makarasana.)
  • Mantra – Sound of syllables repeated by the yogin to create a change in consciousness.
  • Mayur – Peacock (Mayurasana)
  • Moola – Root
  • Mudra – The literal meaning is ‘gesture’. Mudras are gestures with the palm that channelizes the cosmic energy within the mind and body.
  • Nadi – Subtle energy channels within the body.
  • Namaste – I bow to you. Find our blog on Namaste here.
  • Nidra – Sleep
  • Pada – Feet.
  • Sadhana – Sadhana is a spiritual quest or practice.
  • Shakti – Vital force. Energy.
  • Shanti – Peace. Tranquility.
  • Surya – Sun.
  • Ujjayi – A technique of pranayama. Also called victorious breath.

Terminologies in Sanskrit are varied and we’ve tried to bring a few common terms. If you have any terms that you want to know the meaning of, please email us and we’ll get back to you.

Om Shanti.

 

Ranjith Vallathol