Below is a list of yoga words, phrases and terms for your reference. We will be building this over time so please check back often for new additions! If there is something that you don't see, please email us and we will see if we can add it to the list below. Terms in this glossary are listed in alphabetical order.
Ananda ~ Bliss pure and absolute. The true nature of each individual; ecstasy and happiness. We see 'ananda' at the end of many names of Swamis and Yogis; Nityananda (eternal bliss), Muktananda (bliss of liberation) and Nirmalananda (bliss of no coverings).
Anjaneyasana ~ name of Hanuman's mother (Anjani), also known as lunge; a waist pose where the extension of the back leg provides traction to the lower spine by reaching through the hip to the spine. The weight of the head gives traction to the neck and upper spine.
Asana ~ to sit. It is often translated as "pose" and is tacked on to the names of poses. The literal meaning, to sit, is significant because all yoga poses can be thought of as preparation to sit comfortably in meditation.
Contemplation ~ the act of the mind in considering with attention, continued attention of the mind to a particular subject.
Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana ~ one (eka), foot or leg (pada), king (raja), pigeon or dove (kapota), also know as pigeon pose; a sacrum pose that releases tensions in deep muscles of spine, pelvis and hip, improving the condition of your whole spine and back; opens up the pelvic area, improving circulation to reproductive organs; lengthens and strengthens the legs, often opens the sinuses and relieves tension in the head and jaw.
Janushirshasana ~ knee (janu), head (shirsha), also know as also known as crook't leg or head to knee pose; a sacrum pose that releases tension in the piriformis muscle, often provides immediate relief of back and neck pain, sciatica, menstrual and menopausal symptoms, helps cure knee problems, may open sinuses, may relieve jaw tension and creates space for internal organs.
Jathara Parivrttanasana ~ stomach (jathara), twisted, rotated, spiraled (parivrtta), also known as JP or rotated stomach pose; a spine through the rib cage pose that opens the chest and heart and releases tensions from the shoulders and neck.
Kundalini ~ the moving force of Shiva (consciousness itself) that brings all of manifestation into existence. It is described as a feminine power because of its procreative expression. Kundalini is the source of prana (vital life force and the source of breath). It is what infuses all things with life. In Yogic practices the kundalini that usually lies sleeping in the body at the base of the spine begins to awaken, bringing fullness and well-being through all of the pathways of a human being. All of yoga's practices are for the purpose of awakening and expanding into this inner aliveness.
Maha Mrityunjaya ~ great (maha), death (mritu), victory (jaya). Victory over death. Chant that dispels all fear. All fear comes from fear of death. Fear activates the mind. When the mind quiets, we experience the Divine.
Namasté ~ I recognize and bow to the Divinity in you which is also in me. The literal meaning is, I bow to you.
Om Namah Shivaya ~ the sound of God in your mouth (om), honor, bow down to, surrender to (namah), the Divine within me (shivaya). I honor the divine within me. Chant brings us beyond our small sense of self and brings us into the Divine within.
Pawanmuktasana ~ air (pawan), liberating (mukta), also known as alternate leg pose or knees-to-chest; a tailbone pose that provides a release of tensions in the muscles that connect to the tailbone by consciously softening the deep tensions. This is also a series of poses focused on freeing the joint spaces.
Prana ~ life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath.
Pranayama ~ extension of the prana or breath or more accurately, extension of the life force.
Prasarita Padottanasana ~ legs extended (prasarita), foot (pada), intense stretch (uttana), also known as slow-motion dive; a tailbone pose that lengthens your spine from the sitbones to the tailbone which triggers decompression of the whole spine, increases blood and oxygen supply to the brain and releases tensions in the neck and shoulders.
Sanskrit ~ meaning 'perfected', 'refined' or 'polished' is the divine language, the original sacred language of India.
Shavasana ~ corpse (shava), also know as corpse pose or relaxation pose; it can release all the tensions in the body, if the mind becomes completely still.
Svaroopa ~ self (sva), form (roopa); The form of the Self, to know yourself at the deepest level of your being.
Ujjayi Pranayama ~ yogic breath (ujjayi), life force (prana), extension (ayama). Used to balance, calm and keep the vital life force circulating throughout the body.
Vinyasa ~ sequence or flow.