Sanskrit Basics for Yogis

Sanskrit Glossary

A

Adho Mukha Svanasana: Downward Facing Dog
Ahimsa: Nonviolence
Ajna: Third Eye Chakra
Anahata: Heart Chakra
Aparigraha: Non-attachment/ non-greed
Ardha Matsyendrasana: Seated Half Spinal Twist
Ardha: Half
Ardha Chandrasana: Half Moon Pose
Asana: A steady, comfortable posture
Ashtanga: The Eight Limbs of Yoga (elaborate)
Asteya: Nonstealing

B

Balasana: Child’s Pose
Bandha: An energetic body lock
Bhujangasana: Cobra Pose
Brahmacharya: Moderation

C

Chakra: Energy center in the body
Chaturanga Dandasana: Four Limbed Staff Pose

D

Deerga Swaasam: 3 Part Breathing
Dhanurasana: Bow Pose
Dharana: Concentration
Dhyana: Meditation

G

Garudasana: Eagle Pose

H

Hatha: Sun-moon, physical aspect of yoga.

I

Isvarapranidhana: Surrender

J

Jalandhara Bandha: Throat Lock
Janusirshasana: Head to Knee Pose

K

Kappalabhati: Skull Shining Breath/ Rapid diaphragmatic breathing
Kleshas: Afflictions, include: Avidya- ignorance, Asmita- “I am” ness (egoism), Raga- attachment, Dvesha- repulsion, Abhinivesha- will to live
Koshas: Layers/sheaths of our being (5) Annamaya kosha, Pranamaya kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Vijananamaya kosha, and Anandamaya kosha.

M

Manipura: Solar Plexus Chakra
Mantra: Mystic sounds representing a particular aspect of the divine vibration. Used as an object for meditation.
Matyasana: Fish Pose
Mudra: Energetic seal, often a hand gesture.
Mula bandha: Root lock; perineum/cervix retraction
Muladhara: Root Chakra

N

Nadi Suddhi: Alternate Nostril Breathing
Namaste: The divine light in me honors the divine light in you. A common greeting in Hindu cultures.
Natarajasana: Dancer’s Pose
Netra Vyaayamam: Eye Exercises
Niyama: Observances including 5 ethical precepts

O

Om: Sacred sound vibration.

P

Parsvakonasana: Extended Side Angle
Paschimotanasana: Seated Forward Bend
Prana: Energy/life force
Pranayama: Breathing exercises

S

Salabasana: Locust Pose
Santosha: Contentment
Sarvangasana: Shoulderstand
Satya: Truthfulness
Saucha: Purity
Savasana: Corpse Pose
Setu Bandhasana: Bridge Pose
Sirsasana: Headstand Pose
Sukhasana: Easy Sitting Pose
Surya Namaskara: Sun Salutation
Swadisthana: Sacral Chakra
Svadhyaya: Self study and study of spiritual books

T

Tadasana: Mountain Pose
Tapas: Discipline
Trikonasana: Triangle Pose

U

Uddiyana Bandha: Upward Flying Lock
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana: Upward Facing Dog Pose
Ustrasana: Camel Pose
Utkatasana: Chair Pose
Uttanasana: Standing Forward Bend/Standing Forward Fold

V

Vasisthasana: Side Plank Pose
Virabhadrasana I, II, II: Warrior 1, 2, & 3
Vishuddi: Throat Chakra
Vriksasana: Tree Pose

Y

Yamas: Restraints that promote inner peace and avoid behaviors that bring suffering and difficulty
Yoga: To yoke; Union
Yoga Nidra: Yogic Sleep

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Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
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