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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