Understanding at least some Sanskrit words, some Yoga terms is
important if you want to learn the old healing system of Yoga, which
has been practiced for more than 5000 years now. - This will help you
master this spiritual art of Hinduism. Many words in Yoga vocabulary
have an interesting story to tell. Willing to explore? You can check
out the following Yoga dictionary, which contains several Sanskrit
definitions for the most common "Yoga words".
Listed below are some of the key Yoga terms in Sanskrit and their meanings. Links for easier navigation:
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'a'
Abhyasa - constant and regular practice over a long period
Adho-mukha - It helps in flexibility, building power and alertness. Another meaning of the term is to face-downwards
Adishvara - Primeval Lord Shiva
Advaita- only one, non-duality, union of Universal Spirit and individual soul
Ahamkara- referred to as ego in Hinduism
Amrita- it is referred to as nectar of immortality
Ananta- endless or infinite, which is the transcription of masculine and feminine form. It is another name of Lord Vishnu
Anga- the body, or part of the body
Antara- interior or within
Antaratma- inner self or Atman, it is the creation of god.
Anuloma- It is also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing technique. In this technique, we inhale through one nostril, retain, and then exhale through the other nostril in a natural order
Apana- It is one of the vital airs, which is moved in sphere of lower abdomen. It governs elimination of urine and stool.
Aparigraha- Freedom from hoarding/collecting
Arjuna- a mythical warrior prince, to whom Lord Krishna explained the purpose of life
Asmita- tough or strong as rock, another meaning of the term is egoism
ashvini-mudra- Involves relaxation and contraction of anal sphincter muscles causing rise in pranic energy.
atma or atman- Atman is the core of life in absence of where the existence of body gets negated. Atma is our soul, which resides in our heart.
Avatara- it refers to arrival or incarnation of God
Avidya- It is Sanskrit word, which means ignorance, unlearned, delusion.
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'b'
Bandha- It is defined as damming of a river, building a bridge, or building over the sea. It also refers to the posture where certain organs are contracted or controlled
Bhagavan- used for God, gods, or holy soul
Bhagavat Gita-. Is a greatest of Hindu scriptures, constituting of Mahabharata. In short it is called as Gita which describes the Teachings of Lord Krishna to his disciple Arjuna at the commencement of the battle of Kurukshetra, with explanations on sannyasa yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga. The Bhagavad Gita is also called GÄ«topaniá¹£ad, implying it having the status of an Upanishad, i.e. a Vedantic scripture. Since, the Gita is drawn from the Mahabharata; it is classified as a Smrti text. The Bhagavad Gita comprises 18 chapters and consists of 700 verses.
boddhi (tree)- it is also called as wisdom tree. And it is the world tree.
Buddha- awakened, also (in particular) referred to the founder of Buddhism
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'd'
Dakshina-An offering or gift, this concept is unique to Indian tradition and culture. Another meaning of the term is the right side
Deva- deity, god-like
Devadatta- was Buddhist monk and cousin of Goutama Buddha, It also refers to one of the vital airs (intake of extra oxygen) which causes yawning.
Dhananyaya- fire, one of the vital airs, which causes yawning
Dhanu- bow, zodiac sign of Sagittarius
Dharana- unbending concentration of mind
Dhenu- goddess Lakshmi, another meaning of the term is a cow
Duhkha- suffering, pain, grief
Durga- Inaccessible, goddess of war, universal shakti, wife of Lord Shiva, slayer of demons
dwi-hasta- both hands.
dwi-pada- both legs.
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'e'
Eka- one, single
eka-pada- one leg
eka-tattvabhyasa- it refers to the study of the single element- the Supreme Spirit
Ekagra- concentrated, another meaning of the term is focused on a single object
Ekagrata- concentration, it also refers to one-pointedness
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'g'
Ganga-the Holy River in India
Ganesh- the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles, son of Shiva and Parvathi
Garuda- a mythical eagle-like bird
Gheranda- author of Gheranda-Samhita
Go- refers to a cow
Gomukha- cow faced
gu (from guru)- is a divine figure in Hinduism and also refers to a Sanskrit word Brihaspati
Guna- property, quality, character
Gunatita- refers to the person, who is freed and gone beyond gunas
Guru- is a master or a spiritual teacher, it also refers to the person, who illuminates the darkness of spiritual doubt
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'h'
Ha (from hatha) - means sun while tha mean moon. The purpose of Hatha Yoga is to balance the flow of positive and negative (solar and lunar) energy in the human body
Hanuman- He is the monkey god and devotee of Lord Rama
Hatha- It means force as Hatha Yoga recommends vigorous discipline in order to find union with the Supreme
hatha-yoga-pradipika- is one of the main textbooks on Hatha-yoga written by Swami Svatmarama
Himalaya- it is a mountain range spread across 1500 miles across the Indo-Tibetan border.
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'i'
Ida- Hindu goddess of the earth, another meaning of the term is a nadi, a channel of energy running on left side of spine from mooladhara (base) to ajna (head) chakra.
Indra- God of thunder and rain
Indriya- a sensory organ
indriya-jaya- control over senses
Ishvara- the ruler of universe and foremost ruler
ishvara-pranidhana- dedication to the Lord of one's actions and will
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'j'
Janu-it refers to doorways, beginnings, doors. Another meaning of the term is knee
Japa- remembering or repeating the manthra.
Jathara- belly or stomach
Jaya- victory, another meaning of the term is control or mastery
jivana-mukta- jivan means life and mukthi means liberation or release
Jivatma- souls in universe or jivatmas
Jnana- sacred knowledge derived from meditation, which teaches a man how to understand his own nature
jnana-marga- it refers to the path of knowledge, wisdom
Jnanendriya-it is an organ of knowledge comprising the 5 senses (hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell)
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'k'
Kaivalya- detachment or solitariness, another meaning of the term is final emancipation
kaivalya-pada- isolation, last part of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, dealing with absolution
kama-rupa- desired body, the seat of genitals, Kama - god of passion
kanda- throat chakra- a place where three major energy pathways or nadis meet.
Kapalabhati- it is the technique of breathing for cleansing waste from lungs through nasal passage
Kapila- A sage, the founder of Samkhya system, who composed the Samkhya-Suthra
Karma- doing or making action
karma-marga - path of renunciation of ones action
Karma-yoga- it is a service to God by helping people in all good ways.
Karmendriya- the 5 senses or motor faculties used to hear, feel, see, smell, and taste
Kathopanishad-it is one of the principal Upanishads written in the form of dialog between seeker Nachiketa and Yama- the god of Death.
Kevala- essential, absolute, simple
Klesha- pain, suffering, agony
Krishna- incarnation of Lord Vishnu, dark or dark-blued
Kriya- purifying action or dynamic yogic practice or activity
Kshatriya-member of royal or warrior Hindu caste
Kumbhaka- it refers to the suspension of breath
Kundalini- It is the supreme power, the energy or primordial shakthi, which lies on the coiled base of spine, in muladhara chakra of all human beings. It can be active or inert. It is present in the person with a spiritual aptitude. Such a person can attain union of the individual self with the supreme self through evolution of awakened Kundalini energy. The "Lotus of the Kundalini" is situated at the lower end of the hollow canal, and is triangular in form.
Lakshmi- good luck, goddess of fortune and prosperity, wife of Lord Rama
Laya-yoga-it refers to the union with Supreme through devotion and admiration
Lobha- possessiveness or greed
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'm'
Mahabharata-it is sacred epic Sanskrit poem of India dealing with many episodes of the struggle between two families.
Maharshi- great sage
Manas it refes to the individual mind, having faculty of attention, selection, and rejection. it also refers to the ruler of senses
Manomani- fixedness of mind, another meaning of the term is the state of samadhi
Mantra-it is a sacred formula repeated in meditation, prayer or incantation
Manu- father of the human race
Matsyendra - one of the founders of Hatha Yoga
meru-danda- spinal chord
Moksha-it refers to the liberation from cycle of rebirth and death
Mudha-unaware or unconscious state of a mind
Mudita- glad, joy
Mudra- body gesture, a sealing posture
Mukha- face, mouth
Mula- the base
Mundakopanishad- name of Upanishad dealing with Aum- the most sacred Hindu word
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'n'
Nada- inner sound heard during advanced stages of meditation
Nadi- Energy channels in the body, In Rigveda, nad means stream, whereas in yoga, nadi refers to the channel of kundalini energy. In yoga, nadi means the channel of mind and the chitta- the feeling of self
nadi-sodhana- - it refers to the purification and cleansing of nadis
Naga- one of the vital airs, another meaning of the term is serpent
Namaste- a Hindu way of greeting or salutation
Nara- it is a Sanskrit word, which means man
Nataraja- the dancing pose of Lord Shiva
Nauli- it is one of the most difficult exercises which involves contracting and isolating the abdominal region
neti neti- a mantra or chant, which means not this, not this
Nirodha- end, extinction, suppression
Niyama- laws or rules, self purification by discipline, it is second stage as mentioned by Patanjali
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'p'
Pada- the foot or leg
Paramapada- the supreme state
Paramatma- the Supreme Spirit
Parangmukhi- facing inwards
Paripurna- complete in all aspects
Parivartana- turning around, rotating
Parivritta- revolved posture
Parshva- next to, by the side of
Parvata- a rock or a mountain
Parvati- Shivas wife and she is the mother goddess devi
Patanjali- Complier of yoga sutras and preacher of the eight-fold (ashtanga) yoga, Patanjalis yoga is also called as Raja yoga, which deals with control of mind.
Pida-pain in Sanskrit
pinda-prana- the individual breath
Pingala- a particular energy channel running from mooladhara chakra to ajna chakra.
Prahlada- a great devotee of Vishnu, son of Hiranya-kashipu
Prajapati- the lord of creatures
Prajna- intelligence, wisdom
Prakriti- The nature, it also refers to the creative energy of nature as well as our thoughts about nature
Prana- the life is sustained by the vital energy - also respiration, breath, life, wind, energy, strength, and also- soul
prana-vayu- Vayu means breath, air, or wind or that which vibrates, it also refers to the primary energy.
Pranava - another word for Aum
Prasarita- spread, extended and expanded
Prashvasa-this involves the monitoring of inhalation and exhalation, expiration
Pratyahara- refers to the withdrawal of the mind from the domination of the senses and sensual objects. It is the fifth stage of yoga
Punya- virtue, purity, good work
Puraka- inhaling- a hatha yoga practice to control breath
Raga- melodic mode used by Indians to depict love, passion or anger
Raja- king or a prince in India
Raja-marga- the royal path that leads to self realization through mind-control
Rajas- one of the three gunas responsible for motion, energy, and conservation
rajo-guna- the quality of mobility and activity
Rama- incarnation of lord Vishnu, one of the most popular deities in Hinduism, hero of the most famous Hindu epic - Ramayana
Ramayana- it is a Sanskrit epic written by Valmiki
Ravana- a great scholar, ruler, and ten-headed devotee of Lord Shiva, who notoriously kidnapped Lord Ramas wife
Rechaka- the Exhalation
Retus- any straight muscles, as of eye, neck, abdomen and thigh, another meaning of the term is semen
ru (from guru)- light
Ruchika- attractive, lovely, beautiful, another meaning of the term is a sage
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 's'
Sarasvati- the one that flows, goddess of knowledge and arts, she is believed to bestow the power of speech
Shmrti- memory or a code of law
Shankaracharya- one of the most famous spiritual leaders, teacher of the doctrine of Advaita
Shaucha- purity, niyamas of yoga or Hinduism
Shava- dead body
Shishya- student, disciple
Sita- Lord Ramas wife, regarded as ideal womanhood by Hindus
shiva-samhita- Sanskrit text on yoga addressed by Lord Shiva to his wife Parvati, it also refers to the classical book on Hatha Yoga
Siva (Shiva) - relating to the God Shiva- one of the 3 prominent Hindu gods, destructor of all the vices
Shodhana- the process of purification or cleansing
Shoka- grief, anguish, distress
Shraddha- faith, trust
sadhana-pada- second part of Patanjali's Sutras, dealing with control of thought process to attain union with Supreme power
sahadjavastha- state-of-mind in Samadhi
Salamba- with support
Sama- same or togetherness
sama-sthiti- standing still and straight
sama-vritti- inhaling, exhaling and suspending breath for equal duration
Samadhi- Supreme Union
samadhi-pada- the first part of Patanajali's Sutras dealing with the understanding of human thought process, which restrains us from self-realization
Samana- equality, another meaning of the term is: Breathing exercises, mind and body.
Sambhava- achievable, possible,
Samskara- impressions, mental impressions of the past
Sarva- all or everything
Sarvanga- all parts of body
Sattva- it is state of balance, joy, accord, and intelligence
sattva-guna- an inclination towards goodness and purity
Siddha- a sage
Soham- represents mantra in meditation, He am I, an unconscious repetitive prayer with every breath, Meditation on Soham mantra is a meditation form of Yoga. Soham is a Sanskrit word and a universal mantra, which relates to the breath. Soham means I am that, or I am that I am.
sthita-prajna- a person whose wisdom is firmly established and does not waiver
Sthiti- stability, immovability
Supta- reclining or sleeping
Surya- acquirer or sun
surya-nadi- pingala nadi
Sushumna- it is sustainer of universe and path of universe and path of salvation, another meaning of the term is the main energy channel located inside the spinal column
sushupti-avastha- it refers to the state of mind in dreamless sleep
Svadhyaya- self-study or study
Svapnavastha- it refers to the state of mind in a dream
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 't'
tha (from hatha)- moon
Tamas- darkness, ignorance
tamo-guna- quality of darkness,
Tapas- suffering, austerity
tat twam asi- you are that
Tattva- principle, reality, it is an element or absolute reality, tattva refers to the basic forces of nature
tattva-jnana- Knowledge of the reality
Udana- up-breath, one of the vital airs having its seat at neck, dealing with intake of food and air
Upanishad- sitting down near or sitting close to a Guru to receive spiritual instructions, The Upanishads are sacred Hindu text dealing with metaphysical questions and core teachings of Vedanta
Urdhva- lifted, elevated
urdhva-retus- a celibate
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms starting with 'v'
Vairagya- supreme detachment, another meaning of the term is absence of worldly desires
Vajra- diamond, the weapon of Indra
Vasishtha- Vedantic text that is accredited to Valmiki where Vasishtha sage teaches Prince Rama doctrine of non-duality or advaita
Vayu- air, wind
Veda- Knowledge, the sacred scriptures of Hinduism, revealed by saints and sages of India
Vibhuti- glory, wealth, might
vibhuti-pada- the third part of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which deals with achieved union and its result.
Vidya- applied knowledge
Vikshepa- confusion, tossing of mind
Vikshipta- alternative, doubt
Viloma- against a natural order
Virya- Zeal, effort, or energy
Vishnu- the Hindu God responsible for preservation and restoration of universe
Vritti- conceiving of something as existing
Vyana- up-breath, one of the vital airs dealing with function of inhalation and exhalation
Yama- God of death, it also refers to the first of eight limbs of yoga
Yoga-nidra- a deep relaxation technique is called yogic sleep
Yoga sutra- it will explain and define the practice of yoga, the classical work by Patanjali, which finds its origin around 3rd or 4th century BC. It is one of the most definitive texts on the philosophy of classical yoga, which contains a total of 195 sutras, which are again structured around four padas or chapters- Samadhi pada, Sadhana pada, Vibhuti pada, and Kaivalya pada.
Yuj- to join, unite or yoke
Yukta- the balance between the moon and the sun
You are welcome to contact me - requesting meaning of other
Sanskrit words, Yoga terms you would like to clarify. You are also
welcome to send a correction if you found some incorrect
interpretation above... And of course - please feel free to send me a
Sanskrit word, a Yoga term with explanations not yet included here. -
I'll be happy to update this "Yoga vocabulary" for benefits of all.
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