Sanskrit Glossary

Sanskrit Glossary

 

Adho-mukhaDownward facing.
Adho-mukha svanasanaDownward facing dog pose.
AngaThe body; a limb or a part of the body; a constituent part.
ArdhaHalf.
AsanaPhysical posture or pose; The third stage of yoga.
AstaThe number eight.
Astanga YogaThe eight limbs of Yoga described by Patanjali.
AumLike the Latin word 'Omne', the Sanskrit word 'Aum' means 'all' and conveys concepts of 'Omniscience', 'Omnipresence' and 'Omnipotence'.
BaddhaBound, caught, restrained, firm.
BakasanaCrow; elbow balancing pose.
BalasanaChild's pose.
BandhaA bond or lock; it means a posture where certain organs or parts of the body are contracted and controlled.
BhaktiWorship, adoration.
BhujaThe arm or the shoulder.
BhujangaA serpent, a snake.
BhujangasanaCobra pose.
ChakraLiterally, a wheel or circle. Energy (prana) is said to flow in the human body through three main channels (nadis), namely, Susumna, Pingala and Ida. Susumna is situated inside the spinal column. Pingala and Ida start respectively from the right and left nostrils, move up to the crown of the head and course downwards to the base of the spine. These two nadis intersect with each other and also the Susumna. These junctions of the nadis are known as chakras or the fly-wheels which regulate the body mechanism.
ChandraThe moon.
ChaturThe number four.
ChaturangaCrocodile; four limbs; a push-up position a few inches off the ground.
ChittaThe mind in its total or collective sense, being composed of three categories: (a) Mind, having the faculty of attention, selection and rejection; (b) Reason, the decisive state which determines the distinction between things and (c) Ego, the I-maker.
DandaA staff.
DandasanaStaff pose.
DhanuA bow.
DharanaConcentration or complete attention. The sixth limb or stage of Yoga mentioned by Patanjali.
DhyanaThe seventh limb or stage of Yoga mentioned by Patanjali.
DrishtA point of focus or gazing point.
DwiTwo, both.
Dwi-hastaTwo hands.
Dwi-padaTwo feet or legs.
EkaOne, single, alone, only.
EkapadaOne legged.
GarudasanaEagle pose.
GuFirst syllable in the word 'Guru', meaning darkness.
GunasThree forces of nature; Satva, a positive creating nature or influence; Ragas, a negative or destructive nature or influence; Tamas, the influence or nature of things to stay the same.
GuruA guide who brings one from darkness to lightness; one who removes spiritual doubt.
HaFirst syllable of the word 'Hatha', which is composed of the syllables 'ha' meaning the sun, and 'tha' meaning the moon. The object of Hatha-yoga is to balance the flow of solar and lunar energy in the human system.
HalaA plough.
HalasanaPlough pose.
HastaHand.
HathaSun/moon; balance.
Hatha-yogaThe way towards realization through rigorous physical discipline.
JanuKnee.
JnanaSacred knowledge derived from meditation on the higher truths of religion and philosophy, which teaches a man how to understand his own nature.
KarmaAction.
Karma-yogaThe achievement of union with the Supreme Universal Soul through action.
KriyaProcess; anything you can do that brings one to a state of union, yoga.
KundaliniThe Kundalini (kundala=coil of a rope; Kundalini=a coiled female serpent) is the divine cosmic energy. This force or energy is symbolised as a coiled and sleeping serpent lying dormant in the lowest nerve centre at the base of the spinal column, the Muladhara-chakra. This latent energy has to be aroused and made to ascend the main spinal channel, the Susumna piercing the chakras right up to the Sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus in the head. Then the Yogi is in union with the Supreme Universal Soul.
MandalaA circle.
MantraA sacred word, thought or sound.
MatsyaA fish.
MatsyasanaFish pose.
MudraA seal.
MukhaFace or facing.
NamaName.
NamasteCommonly said at the end of yoga class by the instructor and the students.
One beautiful interpretation: I honor that place in you where the whole Universe resides. And when I am in that place in me and you are in that place in you, there is only one of us.
NavaA boat.
NavasanaBoat pose.
NiyamaSelf-purification by discipline. The second stage of yoga mentioned by Patanjali.
PadaThe foot or leg; also part of a book.
PadangusthaThe big toe.
PadmaLotus.
PadmasanaLotus pose.
ParipurnaEntire, complete.
ParivrttaRevolved or rotated; to twist.
Parivrtta TrikonasanaRevolved or rotated triangle pose.
PaschimaWest; the back side of the body.
PaschimottanaIntense stretch of the back side of the body from the nape to the heels.
PaschimottanasanaSeated forward bend.
PatanjaliThe author of the yoga sutras. The propounder of Astanga yoga. He put it on paper, so the world could experience it.
PidaPain, suffering, pressure.
PrajnaIntelligence, wisdom.
PranaBreath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy, strength. It also connotes the soul.
PranayamaRhythmic control of the breath. The fourth stage of yoga.
PrasaritaSeparated.
PratyaharaA withdrawal from the senses; the body and mind to a focused place within; the self. The fifth stage of yoga.
PurvaEast, the front of the body.
PurvottanaIntense stretch of the front side of the body.
RajaRoyal or king.
Raja-kapotaKing pigeon.
Raja-yogaThe achievement of union with the Supreme Universal Spirit, by becoming the ruler of one's own mind by defeating its enemies.
The chief of these enemies are: Kama (passion or lust), krodha (anger or wrath), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride) and matsara (jealousy or envy). The eight-fold yoga of Patanjali shows the royal road (raja-marga) for achieving this objective.
RuThe second syllable in the word 'guru', meaning light.
SalabhaLocust.
SalabhasanaLocust pose.
SalambaWith support.
SamadhiThe eighth limb or stage of Yoga mentioned by Patanjali; a state in which all thought has completed itself.  The divine state.  A state in which one experiences union with the universal source.
SamasthitiStanding in attention.
SamyanaThe meditative process as described by Patanjali involving different states of awareness; the sixth, seventh, and eighth limbs or stages of yoga, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi, together are commonly referred to as Samyana.
SanSix.
SarvaAll, whole.
SarvangaThe whole body.
SarvangasanaShoulder stand.
SavaA corpse, a dead body.
SavasanaCorpse pose.
SetuA bridge.
Setu-bandhaThe construction of a bridge. Name of an asana in which the body is arched.
Setu-bandhasanaBridge pose.
SiddhaA sage, seer or prophet; also a semi-divine being of great purity and holiness.
SirsaThe head.
SukhaA lightness of being; easy.
SuptaSleeping; supine or laying back.
Supta VirasanaSupine hero pose.
SuryaThe sun.
SvanaDog.
TadaMountain.
TadasanaMountain pose; standing tall.
TanTo stretch, extend, lengthen out.
TapasBurning away impurities through self-discipline.
ThaThe second syllable of the word 'hatha'. The first syllable 'ha' stands for the sun, while the second syllable 'tha' stands for the moon. The union of these two is Hatha-yoga.
TriThree.
TrikonaA triangle.
TrikonasanaTriangle pose.
UjjayiA type of pranayama in which the lungs are fully expanded and the chest is puffed out.
UrdhvaUp or upwards; to raise or elevate.
Urdhva-mukhaUpward facing.
UstraCamel.
UstrasanaCamel pose.
UtA particle, denoting intensity.
UtkatasanaChair or awkward pose.
UttanaAn intense stretch.
UttanasanaIntense standing forward bend.
UtthitaExtended.
VajraA thunderbolt, the weapon of Indra.
VasisthaA celebrated sage, author of several Vedic hymns.
VasisthasanaSide plank.
VinyasaFlow; a physical or energy flow.
ViraHero; brave.
VirasanaHero pose.
VirabhadraA powerful warrior created out of Siva's matted hair.
Virabhadrasana IWarrior I pose.
Virabhadrasana IIWarrior II pose.
Virabhadrasana IIIWarrior III pose.
VrksaTree.
VrksasanaTree pose.
VrittaFluctuation.
YamaThe god of death. Yama ia also the first of Patanjalis eight limbs or stages of yoga.
Yamas are universal moral commandments or ethical disciplines transcending creeds, countries, age and time. The five mentioned by Patanjali are:
non-violence, truth, non-stealing, continence and non-coveting.
YogaUnion.
Yoga-mudraA posture.
Yogi or YoginiOne who follows the path to union.