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Glossary Line Art


Advaita (uhd·vuh·yee·tuh) - ‘not two’ and connotes a non-dualistic approach to understanding oneself and the nature of reality


Antahkarana (uhn·tuh·kuh·ruh·nuh) - ‘internal organ’ or function of the mind

  • Manas (maa·nuhs) - ‘thought’ or sense consciousness

  • Chitta (chit·tuh) - ‘memory’

  • Ahamkara (uh·hum·kaa·ruh) - ‘to do with self’ or ego

  • Buddhi (buhd·hee) - ‘perception’ or intellect


Ashramas (aash·ruh·muhs) - ‘stages of life’ in Hinduism

  • Brahmacharya (bruh·muh·chaar·yuh) - student

  • Grihastha (gree·huh·sthuh) - householder

  • Vanaprastha (vaa·nuh·pruhs·thuh) - retiree

  • Sannyasa (suhn·yaa·suh) - renunciate


Ashtanga - (ush·taang·guh) - ‘8 limbs’ and refers to a sequential system of 8 steps


Atman (uht·muhn) - the ‘self’ and a name for the unchanging reality


Avatar (uh·vuh·taar) - ‘descend’ and used to reference the incarnation of a deity or Self·realized being on Earth


Avidya (uh·vi·dyaa) - ‘ignorance’


Ayurveda (eye·oor·vay·duh) - ‘science of life’ and India’s traditional medical system and sister school of yoga


Bandha (buhn·dhuh) - ‘bind’ and references energetic locks in one’s body


Bhagavad Gita (bhu·guh·vuhd gee·taa) - the ‘Lord’s Song’ is part of the Hindu epic the Mahabharata, is the most read spiritual text in India, and has more commentaries on it than any other writing in the world 


Bhakti (buhk·tee) - yoga path that focuses on both spiritual devotion and universal love


Bindu (bin·doo) - ‘dot’ or ‘point’ and represents the mystical seed of the universe and is often cosmetically applied on the forehead


Brahman (bruh·muhn) - the ‘immensity’ and a name for the unchanging reality


Brahmaviharas (bruh·muh·vee·haa·ruhs) - ‘abodes of the divine’ or ‘sublime attitudes’ that have the power to transform the practitioner

  • Metta (meh·tuh) - loving-kindness

  • Karuna (kuh·roo·naa) - compassion

  • Mudita (moo·dhee·tuh) - empathic joy

  • Upeksha (oo·pay·kshuh) - equanimity


Chakra (chuh·kruh) - ‘wheel’ and references the major intersections of energy in the subtle body

  • Muladhara (moo·laa·dhaa·ruh) - ‘root’ associated with the coccyx, pelvic floor and earth element

  • Svadhisthana (svuhd·hish·thaa·nuh) - ​​‘sweetness’ associated with the sacrum, pubic region and water element

  • Manipura (muh·nee·poo·ruh) - ‘lustrous gem’ associated with the lumbar spine, navel or solar plexus and fire element

  • Anahata (uh·naa·huh·thu) - ‘unstruck’ associated with the thoracic spine, heart and air element

  • Vishuddha (vi·shoo·dhuh) - ‘purification’ associated with the cervical spine, throat and air element

  • Ajna (aag·nyuh) - ‘to perceive’ associated with the 3rd eye and space or ether

  • Bindu (bin·doo) - ‘point’ or ‘drop’ associated with the cowlick and considered the place where universal and individual consciousness differentiate

  • Sahasrara (suh·huss·raa·ruh) - ‘thousandfold’ associated with the crown and considered beyond the elements


Darshana (duhr·shuh·nuh) - ‘viewing’ and references being blessed by the presence or image of a deity, revered person or sacred object


Devanagari (day·vuh·naa·guh·ree) - ’(script of the) divine city’ and alphabet used for Sanskrit and other South Asian languages


Dharma (dhur·muh) - ‘to hold’ and references one’s worldly duty and spiritual path


Doshas (do·shuhs) - three ‘bodily humors’ in Indian medicine


Drishti (drish·tee) - ‘sight’ or ‘view’ and is the practice of maintaining an external gaze or focus point to develop internal concentration and awareness


Granthis (graan·thees) - three ‘psychic knots’ in the physical body that create blockages in the central energy channel on the path of awakening

  • Brahma (bruh·muh) - ‘creator’

  • Vishnu (vish·noo) - ‘all pervasive’

  • Rudra (roo·druh) - ‘who eradicates problems from their roots’ and associated with Shiva


Gunas (goo·nuhs) - three ‘fundamental principles’ of nature in Hindu philosophy

  • Tamas (tuh·mus) - ‘darkness’

  • Rajas (ruh·juhs) - ‘passion’

  • Sattva (suht·vuh) - ‘goodness’ 


Guru (goo·roo) - ‘heavy with wisdom’ or ‘knowledge’ and references a Self·realized teacher who offers guidance, dispels darkness and bestows Divine grace to their students and devotees


Hasta (huh·stuh) - ‘hand’ 


Hatha (huh·thuh) - ‘force’ or ‘effort’ and uses the body as the vehicle for the exploration of consciousness


Hatha Yoga Pradipika (huh·thuh yo·guh pruh·di·pee·kuh) - post-classical yoga text and is the oldest surviving and most translated on hatha yoga, as well as the most influential text for yoga practice in the west


Japa (juh·puh) - ‘to utter’ or ‘repeat’ and employs the meditative repetition of a sacred sound, name, word or phrase


Jnana (gnyuh·nuh) - yoga path of Self-realization which focuses on knowledge through intellectual understanding as well as conscious awareness of the nature of reality


Jyotish (jyo·tish) - ‘science of light’ and is India’s traditional astrological system


Karma (kuhr·muh) - ‘to act’ and refers to both a yoga path that focuses on service and action as well as the relationship of cause and effect


Kirtan (keer·tuhn) - ‘to repeat’ and is a style of call-and-response chanting that gives participants a chance to listen and recite


Kleshas (clay·shuhs) - five ‘poisons’ that represent the obstacles of liberation

  • Asmita (uhs·mee·taa) - “I am-ness’ or egoism 

  • Raga (raa·guh) - ‘passion’ or attachment

  • Dvesha (dvay·shuh) - ‘hate’ or aversion

  • Avidya (uh·vi·dyaa) - ‘ignorance’

  • Abhinivesha (ub·hee·nee·vay·shuh) - ‘instinct to cling’ to life or fear of death


Kosha (koh·shuh) - ‘sheath’ that covers the Self

  • Annamaya (uh·nuh·maa·yuh) - ‘food sheath’ or physical body

  • Pranamaya (praa·nuh·maa·yuh) - ‘life force sheath’ or energetic body

  • Manomaya (muh·no·maa·yuh) - ‘mind sheath’ or mental body

  • Vijnanamaya (vig·nuh·maa·yuh) - ‘intellect sheath’ or wisdom body

  • Anandamaya (aa·nuhn·duh·maa·yuh) - ‘bliss sheath’ or bliss body


Krama (kruh·muh) - ‘succession’ and denotes a series of sequential steps


Kumbhaka (koom·bhuh·kuh) - ‘retention’ of the breath 


Kundalini (koon·duh·lee·nee) - ‘circular’ and references the life force symbolized as a sleeping serpent coiled at the base of the spine


Lila (lee·luh) - ‘play’ or ‘drama’ and references the dance of the Divine, creative play of the cosmos


Mala (muh·luh) - ‘garland’ or ‘impurity’ refers to a string of beads, usually consisting of 108, used to count mantras


Mandala (muhn·duh·luh) - a ‘circle’ and symbolic diagram used for meditation, spiritual practice, focus and insight 


Mantra (muhn·truh) - ‘mind tool’ that employs the use of a sound, word or phrase to generate transformation in meditation and devotional practices


Maya (maa·yaa) - ‘illusion’ and the phenomenal world of perceived duality


Moksha (mok·shuh) - ‘liberation’ or release from the cycle of rebirth 


Mudra (moo·draa) - energetic ‘seal’ or a spiritual gesture that can be made with one’s hands or entire body


Nada (naa·duh) - ancient Indian philosophy and practice known as the yoga of ‘sound’ that acknowledges all existence as consisting of vibration and works with external and internal sound as a method for liberation


Nadis (naa·dees) - ‘channels’ in which energy flows through the subtle body

  • Ida (ee·daa) - left channel associated with the moon

  • Pingala (pin·guh·laa) - right channel associated with the sun

  • Sushumna (soo·shoom·naa) - central channel


Namaste (nuh·muh·stay) - ‘I bow to you’ and used in India as a greeting


Nidra (nih·druh) - yogic ‘sleep’ and the practice of conscious deep relaxation known


Pada (paa·duh) - ‘foot’


Prajna (praaj·nuh) - ‘wisdom’ or ‘understanding’ gained from insight, reasoning, inference and discernment 


Prakriti (pruh·kree·tee) - ‘nature’ and encompasses the basic intelligence and function of the phenomenal universe 


Prana (praa·nuh) - ‘life force’ or ‘vital principle’ and references all energy in the cosmos including the primordial creative power


Puja (poo·juh) - ‘worship’ ritual 


Purusha (poo·roo·shuh) - ‘spirit’ and a name for the unchanging reality


Purusharthas (poo·roo·shaar·thuhs) - ‘objectives of man’ in Hindu philosophy

  • Artha (aar·thuh) - wealth and power

  • Karma (kuhr·muh) - work and action

  • Dharma (dhur·muh) - duty

  • Moksha (mok·shuh) - liberation


Raja (raa·jaa) - ‘king’ and path of meditation considered both a method and the aim of yoga


Sadhana (saa·duh·nuh) - ‘realization’ and spiritual practice 


Samkhya (suhm·khyuh) - a dualistic philosophy of purusha and riti that provided the basis for Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra


Samsara (suhm·saa·ruh) - ‘world’ or cycle of death and rebirth 


Samskara (suhm·skaa·ruh) - ‘mental impressions’ or ‘imprints’ that refers to karmic tendencies and psychological dispositions that

impact one’s memory, perception and behavior


Sanskrit (suhn·skrit) - ‘perfected’ sacred language of Hinduism and classical Hindu philosophy using the Devanagari alphabet


Satsang (suht·suhng) - ‘true assembly’ and references one’s spiritual community


Seva (say·vuh) - ‘service’ and relates to work and worship through selfless action


Shakti (shuhk·tee) - ‘ability’ or ‘strength’ and represents the feminine principle of primordial, sacred and universal Divine energy


Shanti (shaan·tee) - ‘peace’ or ‘inner peace’


Tantra (tuhn·truh) - ‘weaving together’ and references ritual, esoteric practices such as postures, meditation, chanting and visualization to integrate the spiritual and material realm


Upanishad (oo·puh·nee·shuhd) - ‘to sit near or listen’ and references a series of sacred Hindu texts expounding the Vedas and presenting an interconnected universe with a single, unifying principle


Vayu (vaa·yoo) - ‘internal currents’ of energy flowing through the body

  • Prana (praa·nuh)

  • Apana (uh·paa·nuh)

  • Samana (suh·maa·nuh)

  • Udana (oo·daa·nuh)

  • Vyana (vyaa·nuh)

Vedanta (vay·daan·tuh) - references the Upanishads as the ‘end’ of the Vedas and is one of the six classical schools of Indian philosophy

Vedas (vay·duhs) ‘knowledge’ and references the four oldest Hindu texts containing philosophy, hymns and rituals that were initially preserved by oral tradition before being written in Sanskrit with the Devanagari alphabet 

  • Rig (rig) - ‘knowledge of brightness’ and is the oldest text in the world, containing a collection of ceremonial prayers and hymns about the mythology of Hindu deities

  • Yajur (yuh·joor) - ‘knowledge of sacrifice’ and contains instructions for religious rituals

  • Sama (saa·muh) - ‘knowledge of chants’ and contains hymns about religious rituals

  • Atharva (uh·thuhr·vuh) - ‘knowledge of the fire priest’ and contains spells, prayers and hymns 

Vinyasa (vin·yaa·suh) - ‘to place’ or ‘in a special way’ and connotes intentional movement coordinated with breath


Viveka (vi·vay·kuh) - ‘discrimination knowledge’ or right understanding


Yantra (yuhn·truh) a ‘support’, mystical diagram and type of mandala used for meditation, worship and powers 


Yoga (yo·guh) - ‘to yoke’ or unite and references practices intended to support in attaining Moksha 


Yoga Sutra (yo·guh soo·truh) - a classical yoga text rooted in samkhya philosophy that is a collection of aphorisms on the practices and aims of yoga codified by Patanjali


Yugas (yoo·ghus) four ‘ages of the world’ in Hindu cosmology

  • Satya (saught·yuh) or Krita (kri·tuh) - ‘age of truth’ or ‘golden age’

  • Treta (tray·tuh) - ‘age of three’ 

  • Dvapara (daah·pah·ruh) - ‘age of two’ 

  • Kali (kaa·lee) - ‘age of Kali’ or ‘darkness’ 



8 Limbs of classical yoga: 

  • Yama (yuh·muh) - ‘restraints’ that teach moral disciplines as guidelines for proper conduct

    • Ahimsa (uh·him·saa) - ‘non-injury’ or ‘non-violence’, encourages respect for all living things

    • Satya (suht·yaa) - ‘truthfulness’ and encourages honesty, sincerity and authenticity

    • Asteya (uh·stay·yuh) - ‘non·stealing’ and guides us to not take from others, ourselves, the Earth or our future

    • Brahmacharya (bruh·muh·chaar·yuh) - ‘flowing’ or ‘walking with God’ and focuses on moderation and appropriate use of one’s vital energies

    • Aparigraha (uh·puh·ree·gruh·huh) - ‘non·covetousness’ or ‘non·possessiveness’ and seeks to liberate practitioners from greed and grasping

  • Niyama (nee·yuh·muh) -  ‘observances’ that describe personal guidelines for one’s self care

    • Saucha (shau·chuh) - ‘cleanliness’ or ‘purity’ and is the practice of detoxifying, organizing and creating good space in our bodies, relationships and environments

    • Santosha (suhn·to·shuh) - ‘contentment’ and encourages us to take refuge in the present moment by loving what is

    • Tapas (tuh·puhs) - ‘to heat’ or ‘to burn’ and encourages an internal fire through sustained practice and a passion for spiritual discipline

    • Svadhyaya (svaa·dhyaa·yuh) - ‘self study’ and utilizes contemplation, analysis and reflection to aid in witnessing one’s mind

    • Ishvara Pranidhana (eesh·vuh·ruh pruh·ni·dhaa·nuh) - ‘devotion’ or ‘surrender’ to one’s higher power and encourages one to offer the fruits of their actions to the object of one’s devotion

  • Asana (aa·suh·nuh) - ‘seat’ and focuses on the physical practice of postures for one’s health and ability to effectively meditate with an upright, neutral spine

  • Pranayama (praa·naa·yaa·muh) -  ‘breath control’ and explores how to extend one’s life force and influence the layers of one’s body through breathing practices

  • Pratyahara (pruh·tyaa·haa·uh) - 'withdraw' or 'draw in the senses' - the practice of turning one’s attention inward.  This limb translates as ‘bringing together’ and is the practice of drawing in one’s senses and turning attention inward

  • Dharana (dhaa·ruh·nuh) - ‘holding’ and is related to a state of uninterrupted concentration between one’s self and the object of one’s focus

  • Dhyana (dhyaa·nuh) -  ‘meditation’ and utilizes the process of attention, reflection and contemplation in exploring the communication between one’s

  • Samadhi (suh·maa·dhee) - ‘established’ or ‘to make firm’ and relates to a state of union with the object of one’s uninterrupted focus and the transcendence of the individual self or absorption into Source





  • Trimurti (tree·mhur·tee) - Hindu trinity of ‘three forms’ or ‘embodiments’ of the unchanging reality

    • Brahma (bruh·muh) - the creator and grandsire of humanity

    • Vishnu (vish·noo) - ‘all pervasive’ blue skinned deity known for being the preserver, maintainer and protector

      • Rama (raa·muh) - 7th incarnation of Vishnu is the king and primary character in a great Hindu epic where he battles a demon king to reclaim his wife

      • Krishna (krish·nuh) - 8th incarnation of Vishnu whose name means both ‘all attractive’ and ‘dark one’, who grew up as a cowherd and is the charioteer and guru of the hero in the Mahabharata

      • Buddha (boo·duh) - 9th incarnation of Vishnu whose name means ‘awakened one’ and who denied the authority of the Vedas and the legitimacy of the caste system, while teaching a path to end suffering

    • Shiva (shi·vuh) - ‘auspicious one’ who represents divine consciousness known as the destroyer, transformer and Lord of Yoga

      • Hanuman (haa·noo·maan) - the monkey god of strength and devotion, son of Vayu and incarnation of Shiva, as well as a primary character in the Ramayana as a loyal friend and devotee of Rama


  • Tridevi (tree·dai·vee) - ‘three goddesses’ 

    • Saraswati (suh·ruh·svuh·tee) - ‘possessor of water’ and goddess of knowledge, music and the arts, who was initially the consort of Brahma

    • Lakshmi (luhk·shmee) - ‘she who leads to one’s goal’ and goddess of material and spiritual prosperity, generosity and courage who is the consort of Vishnu

      • Sita (see·tuh) - incarnation of Lakshmi and queen and consort of Rama in the Ramayana is known for her purity, dedication and self·sacrifice

      • Radha (raad·huh) - incarnation of Lakshmi known for her love, compassion and devotion is the chief of the milkmaids and consort of Krishna in the Mahabharata

    • Parvati (paar·vuh·tee) - ‘daughter of the mountain’ and goddess of love, fertility, harmony and power who is the consort of Shiva

      • Durga (door·guh) - ‘invincible’ incarnation of Parvati celebrated as the fearless warrior who killed the buffalo demon

      • Kali (kaa·lee) - the goddess of time and change whose name means ‘black’ and is a terrifying incarnation of Parvati


  • Agni (uhg·nee) - the god of fire who protects the home, aids in digestion and purification, and carries offerings to other deities

  • Chandra (chuhn·druh) - the lunar deity who rides his chariot across the night sky and is the lord of the moon and vegetation

  • Ganesha (guh·nay·shuh) - the god of wisdom, understanding and success, as well as the elephant-headed eldest son of Shiva often evoked in new endeavors

  • Garuda (guh·roo·duh) - the half-bird, half-man ‘king of birds’ that soars the skies with Vishnu on his back and eats only snakes as a symbol for destroying the ego

  • Indra (in·druh) - the god of rain, lightning and war that carries the thunderbolt as his weapon and creates rainbows with his bow

  • Surya (soor·yuh) - solar deity is honored by facing east during yoga practice and worshiped at dawn by many Hindus

  • Vayu (vaa·yoo) - the god of air and wind that has the ability to purify and create change by blowing with his huge lung capacity

  • Yama (yuh·muh) - the god of death, justice and the underworld who helps maintain order and harmony

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