Sanskrit Terms Found in Yoga


Sanskrit is an ancient language derived from India in which the original texts about yoga are written.  I am not a Sanskrit Scholar and have compiled these definition from my own study of these texts and their translations to further your understanding of my blog.  I will add words as they come up. Words are in alphabetical order.


Ahimsa – non – violence


Aparigraha – to not be greedy


Asana- The physical yoga postures.


Asteya– not coveting others possessions


Bramachamera –sexual restraint ( not necessarily celebacy)


Dharana – a state of consciousness whereby the mind is directed to one point


Dhyana – meditation


Hatha Yoga- The physical path of yoga which aim to unify the two energies ha (on the left)  and tha (on the right) so that they merge in the centre of the spine.  The term Hatha Yoga is often used in the west to describe a gentle yoga asana class, although really all asana is essentially Hatha yoga.


Isvarapranidhana – surrender to god


Kundalini –Spiritual energy coiled at the base of the spine.  Descikachar 1  describes kundalini as a blockage of the energy at the base of the spine, although it is often used to describe the energy itself.


Niyama – ethical guidance concerning our dealings with ourselves


Pranayama- breathing exercises, control of prana, our life force


Pratyahra – sense withdrawal


Raja Yoga – The yoga path as outlined by Patanjali, in which Samadhi is the goal.


Sadhaka – Spiritual practitioner.


Samadhi – The eighth limb of Ashtanga Yoga, a state of oneness where only the object of meditation is present.


Samtosa – being content with what you have


Satya – truthfulness


Sauca – cleanliness


Svasdyaya – self inquiry


Tapas – keeping the body fit,  to create  heat in the body and thus cleanse it


Yama – ethical guidance concerning our dealings with society


1.  The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice