2. Asana –The word refers to both the place in which a yoga practitioner sits and the physical posture in which he/she sits. The word is often placed at the end of a pose’s name, such as in “Savasana”3. Ashtanga – Eight-limbed union. The eight branches/paths are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadi. You may also have heard of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga – it is a style of yoga popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 20th century, and is considered by many as the modern-day form of classical Indian yoga
4. Ayurveda – Life science; a system of medicine in India
5. Bhakti – Love and devotion toward the Divine; worship and piety
6. Chakra – The wheel of the wagon, or the spiraling points of energy in the body. There are seven common chakras: root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown
7. Dharma – In Hinduism, it means the principle of cosmic order; in Buddhism, it can be defined as the teaching or religion of the Buddha. It is derived from the root word dhr, which means “to hold, maintain, or keep”
8. Dhyana – Meditation; it is the seventh limb of Ashtanga
10. Japa – The meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name
11. Karma – The sum of a person’s actions in the present existence, which determines their fate in future existences, or the samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth
12. Kundalini-Shakti – Also known as the serpent power, Kundalini-shakti is a primal energy located at the base of the spine. It is believed that in order to reach full spiritual enlightenment and bliss, kundalini has to be awakened, through methods such as meditation, pranayama, the chanting of mantras, and of course, yoga!
14. Mandala – a circle or a concentric structure representing the universe, unity, and harmony
15. Namaste – The word can be divided into three parts: means “bow”, “reverential salutation”, or “adoration”; means “I,” and means “to you.” Together, Namaste means “I bow to you,” and is used for both salutation and valediction. Click here to learn more about it!
16. Niyama – The second limb of Ashtanga, Niyama can be translated to positive duties or observances, which consists of purity of mind, contentment, acceptance of others, austerity, perseverance, self-reflection, and attunement to the supreme consciousness
17. Om – A sacred sound and a mantra, Om symbolizes the ultimate reality and is one of the most important spiritual symbols in Hinduism and Buddhism
18. Pranayama – The control of breath. It is the fourth limb of Ashtanga, and consists of inhalation, retention, and exhalation
20. Savasana – also known as the Corpse Pose, Savasana is a relaxing pose usually practice at the end of a yoga session. Although seemingly easy, many would say Savasana is the most difficult of asanas, as the art of relaxation is difficult to master.
22. Shiva – One of the principle deities of Hinduism, Shiva is the Supreme being who creates, protects, and transforms the universe. He is also the God of destruction, regeneration, mediation, arts, and yoga
23. Sutra – an aphorism in the form of a manual that can be found commonly in ancient and medieval Indian texts; it also means string or thread
24. Tantra – loom, weave; it is also traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that are associated with Shaktism
25. Yama – Restraint or self-control; it is the first branch of the eightfold path. The most often mentioned yamas are kindness, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and compassion
26. Vinyasa – A dynamic, flowing form of yoga where our asanas and pranayama are in synchrony. It is characterized by breath-controlled movement