Glossary: The Beginning =)
Labels:Some essential and necessary yoga terms. Let's start with "A"!
Abhyanga: A specialized oil application and massage.
Agni: Digestive and metabolic fire.
Ama: Poorly digested food material that accumulates in the body.
Ama Visha: An especially harmful, disease-promoting type of ama that contains highly reactive toxins.
Amrit kalash: literally means "container of immortality".
Ananda: Bliss or joy. In Indian philosophy of the Upanishads, Ananda was an important attribute of the supreme being, Brahman. "Bliss" was used to define Brahman and was also considered to be the highest state of the individual self.
Ananda Yoga: Ananda Yoga focuses on gentle postures designed to move the body's energy to different organs and muscles, but primarily to the brain to prepare for meditation.
Antahkarana: The mind.
Antaratma: The inner self, residing in the heart.
Ardha Chandrasana: In Hatha Yoga, the Half-Moon posture.
Ardha Padmasana: the Half-Lotus posture in Hatha Yoga.
Arjuna: The hero of the Indian epic Mahabharata, he was the friend and devotee of Lord Krishna, who revealed the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita to him on the eve of the battle.
Artha: Worldly wealth, the pursuit of wealth and social status.
Artharya Veda: "Knowledge of Incantations", the fourth Veda.
Aryans: The migrant invaders of India from approximately 1500 b.c; people of spiritual values.
Asampranjata: The highest super-conscious state where the mind is completely stilled and Reality is experienced.
Asana: Originally an immobile body posture; a seat or sitting posture that was used for meditation and to help facilitate perfect concentration. Hatha yoga developed this practice into a series of asanas or postures.
Ashram: A spiritual settlement or community, a peaceful retreat. A place to meditate or study the philosophy of Yoga.
Ashramas: Nearly 2,000 years ago, the dharma texts described the four ashramas (stages of life). It taught that a man should first be a chaste student, then become a married householder who honors his ancestors by begetting sons, then devote himself to spiritual contemplation, and finally, become a homeless wandering ascetic.
Ashtanga: The eight parts or stages into which the sage Patanjali divided Yoga. He wrote a structural and functional analysis of the techniques, called the "Yoga Sutras" which to this day are still considered to be the single most definitive treatise on the subject.
Ashtanga Yoga: A Yoga regimen commonly know as "Power Yoga", Ashtanga is a flowing practice in which the postures are linked together and are always done in the exact same sequence.
Asthi: One of the seven bodily constituents, mainly bone and bone metabolism.
Asthi Soshirya: Porous or brittle bones; osteoporosis.
Atmajnana: Knowledge of the Self.
Atman: The self as Spirit which is eternal and super-conscious; our true nature or identity, or spiritual essence. Sometimes a distinction is made between the atman as the individual self and the Parame-Atman, as the transcendental self
Atmiyata: The feeling of oneness.
Avadhuta: An enlightened being who lives in a state beyond body-consciousness.
Avatar: A divine incarnation of God, usually incarnations of Vishnu and his wife Laksmi. Krishna and Rama are the two principal ones, while Buddha is considered the ninth avatar of Vishnu.
Ayurveda: A division of the Vedic literature that deals with health, literally "knowledge of the totality of life". Originated in India approximately 3,000 years ago. It is still a favored form of health care in India. Ayurvedic medicine is both preventive and curative. The preventive part emphasizes the need for a strict code of personal and social hygiene. The curative aspect of Ayurvedic medicine involves the use of herbal medicines, Yoga, and diet.