Glossary of Yogic terms you may hear in class

Asana: yogic body posture that is steady and comfortable. In Sanskrit 'asana' means to be seated. A position of sitting, reclining, standing, inverting, twisting, and balancing.

Bandha: body lock or bind in yoga to regulate the flow of prana. The 4 types are mula, uddiyana, jalandhara and maha.

Kundalini: energy located at the base of the spine.Kundalini means 'coiled one'. By practicing aligned yoga postures, controlled pranayama and deep meditation it may awaken kundalini and channel the energy upwards towards the crown chakra for bliss state enlightenment.

Chakra: energy centre points in the subtle body. Chakra means wheel or circle. Chakras are connected by energy channels or nadis. There are 7 -12 types of chakras.

Drishti: single-pointed, focused eye gaze positions for developing stillness of mind. There are 9-12 different gaze points.

Mantra: high vibrational sounds, words or phrases to alter consciousness and bring a deep

meditative state. 

Mudra: hand gestures that seal the flow of energy in the body. The positioning of fingers and thumbs represent elements and planets that create different outcomes to mind,body, subtle and causal bodies.

Ida nadi: one of the 3 main energy channels located along the spine.

Ida nadi is located on the left of the spine and runs up and exits through the left nostril. Ida nadi corresponds to the rIght hemisphere of the brain and is associated with moon energy.

Maha bandha: the 'great seal' of all 3 interior energy locks performed together to control and harness prana in the body.

Mula bandha: interior energy lock at the base of the body to control and harness prana in the body. 

Pranayama: controlled breathing exercises to harness pranic energy to expand,liberate, purify and steady the mind for meditation.

Pingala nadi: one of the 3 main energy channels located along the spine. Pingala nadi flows along the right side of the spine and runs up and exits through the right nostril. Pingala nadi corresponds to the left hemisphere of the brain and is associated with the sun energy.


Savasana: restorative asana practised at the end of class to release, consolidate and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.

Sushumna nadi: one of the 3 main energy channels located along the spine.

Located at the centre axis of the spinal column, it is considered the central channel for the rise of kundalini energy and pranic flow into the chakras.

Uddiyana bandha: interior energy lock located below the navel point to control and harness prana in the body.

Jalandhara bandha: interior energy lock of the chin and throat to control and harness prana in the body.

Nadi: 72,000 energy channels within the body to distrubute vital prana to the chakras and systems in the body.

Kriya: A set of yogic practices, controlled breath techniques and sound to bring about a specific outcome. In Sanskrit, kriya means 'completed action'. 

Prana: life force energy or chi found in the universe. With breathng exercises, prana flows through the nadis and chakras bringing energy to be utilised in the body when needed.

VInyasa: synchronised movement and breath practised to a series of asana to create physical heat to purify the mind, body and soul.

Yoga: in Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create union between body, mind and soul, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness.


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