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Glossary of Common Yoga Terms

Ayurveda: The traditional Indian system of medicine based on a holistic approach rooted in Vedic culture. Ayurveda means "science of life". Many Ayurveda health treatments incorporate the use of specific yoga postures.

Asanas: The postures of hatha yoga.

Eight Fold Path: The paths of yoga that Patanjali described in the Yoga Sutras. They are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi.

Hatha Yoga: A major Hindu discipline utilizing pranayama and asanas. In the Sanskrit language Ha means sun and tha means moon.

Mantra: A specific word or phrase chanted inwardly and repeatedly during meditation.

Pantanjali: Indian scholar who first collected and organized all of the knowledge of yoga of his day and compiled it in a book called the Yoga Sutras. Little in known about his life or exactly when he lived, though it is generally believed to have been around the year 200 A.D.

Prana: The universal life force.

Pranayama: Yogic breathing.

Rajasic: Spicy and pungent foods that speed up the body and may lead to overstimulation.

Sattvic: Fresh, pure unadulterated food. Devote students of yoga try to eat mainly sattvic food.

Tasmasic: Impure foods. Processed, factory farmed, preserved, pickled, stale, salted and packaged foods are examples of tasmasic foods.

Sutras: Sanskrit word for "threads".

Yoga Sutras: Classic yoga text written work by the scholar Pantanjali. The Yoga Sutras are often referred to as the "Bible of Yoga".




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