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THE BIG BOOK OF YOGA: GLOSSARY

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GLOSSARY

Akasha - Sanskrit word roughly translated as "ether" or "space". Considered the "fifth element", after earth, water, fire, and air, akasha represents the underlying connective essence beneath all elements and material realities, similar to the role of the space-time "fabric" in modern physics. Akasha is the element which governs Vishuddha chakra, the 5th chakra.

See also: Interactive Chakra Map(Hindu:Vishuddha Chakra)

Ananda - Sanskrit word meaning "the bliss of pure being".

See also: Interactive Kosha Map

Asana - From Sanskrit "to sit down". Refers to any physical posture adopted in Yoga practice. Asanas are a central component of the Hatha Yoga system.

Ashtanga Yoga -

1. 8-limbed system of Yoga Sutra, comprised of morals, ethics, posture, breathwork, and meditation.
2. A contemporary style of Hatha Yoga, developed by the Indian teacher Sri Pattabhi Jois.

Astral body - A subtle layer of the human body, commonly associated with the emotional consciousness.

See also: astral projection, Interactive Kosha Map, kosha

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Astral projection - An out-of-body experience in which the subject's perceptions (usually visual and auditory) extends beyond the limits of the physical body. Experience oftentimes carries an emotional component. This phenomenon occurs in the astral body.

See also: astral body, kosha

Atman - Sanskrit for "universal spirit". "Self" with a capital-S - the great unifying essence of which all beings are a reflection.

See also: jivatman

Bandha - Sanskrit for "lock" or "contraction", used in the Hatha Yoga practice not only as a technique by itsef, but also to contain and intensify the effects of other techniques. The three primary bandhas are Mulabandha (contraction of the pelvic floor), Uddiyana Bandha (upwards suction of the diaphragm), and Jalandhara Bandha (contraction and compression of the throat).

Basti - The yogic practice of enema, performed with water (jala basti), or without water (sthala basti). One of the 6 purifying actions of the Shatkarma system in Hatha Yoga.

See also: shatkarma

Chakra - Sanskrit for "wheel", used in Yoga to describe energetic centers in the subtle bodies.

See also: Interactive Chakra Map

Muladhara Chakra - 1st chakra, related to vitality, grounding, and stability. Governed by the earth element.

Swadhisthana Chakra - 2nd chakra, related to creativity, fantasy, sensuality, and sexuality. Governed by the water element.

Manipura Chakra - 3rd chakra, related to courage, confidence, power, and ego. Governed by the fire element.

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