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THE BIG BOOK OF YOGA: GLOSSARY

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Anahata Chakra - 4th chakra, related to caring, altruism, and affection. Governed by the air element.

Vishuddha Chakra - 5th chakra, related to purity, higher intuition, and speech. Governed by the akasha element.

Ajna Chakra - 6th chakra, related to intellect, concentration, and insight. Governed by the mind element.

Sahasrara Chakra - 7th chakra, related to pure being and spiritual inspiration. Beyond elemental influence.

Dharana - From Sanskrit "to hold or maintain", refers to the development of mental concentration. This is the 6th stage of the 8-stage Yoga of Yoga Sutra. See also: Yoga Sutra

Dhauti - From the Sanskrit "cleansing", refers to Hatha Yoga practices for cleansing the internal and external physical body.

See also: shatkarma

Dhyana - From the Sanskrit "to contemplate", refers to the development of meditative stabilization. This is the 7th stage of the 8-stage Yoga of Yoga Sutra.

See also: Yoga Sutra

Etheric field - The energetic layer of the being. For more on this, see Chapter Three: Subtle Anatomy 101.

See also: pranamayakosha

Guru - Sanskrit for "teacher". In Hatha Yoga, a guru is one who instructs a student in the proper practice of Yoga, and who oversees the student's progress along every step of the way.

Root guru - A term used for one's most important teacher (as Yogis may have several teachers along the course of their practice). This term usually appears more in Tibetan discussions of student-teacher relationships.

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Hatha Yoga - A system of Yoga which, in its initial stages, employs extensive techniques for refining the physical body.

See also: asana, bandha, mudra, pranayama, shatkarma

Indriya - Sanskrit for "sense organ". The word organ is used loosely here. Can be used to describe either organs which perceive sensory information (eyes, ears, skin, etc.), or organs which carry out some action of output/volition - the throat for speech, the anus for waste elimination, etc.)

Jivatman - From the Sanskrit jiva ("living force" or "being") and atman ("soul"). The seat of the individual soul; The reflection in an individual body of the great universal spirit, Atman.

See also: Atman

Kanda - The nexus of all energetic channels in the subtle body. Different texts vary in describing its location, but kanda is most likely located in the lower belly, a few inches below the navel and slightly under the surface of the skin. This point is also identified similarly in Taoist, Buddhist, and Central American esoterica.

Kapalabhati - Sanskrit compound meaning "skull cleansing"; describes a technique of rapid breathing meant to purify the energy of the head. One of the 6 purifying actions of the Shatkarma system in Hatha Yoga.

See also: shatkarma

Karma - Sanskrit for "action". A concept, present in many Indian philosophies, that any action creates a ripple or momentum that reappears to the actor at some point in the future. The cause-and-effect chain of karmic momentum is considered in Yoga to be that which prevents one's consciousness from achieving a condition of stillness - the momentum of karma is a movement which resists any effort towards stasis. Similar to the Biblical adage, "Whatever a man may sow, so shall he reap."

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