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THE BIG BOOK OF YOGA: GLOSSARY

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Morphogenetic fields - Term coined by Rupert Sheldrake, describes a theoretical field or "blueprint" which exists outside of, but in close relation to, the physical body of any organism. Holds the organizational schema for organic formation and development. Morphogenetic fields are proposed to exist not only for individual organisms, but for entire species as well. Closely related to the Yogic concept of an energetic body.

See also: kosha

Mudra - Sanskrit for "seal"; in the context of Hatha Yoga, describes a series of powerful practices which mix physical techniques and mental visualization, for purification and energizing effects.

Nadis - Channels in the body's subtle anatomy which carry prana (life energy). Traditional texts describe anywhere from thousands to millions of nadis, although only 14 are of principle importance. For more on nadis, see Chapter Three: Subtle Anatomy 101.

See also: ida nadi, pingala nadi, susumna nadi, sen lines, meridians.

Ida nadi - Channel of cooling, lunar energy running up the left side of the body

Pingala nadi - Channel of heating, solar energy running up the right side of the body.

Sushumna nadi - Channel of neutral, purified energy running up the center of the body along the spinal cord.

Kurma nadi - Channel of refined spiritual energy; begins in the pit of the throat and ascends to the crown.

Nauli - From the Sanskrit "abdominal muscles", "navel string", or alternately, "boat". Describes the lateral churning of the muscles of the abdomen, found in Hatha Yoga as one of the 6 purifying actions of the Shatkarma system. Also known as "lauliki", from the Sanskrit "to roll or agitate".

See also: shatkarma

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Neti - Sanskrit for "nasal cleansing"; describes the practice of clearing out the nasal passages with either water or string. One of the 6 purifying actions of the Shatkarma system in Hatha Yoga.

See also: shatkarma

Niyama - Sanskrit for "restraint"; describes the yogic code of ethics and self-discipline. This is the 2nd stage of the 8-stage Yoga of Yoga Sutra.

See also: yama, Yoga Sutra

Patanjali - Supposed author of Yoga Sutra, a classic work in yogic literature.

See also: Yoga Sutra

Prana - Sanskrit for "breath" or "life energy". Both definitions are used interchangeably in Hatha Yoga. For more on Prana, see Chapter Three: Subtle Anatomy 101.

Earth prana - Energy which rises upward from the Earth. Characteristically heavy, solid, nourishing, and full of vitality.

Heaven prana - Energy which descends downward from the sky. Characteristically light, dynamic, energizing, and ephemeral.

Jing - Taoist term for prana in its gross, material form. Prana at this level takes the form of horomones and reproductive fluids.

Qi - Taoist term for prana.

See also: prana

Shen - Taoist term for prana in the form of refined spiritual energy. Related to the energy of Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras.

See also: ajna chakra, sahasrara chakra

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