Yoga & Meditation Terminology

If ever you hear a word or phrase that you don't understand, never be afraid to ask us what it means, you can bet there will be others in your class who are probably asking themselves the same question too. Throughout your yoga training experiences, you will hear a variety of terms used by that may seem confusing.

You don’t need to know or even begin to understand them all but the following provides some meaning to the more common words you may hear:


Word / PhraseDefinition
AbhiniveshaSurvival instinct
Bhakti YogaEmphasises the devotion to the divine
ChakrasCenters of energy, the main 7 are located between the base of your spinal column and the crown or your head
Hatha Yoga, HaHa:Sun Tha: Moon a type of yoga primarily concerned with mastering control over the physical body as a path to enlightenment
Jnana YogaEmphasises questioning and meditation
Kriya YogaFocuses on action and participation in life
Mantra YogaInvolves chanting of sounds
OmA mystic syllable that is used as a mantra
PadmasanaLotus pose
Pingala- A channel on the right side of the spine through which prana moves
Ida - A channel on the left side of spine through which prana moves
Shushumna - The channel in the core of the spine through which prana moves
PranaSoul of the universe
PranayamaBreathing exercises
Raja YogaFocuses on the control of the intellect in order to obtain enlightenment
SamadhiGoal of yoga, becoming aware of nothing
Tantra YogaMade up of different rituals
UpanishadsAncient scriptures of Hindu philosophy that describe the path of Jnana Yoga
YogaTo yoke or join together
YogiOne who practices yoga
VinyasaGrouping of yoga postures that flow together
MindfulnessProcess of being fully present with your thoughts.
ReikiUniversal life force energy spiritual energy/feeling
MudraSymbolic or ritual hand gestures that lock & guide energy
TratakaSanskrit word meaning loo or gaze technique focusing on
MooladharaBase Chakra/ enregy centre
SwadisthanaSecond or sacral chakra/ energy centre
ManipuraThird chakra/ energy centre (Solar plexus)
AnahataFourth Chakra/ energy centre (heart centre)
VishuddhiFifth Chakra/ energy centre (Throat)
AjnaSixth Chakra/ energy centre (Brow/Third eye)
SahasraraSeventh Chakra/ energy centre (Crown)
NadisSanskrit word for channel
AuraAn energy field that surrounds all living things

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