• Glossary

  • A

    • ASANA
      A position or posture.  In Yoga classes, it has become synonymous with yoga exercises.  Originally it meant the position you take to meditate.  In the Yoga Sutras (ca 500 CE) it is defined as "a position of steadiness and ease". It is pronounced AHSana, not aSAHNa


    • BREATH
      Old English or Anglo Saxon word for air taken into the lungs.  The Latin word for the same thing is "spirit". Inspiration = breathing in, expiration = breathing out, aspiration = breathing towards something.


      Being dissatisfied with stimuli coming from outside yourself.  The opposite of self-containment or mindfulness


      Yoga that is based on the Yoga Sutras, from the Classical period of the development of Yoga and Classical Sanskrit.  It takes meditation to be central to any practice of Yoga.  The original meaning of "yoga" is the unity of individual being and universal being.

  • D

    • DEATH
      The end of the mind's idea of itself

      Sitting to meditate every day


      a meaningless word. No "light" turns on or comes in.  The word has been invented by English speakers who didn't  understand.  In other literature the state is called Self-Realisation, or Liberation - Liberation from the person, not of the person.

    • FOLLY
      Chasing happiness instead of realising that happiness is a choice.  Situations happen often without our intention, but our mental state is ours to choose.

      The English word for Kaivalya - Absolute Freedom - the purpose and result of Yoga, according to the Yoga Sutras.

      A broad-minded acceptance of others and their stuff

  • H

      A state of contentment (santosha in Sanskrit) which is a choice, not a result.  Such a chosen state may also lead to broad-mindedness, generosity, problem-solving and optimism.

    • HOLY
      Etymologically the word holy means "whole, entire, uninjured, perfect". This is curiously similar to an ancient Sanskrit word, "purna" meaning "perfect, whole, entire". It is repeated over and again in a chant that means, This is perfect (or whole, or complete, or entire), that is perfect, from the perfect comes the perfect; take the perfect away from the perfect, only the perfect remains... OM.. peace, peace, peace" And curiously again, this seems to point to the more common English notion of "holy" meaning "related to the divine".

    • I
      The mind's idea of itself, the ego


    • JOY
      A state of profound contentment and pleasure with life, generally acquired after relinquishing ego, that is, the mistaken notion that "I"am somehow separate from mind and body and much more important

  • K

      The mind's conviction that its concepts are facts

    • KARMA
      A sequence of causes and effects, usually in a chain more complex and longer than  you can seeL

      The mind's conviction that its concepts are facts

    • KARMA
      A sequence of causes and effects, usually in a chain more complex and longer than  you can see

  • L

    • LAW
      An inevitable, predictable and irrefutable sequence in the natural order, eg the Law of Gravity.  No moral aspect to it, only intrinsic certainty

    • LEVITY
      A Zen-like quality in one's approach to life, not getting dragged down by personal discomforts such as illness or bankruptcy