Yogic Terms & Recommended Reading


Advaita (“nonduality”): the truth and teaching that there is only One Reality that is not of this world. There is one Love of which we are a part, seamlessly connect as One in Spirit.

Ahamkara (“I-maker”): the individuation principle, or ego, which must be transcended to awaken from the dream and join as One.

Ahimsa Non-harming state of mind

Akasha (“ether/space”): the first of the five material elements that give rise to the illusion of form. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, neither time nor space can exist independently, but together they give rise to the universe that resembles a thought more than a thing.

Amrita (“immortal/immortality”): a designation of the deathless Spirit or Atman

Ananda (“bliss”): the condition of utter joy, which is an essential quality of shared reality as One in Heaven.

Artha: “prosperity”

Asana (“seat”): a physical posture or shape; the third limb of Patanjali’s eightfold path

Ashtanga yoga (eight-limbed union): the eightfold yoga of Patanjali, consisting of discipline (yama), self-restraint (niyama), posture (asana), breath control (pranayama), sensory inhibition (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and ecstasy (samadhi), leading to liberation (kaivalya)

Atman (“Self”): Spark or Spirit which is eternal. It is the memory of Heaven that we took with us into the dream. Remembered or unified with, It brings peace and Guidance as true Self.

Avidya (“ignorance”): the root cause of suffering (duhkha) is the limited self-identification with the ego or the believe in separation.

Bhagavad Gita (“Lord’s Song”): the oldest full-fledged yoga book found embedded in the Mahabharata and containing the teachings on karma yoga (the path of self-transcending action), samkhya yoga (the path of discerning the principles of existence correctly), and bhakti yoga (the path of devotion), as given by God or Krishna to Prince Arjuna on the battlefield of life to help him transcend it all together. It’s a parable that describes helps each of us overcome the world.

Bhakti (“devotion/love”): Love and light felt as an extension of the Divine

Bodhi (“enlightenment”): the state of the awakened mind, or buddha

Bodhisattva (“enlightenment being”): in Mahayana Buddhist yoga, the individual who, motivated by compassion awakens for the sake of all. It’s what we are each called to become and brings purpose to a lifetime. We heal together or not at all.

Brahmacharya restraint (in mind) to overcome the grip of bodily attraction.

Brahman God or Perfect undifferentiated Love

Buddha (“awakened”): a designation of the person who has attained enlightenment (bodhi) and therefore inner freedom; honorific title of Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, who lived in the sixth century B.C.E.

Cit the healed mind, whole, perfectly clear and unified with God

Citta (“that which is conscious”): ordinary consciousness, the unhealed mind, as opposed to cit