Yoga Terms

OneLoveYogaSidebar_092615If you’re planning on attending One Love Long Island (OLLI)’s fourth annual yoga festival at Sand Point Preserve on Saturday, Sept. 26, you may want to know these terms:

Asanas: Yoga postures that are gentle stretching movements designed to help balance the mind and body.

Ashram: A retreat or secluded place, usually where the principles of yoga and meditation are practiced.

Chakra: A center of radiating life force or energy that is located between the base of the spinal column and the crown of the head. Sanskrit for “wheels.” There are seven chakras.

Mantra: A sacred mystic syllable, word or verse used in meditation and japa (muttered, low or internal voice) to quiet the mind, balance the inner body and attain other desired aims.

Meditation: An exercise where an individual trains the mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness in an attempt to attain a higher level of spiritual awareness.

Namaste: The gesture namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Om: Or “aum,” a single-sound mantra that signifies the unification of the body, mind and spirit. This is an ancient Indian chant from where the whole world was created and radiates. Om is also the vibration symbolizing Brahman. It was said that enlightenment and unification with the Supreme Being can be attained through this natural sound.

Pranayama: A Sanskrit word meaning “extension of the prana or breath” or more accurately, “extension of the life force.” The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, prana, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and “ay-ma,” to extend or draw out.

Singing bowls (also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, rin gongs, Himalayan bowls or suzu gongs): A type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting. The sides and rim of singing bowls vibrate to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency (first harmonic) and usually two audible harmonic overtones (second and third harmonic)

Sun salutation: A repetition of yoga postures in a sequence.

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