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A Sanskrit Glossary

Commonly used Sanskrit words used in Yoga and Dharma studies

Sanskrit is thought to be the world’s first language from which all have evolved or been influenced by. The sounds are primal and focussed on describing a world view based on the intrinsic nature of matter, and an internal world view describing the nature of mankind.

These words are used in books about Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism and they are often a challenge to understand.

A.

Abhyasa: practice – the act of practising

Acharya: teacher

Adwaita a philosophy according to which there is no duality – only a singular state of consciousness

Agni: fire

Agnisar kriya: one of the shatkarmas (cleansing practices) -intestinal cleansing

Aham: ego

Ahimsa: a yoga Continue reading A Sanskrit Glossary

What is The Soul?

And the nature of being human

Meditation by Alex Gray

For many people, this question is irrelevant to their lives as they have in a way made peace with their suffering and are content to live in relative darkness. In contrast, those who give thought and attention to this question find that they can transcend their suffering, identify themselves as being human and unlocking the mysteries of the universe.

Before plunging into an attempted definition let us remember that we live within a realm of existence whose boundaries are incalculable. We are dealing here with cosmology as well as metaphysics and like the universe itself, ideas that are so immensely huge few people attempt them.

Asking such a

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The Heart of Yoga

Shiva, Parvati – purusha – prakriti

In cosmic understanding, Siva contains the potentiality of existence and Shakti is the force that stirs creative action. Respectively Siva is termed male and Shakti as female.

At an earthly level Shiva is the masculine reflection of creation and Parvati the female yet both are concepts of wonderment not to be understood, but celebrated.

In a similar way Purusha is the witness to creation, uninvolved and associated with the soul of mankind, an energy less active whereas Prakriti is the ever changing material universe.

These are key scientific concepts said to have been formulated by the Samkhya school of yoga thousands of years ago. They refer to the primal matter with three different

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Defining Beauty

A state of perception

Beauty is a concept that crosses all of life, yet it’s as impossible to define as life itself, but there are some commonalities from passive perception to active experience.

At its root, beauty is mathematical as reprsented by the Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers, proportioned and pleasing to the eyes and is also expressed as the ‘golden mean’ or ‘golden ratio’.

Perception is an activity of our senses and to some extent influenced by our education, beliefs and state of mind. A depressed person may not recognise beauty as a happy person may do.

But as with life, there are many who attempt to decide for other’s what is beautiful and what is not,

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Samkya Yoga

Samkya (or Sankya) Yoga – Yoga of Mind

Samkhya (सांख्य) is one of the lesser known schools of Yoga and is based on the sutras, or writings of the sage Kapila. Hindus believe this Yoga philosopher was none other than the god Vishnu, the son of Brahman in one of his earthly reincarnations.

On the surface, the sutras seem to be merely a series of philosophical propositions, yet students of this school affirm that a study of them will lead to samadhi and mental deliverance.

Samkhya also referred to as Sankhya, Sāṃkhya, or Sāṅkhya, a Sanskrit word that depending on the context, means “to reckon, count, enumerate, calculate, deliberate, reason, reasoning by numeric enumeration, relating to number,

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What Defines a Hindu?

And could you become a Hindu

The idea of Hinduism as most people know Rosen India and in the Western world the colour and joyfulness is spreading. In the streets of almost every major city in the world people are coming out and dancing, chanting and celebrating. Increasing numbers of people are joining these movements so what about you?

As discussed in previous posts, the term Hindu is one of geography and properly refers to the geographic region of greater India more correctly known as Bharat and sometimes written as Bharatha. However in this modern era the term Hindu is applied as a religious label.

This is extremely confusing because anyone born in India is automatically a Hindu. Therefore Moslems,

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The Five Koshas

The subtle anatomy of man

Kosha, usually rendered “sheath”, is one of five coverings of the Atman, or Self according to Vedantic philosophy. According to Vedanta, the wise person being aware of the subtle influences of the five elements within each kosha, ever discerns the Self amidst appearances.

In other words, if the individual has some appreciation of these aspects of self, then in daily life they exist in a state of calm abiding and less reactive to worldly phenomena.

Physical – Annamaya Kosha

Anna means food. All of the physical aspects of life come and go, and are consumed by another aspect of external reality. Thus, the outermost of the koshas is called the sheath of food, or

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Life is Big

Experiencing the unthinkable and charting your course

Life is a big project that by fussing about small things and wasting time in big ones we miss out on the real joy and potential of our lives. It is wiser to consider human life to be finite, limited and very short as time flies, and before it flies away, capture few good moments of life that is free of stains, biases and foolish ideas imposed by some obscure theory, book or idea. Do not waste away your precious life in someone else’ wars and battles that wont contribute any thing to our life.

Why to be so obsessive about religion, politics and other dividing issues? They do not enrich common

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Salamba Sarvangasana

Yoga Asana Series

The shoulder stand inversion

Image via yogibe on Tumblr

Within classical hatha yoga, Salamba Sarvangasana or shoulder stand is most often done following headstand in order to create an energetic balance. But one should should learn and be comfortable doing shoulder stand for 3 to 5 minutes before incorporating head stand into one’ practise.

The objective is to balance the body primarily on the shoulders and elbows with minimal weight on the back of the neck or head as demonstrated Very few people are naturally as flexible as the woman in this right image and such a performance generally comes after many years of practice. However very few people are naturally

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Meditation

Oneness in stillness or action

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity” ~ Voltaire 1694-1778

MEDITATION The process of Meditation is a part of Raja Yoga. Just as Hatha Yoga is primarily concerned with the body, Raja Yoga is primarily concerned with the mind and is supported when:

All undesirable thoughts have been removed from the mind. The mind has been freed from the burden of unnecessary elements. Your basic desires are now rooted in your mind. Steps for proper care, and protection, have been taken to ensure satisfactory growth of the symbolic seeds. Steps have also been taken to weed out the unwanted growth from

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