Dictionary of Yoga Terms

yoga dictionary and vocabulary yoga definitions



  • is a technique used in a meditation practice, is one of the six purification techniques, called shatkarmas, of Hatha yoga. Trataka is a Sanskrit word, which means "to look" or "to gaze." As such, this meditation technique involves starting at a single point of focus. This is typically the flame of a candle, but other objects that may be used include a dot on the wall, an object of worship, a deity, flower, mountain, rising sun or moon. However, a flame is believed to work best.
  • Meditating in this way is believed to energize the ajna (third eye) chakra, which is associated with intuition and wisdom, as well as psychic abilities. Traditionally, it's said that the practice allows the past, present and future to be perceived with equal clarity. Trataka may also be referred to as yogic gazing in English.


  • Ajna, which means “perceive,” “command” or "beyond wisdom" in Sanskrit, is the name for the chakra located between the eyes. It is the chakra of intuition, insight, self-realization, inspiration and imagination. The energy of the ajna chakra allows us to not only see but to understand the inner and outer worlds. When stimulated, both hemispheres of the brain work together and help us transcend dualistic thinking. The ajna chakra is associated with the element of light, the color indigo, and the energy of Hakini Shakti.

    Ajna is also referred to as the sixth, third eye or brow chakra in English.


  • Jnana is a Sanskrit term that means "spiritual knowledge" or "wisdom." It denotes a knowledge of the Self that is inseparable from the Divine, rather than worldly knowledge (vijnana) obtained through learning or experience. Jnana is an inward experience or awareness that one is free from worldly and mental burdens and inseparable from brahman (absolute reality)


  • Patanjali was an Indian sage who is believed to have authored or compiled the Yoga Sutras. Very little is known about him and no one knows exactly when he lived; although, it is estimated from analysis of the Sutras, that it was in the 4th or 5th century C.E. It is said that he came to Earth in order to teach and share the knowledge of yoga.