Forms of healing and treatment which are not considered part of conventional medicine, including acupuncture, homoeopathy, aromatherapy, energy healing, etc. These therapies may be used alone or in conjunction with traditional medicine and often take a holistic approach, considering the whole person's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Physical postures used during yoga practices. They promote physical stability, balance, and relaxation. They range from simple seated positions to challenging poses like headstands and backbends. In addition, yoga uses various asanas to increase flexibility, improve breathing, and reduce stress.
(Sanskrit: आत्मा ātmā, nominative singular - from Sanskrit: आत्मन् , ātman, “soul, life, self”)
Meditation of Self or of your soul. This practice aims to help practitioners connect with their inner essence and experience inner peace and self-realisation. Through deep breathing, visualisation, and mantra repetition techniques, practitioners can achieve a state of stillness and clarity and connect with the divine.
(āyus, आयुस्, "life" or "longevity", and veda, वेद, "knowledge")
An ancient Indian medical system based on a natural and holistic approach to physical and mental health. It is one of the world's oldest medical systems and remains a popular healthcare choice in India. The ayurvedic treatment combines diet, exercise, lifestyle, and plant-based products to promote overall health and wellness in the body and mind.
Awareness of internal and external existence. Consciousness encompasses subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and the environment. Philosophers often divide consciousness into phenomenal consciousness, which refers to the experience itself, and access consciousness, which is the processing of things in experience.
(Sanskrit: दोषः meaning ‘fault’ or ‘defect’)
In Ayurveda, there are three main doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All three of these are present in a human’s body, with some doshas being more present than others. These doshas are determined according to our physical and psychological characteristics.
A state of spiritual awakening and increased awareness, Enlightenment is characterised by a greater understanding of the nature of reality and the self. In many spiritual traditions, it is considered the ultimate goal of spiritual practice and is associated with inner peace, wisdom, and compassion.
Intelligent, hard-working, and decisive. This dosha generally has a medium physical build, a short temper, and may suffer from conditions like indigestion, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
A concept in Hindu and yoga philosophy, Koshas describe the different layers or sheaths of the self. They are subtle energy bodies that surround and interpenetrate the physical body and hold the key to a deeper understanding of the self and reality.
(Sanskrit: क्रिया, 'action, deed, effort')
Kriya refers to practices, mainly breath control techniques and exercises, practised to achieve a specific outcome. The word is a Sanskrit term that means "completed action." Different kinds of kriya are practised in Kundalini yoga and involve breathing techniques, sound and physical poses. Each kriya is aimed at a specific outcome and instructions, such as the amount of time to hold each pose, point of eye contact and breath technique.
(Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी, ‘coiled, coiled one snake’)
It is the divine feminine energy located at the spine's base in the Muladhara. It is an essential concept in Śhaiva Tantra and is associated with the formless idea of a Goddess. Cultivating and awakening this energy through tantric practices will lead to spiritual liberation.
Knowledge of awareness and living in the present moment. Mindfulness can take different forms, such as meditation, breathwork, walking or slowing down our daily lives. Mindfulness helps increase awareness of thoughts, feelings, and actions and promotes a more present state of mind.
Namaskar Mudra / Añjali Mudrā
(Honouring the heart connection / Sanskrit: Añjali अञ्जलि मुद्रा, ‘respect’, ‘reverence’ and Mudra मुद्रा ‘seal’ or ‘sign’, full phrase meaning ‘salutation seal’)
A hand gesture part of meditation or asana practices, primarily seen at the beginning and end of the yoga session. It is a humble gesture that honours the union between one heart and another. Hence, it is placed at the heart centre. The significance of this gesture invokes the most profound respect for each other, saying, ‘the divine in me bows to the divine in you.
Kaphas are usually the largest of the doshas. Naturally calm, grounded, and loyal. Those with a kapha dosha often have a sturdier frame and may have issues with weight gain, asthma, depression, or diabetes.
(Sanskrit: प्राणायाम, prana meaning ‘breath’, + ‘āyāma’ and defines it as the suspension of breath, breathing life into your body)
Pranayama is a yogic practice that focuses on the breath and elevates the prana shakti or life energies. The word "pranayama" is derived from Sanskrit and literally means "vital life force" and "to gain control". By focusing on the breath, pranayama helps bring balance and harmony to the body and mind.
(Sanskrit: प्राण, prāṇa)
The vital energy and force sustained in our physical body, mind, and soul that is considered essential for health and well-being. It can be increased through practices like yoga and meditation and plays a role in maintaining balance and harmony in our body, mind, and spirit.
A Chinese practice that involves physical movements, breathing techniques, and mental focus to balance and regulate the flow of energy (Qi) in the body.
It is a traditional Chinese medicine used to improve physical and mental health, increase longevity, and cultivate inner peace and spiritual awareness. Qi Gong can range from simple, gentle movements to more complex routines and can be performed standing, seated, or lying down.
A Chinese Martial Art. Tai-chi is a slow and graceful Chinese martial art where practitioners move through postures coordinated by their breathing. The benefits of Tai Chi range from reduced stress, improved flexibility and strength, higher energy levels and more. It is considered one of the most effective forms of exercise for the mind and body.
Vatas tend to be thin and can even have trouble putting on weight. They’re usually cold, have busy minds, and can quickly become anxious. They can become bloated and constipated when not eating the proper diet.