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Yoga Dictionary



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Yoga Dictionary of Quotes ©
Compiled by R. John Allcorn

O - P

Pada hastasana (Forward bend.):
“Benefits the digestion and the blood circulation, and is an effective treatment for constipation and gastro-intestinal disease.... The spinal nerves are toned and the spine is made supple.” (6, 56)

Pada Prasarita Paschimottanasana (“leg spread variation”):
[variation of seated forward bend AKA Paschimottanasana - Same as Paschimottanasana except spread legs out straight to the sides before bending forward] - “Sit with legs spread as wide as possible (180 is ideal)” - This variation is “more effective in loosening the lower back and the hip joints.” (6, 59-60)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose & ½ Lotus Pose):
“Steadiness of the body brings steadiness of the mind, and this steadiness is the first step toward productive meditation. This asana helps direct the proper flow of prana from the muladhara chakra [#1 anus] to the sahasrara [#7 crown]....Physical, nervous, and emotional problems are effectively cleared up.” (6, pp71-72)

Para (cf Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti, Para):
“Para is pure intention – pure because it is a direct expression of the will of reality, unadulterated by any personal preference... so subtle that it is commonly perceptible only to those who are highly evolved.”...It is “the ever-truthful universal voice and is the embodiment of ritam (cosmic truth).” 13,70-71)

Paschimottanasana (“Back-stretching pose”):
[seated forward bend] - “Concentrate on the svadhisthana chakra [#2 below navel] - “The hamstring muscles are stretched and the hip, sacroiliac, and lumbar vertebral joints are loosened. Flatulence, constipation, backache, and also excess fat in the abdominal region are effectively removed....Paschimottanasana is traditionally regarded as a very powerful asana for spiritual awakening and is highly praised in ancient yoga texts.” (6, 58-59)

Pashyanti (cf Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti, Para):
“Pashyanti, single-minded speech, is perceptible but not particularized.... When you speak at the pashyanti level, you are sure of your message; your intentions (selfish or altruistic) are always clear.” (13, 70)

“Pavritti which means revolving towards, and the other is Nivritti which means revolving away.” (24, p85) Pavritti “includes all those things which are always enriching that’me’ by wealth and money and power and name and fame and which are of a grasping nature, always trying to accumulate everything in one centre, that centre being ‘myself’.” (24, p85) Pavritti “is evil work.” (24 p85)

Perineum contraction lock:
See "Mula bandha"

Pingala (cf. Ida and sushumna):
“The ida and pingala start at the muladhara ad spiral about the sushumna up to the ajna, intersecting at each chakra along the way.... The pingala starts on the right side and passes through the right nostril.” (6, 143)

Plow/Plough Pose:
See "Halasana"

“Matter”p240 [Glossary]
“Prakrti is subject to constant change and embraces all matter, even our mind, thoughts, feelings and memories. All prakriti can be seen and perceived by purusa.” (1, p93)
“There is only one prakriti, one common universe for us all.” (1, p94)
Sri Krishna: “My Prakriti is of eightfold composition: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect, and ego.” (2, p70)
“The power of Brahman is the basis of all mind and matter. It is called Prakrti, or Maya; the terms are interchangeable. According to the Gita, Ishwara makes Himself a body out of Prakrti whenever He chooses to be born among men. Nevertheless, because He is a God, He remains master of Prakrti even in His human form. It is in this that the divine incarnation differs from the ordinary mortal. Prakrti is said to be composed of 3 gunas: sattwa (the pure and fine), rajas (action) and tamas.” (2, p133).
NOTE: Brahman, the reality, is the total Godhead. It can never be defined or expressed. Brahman does not exist but is existence itself.... Brahman is within all creatures and objects. When Brahman is in these things, He is known as Atman.. The Atman and the Brahman are one. When Brahman is considered in relation to this universe, He is regarded as a personal God, Ishwara. Ishwara is God with attributes. Ishwara is Brahman united with His power. Ishwara creates this universe as Brahma, preserves it as Vishnu and destroys it as Shiva. (2, pp 131-133)

“Primarily through breathing that prana enters the human body.” (6, p77) “Prana or vital energy is absorbed into the body through respiration or directly through the function of the chakras. (6, 157) “Usually, five varieties of prana are posited: Prana (lungs), apana (digestion), vyana (whole body), samana (navel area), udana (above the throat and the four limbs).”... There are also five sub-categories of prana called “upa pranas” that control specific bodily functions like salivation, sneezing hair growth etc. (6, 157-159)

See Nadi Shodham Pranayama (alternate Nostril Breathing), Bhastrika pranayama (bellows breath), Ujjayi pranayama (psychic breathing), Surya Bhedana pranayama (Vitality stimulating technique), and Murcha pranayama (Fainting pranayama) “The aim [of pranayama] is not the control of universal prana - only that which enters and flows through the body.” (6, p77 fn)
“Yogic breathing [complete yogic breath] is not pranayama itself but a preliminary practice.” (6, p79)

“More accurately understood as the movement of the mind toward silence rather than toward things.” (28, 67)

A vratas. A “promise to recite a specific number of mantras in a certain amount of time for a particular purpose.” (14, 83)

Pure Land Buddhism:
Pure Land Buddhism teaches people that if they practice well now, they will be reborn in the Western Paradise of the Buddha Amida, the Land of Wonderous Joy of the Buddha Aksobhya, or the Heaven of Gratitude of the Buddha Maitreya.” (10, p 127)

“Yoga subscribes to the notion that deep within us there is something that is also very real but, unlike everything else, is not subject to change. We call this wellspring purusa or drastr, meaning ‘that which sees’ or ‘that which can see correctly.’” (1, p12)
“The mind is the instrument through which the purusa perceives, yet the energy and power that the mind needs in order to see comes from the purusa.” (1, p89)
“Purusa is that part of us capable of real seeing and perception. it is not subject to change.” (1, p93)
“In death the purusa vanishes....Yet for the purusa there is no death.” (1, p94)
“Only because we sometimes experience moments of clarity do we know that there is a purusa.” (1, p94)
“As the source of action, our purusa works like the transmitter for an electric door. But what actually moves is the door. Our purusa is the source of our action. But we also need our purusa as a witness and constant observer of the functioning of the mind.” (1, p95)Yoga Sutra it says that when there is no more restlessness in the mind, purusa will unfold and see.” (1, p136)
Ishvarapranidhana refers to “divine spirits who have their own individuality. The essence of these deities is Purusha, the universal consciousness of True Self.” (6, p37)
“The real Self [purusa] is the one you experience in dreams. That is the reality that lies beyond fear and death.” (18, p64)

CONTACT: R. John Allcorn, M.A., E-RYT

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