by Gabrielle Forleo: Ayurvedic terms are spread throughout this website, app, and our community as a whole…


You’ve probably picked up on the meanings of a lot of them, but why struggle when we’ve made this simple guide to understanding common Ayurvedic terms with definitions and examples of how to use in sentences. Enjoy!

Agni: Translates to fire and is commonly referred to in the context of digestion and metabolism

  • If you have strong agni, you have strong and balanced health in mind and body.
  • His agni is so strong that he can eat almost anything!
  • Did you know that certain foods can increase agni while others decrease it?

Ama: A toxin or sludge that’s produced when we don’t fully digest or cleanse regularly

  • There are ways to decrease ama easily by making small changes to your daily routine and diet.
  • Since I shifted to eating dinner before 7 p.m., I’ve noticed that I feel better in the morning and have less ama.
  • Did you know that ginger often increases agni and decreases ama?

Asana: A limb of yoga philosophy that refers to the physical postures or poses

  • There are 84 traditional yoga asanas.
  • A yoga class is several yoga asanas put together in a sequence.
  • There are many different styles of yoga. What’s your favorite style of yoga asana?

Ayurveda: The science of life supported by the integration and vitality of mind, body, and spirit

  • Ayurveda is both simple and intuitive.
  • I love Ayurvedic principles because it’s not one-size-fits-all wellness.
  • Ayurveda understand that each of us are unique and different when it comes to balance and health.
  • How do you pronounce Ayurveda? Eye-Yur-Veda.

Bija: Meaning seed or sound most commonly used in reference to mantras

  • A bija is a seed of sound that carries a subtle rather than direct meaning with it.
  • The bija I use in my meditation is unique to me and carries the resonance of peace.
  • Do you know your unique Primordial Sound bija?

Chakra: Wheel of subtle energy

  • You have seven main chakra centers that run along the length of your spine, which are a connection point between your physical and energetic body.
  • I want to open my heart chakra more and become more loving and compassionate toward myself and others.
  • Did you know that each main chakra has a color associated with it?

Dosha: Your Ayurvedic mind-body type or combination of earth elements: VataPitta, and Kapha

Ghee: A type of butter which is clarified by boiling

  • Ghee separates the fat from the milk solids which makes it dairy free.
  • I love ghee on my toast!
  • I usually buy ghee from the store. Have you ever made ghee before at home?

Kitchari: Means mixture and usually is a combination of two grains that are both easy and nourishing to digest

  • Kitchari is the best food to eat when you’re doing a cleanse like panchakarma.
  • I love eating traditional kitchari of beans and rice.
  • Have you ever tried to make kitchari at home? It’s easier than you may think.

Ojas: The subtle force in your body that provides health, digestion, strength, and vitality

  • By following simple Ayurvedic principles each day you can increase your ojas.
  • When I’m mindful of what I’m eating, I notice a feeling of vitality or ojas.
  • Did you know that eating your largest meal of day at lunch can increase your ojas naturally?

Mantra: Mind tool or vehicle of the mind

  • Mantra meditation reminds us that thoughts during meditation are normal and to be expected.
  • When I meditate, I don’t try to get rid of my thoughts but instead use a mantra to help me feel peaceful and not get distracted.
  • Have you ever participated in a mantra meditation with Deepak on the Chopra App?

Neti: The process of flushing out the nasal channels using a saline fluid

  • Using a neti each morning is a simple and effective way to clear congestion.
  • My cold was so bad that I was using my neti twice a day just to breathe.
  • Did you know that using a neti pot can help with allergies?

Panchakarma: The five actions or ways of cleansing and rejuvenating the body traditional in Ayurveda

  • Traditionally, panchakarma is done along with the changing of the seasons for maximum benefit.
  • I find panchakarma to not only detox my body but also rejuvenate my mind and spirit.
  • Have you ever gone on retreat to do panchakarma?

Prakriti: Your essential nature and unique combination of earth elements or dosha determined at birth

  • Your prakriti is your primary nature and doesn’t change.
  • I think of my prakriti as my blueprint for balance or me as the most balanced version of myself.
  • My prakriti is Vata/Pitta. What’s your primary dosha?

Prana: Our vital life force or breath

  • Whether we notice it or not, prana is always flowing within us and all around us.
  • I notice the strength of my prana the most after a yoga class.
  • Have you ever tried specific breathing exercises to increase your prana?

Srota: The channels of circulation in the body

  • Srotas are present throughout your body and are both visible and energetic.
  • When I feel nasal congestion, I know the srotas in my nose aren’t open the way they should be.
  • Have you ever had an Ayurvedic srota massage?

Vikruti: Translates to “after creation” and reflects the combination of earth elements in your mind and body right now

  • Your vikruiti is variable and changes based on the lifestyle choices you’ve made in the last 60–90 days.
  • I took a vikruiti quiz and even though I’m Vata, ever since quarantine my Kapha is really out of balance!
  • Did you know you should eat based on what your vikruiti scores can be different for your mind and body?

Source: Chopra