Last Updated: May 31, 2018

Definition - What does Mauna mean?

Mauna is a Sanskrit word that means “silence.” In the context of yoga, it the practice of not speaking, which heightens the other senses. When verbal communication ends, the yogi is better able to observe the world around him/her without the distraction of conversation and, ultimately, turn his/her reflection inward.

As a sadhana, or discipline, mauna strengthens willpower and self-control. Mauna can be observed for a short period of time on a daily basis or for longer periods of days at a time for more advanced yogis.

Yogapedia explains Mauna

Swami Prabodhananda Saraswati calls mauna a “fast for the mind.” Just as a fast from eating cleanses the body, mouna clears the mind and frees mental energy. By eliminating conversation, the yogi can focus on inner communication and self-investigation.

Historical Indian texts also reveal that Absolute Reality (or Brahman) is beyond the human capacity for speaking and thinking. Silence is the only way to understand this concept and eventually feel at one with the universe.

Physical mauna, then, transitions to inner silence, or antar mauna. This antar mauna calms an overactive mind and promotes mindfulness and spiritual growth, which allows the yogi to reach a state of self-awareness and union with the higher Self.

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