Sanskrit Words in Asana Names
Adho. Downward, as in Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward-Facing Dog pose.
Anga. Limb, as in Sarvangasana, Shoulder Stand.
Ardha. Half, as in Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon pose.
Asana. Pose or posture.
Baddha. Bound, as in Baddha Konasana, Bound-Angle pose, also known as Cobbler’s pose.
Baka. Crane, as in Bakasana, Crane pose, also called Crow pose.
Bala. Child, as in Balasana, Child’s pose.
Bheka. Frog, as in Bhekasana, Frog pose.
Bhuja. Arm, as in Bhujapidasana, an arm-balancing pose.
Bhujanga. Snake or cobra, as in Bhujangasana, Cobra pose.
Bhuja-pida. Pressure on the arm or shoulder, as in Bhujapidasana, Shoulder Pressing pose.
Chandra. Moon, as in Ardha Chandrasana, Half-Moon pose.
Chatur. Four, as in Chaturanga Dandasana, Four-Limb Staff pose, the yogic push-up.
Danda. Staff or stick, as in Dandasana, Staff pose.
Dhanura. Bow, as in Urdhva Dhanurasana, Upward Bow pose (full backbend).
Dwi. Two, as in Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana, Two-Legged Inverted Staff pose.
Dwi-hasta. Two hands, as in Dwi Hasta Bhujasana, Two Hands and Arms pose.
Eka. One, as in Eka Pada Rajakapotanasana, One-Footed Royal Pigeon pose.
Garuda. Eagle, as in Garudasana, Eagle pose.
Go. Cow, as in Gomukhasana, Cow Face pose.
Hala. Plow, as in Halasana, Plow pose.
Hasta. Hand, as in Padahastasana, Hand to Foot pose.
Janu. Knee, as in Janu Sirsasana, Head to Knee pose.
Jathara. Stomach or abdomen, as in Jathara Parivartanasana, a supine twisting pose.
Kapota. Pigeon, as in Kapotanasana, Pigeon pose.
Karna. Ear, as in Karnapidasana, Ear Pressure pose.
Kona. Angle, as in Utthita Parsvakonasana, Extended Side Angle pose.
Kurma. Turtle, as in Kurmasana, Turtle pose.
Makra. Crocodile, as in Makrasana, Crocodile pose.
Mala. Garland, Malasana, Garland pose.
Marichi. A mythological sage, as in Marichyasana, Sage pose.
Matsya. Fish, as in Matsyasana, Fish pose.
Matsyendra. Literally, Lord of the Fishes, a famous yoga teacher from the tenth century CE, as in Ardha Matsyendrasana, Half Lord of the Fishes pose.
Mayur. Peacock, as in Pincha Mayurasana, Feathered Peacock pose, also known as Forearm Balance pose.
Mukha. Face or mouth, as in Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward-Facing Dog pose.
Namaste. Refers to the position of the hands in the traditional Indian salutation, with the palms pressed together in front of the chest. Sometimes called Prayer pose.
Nava. Boat, as in Navasana, Boat pose.
Nirlamba. Without support, as in Nirlamba Sarvangasana, Unsupported Shoulderstand.
Pada. Foot (or sometimes leg), as in Padahastasana, Hand to Big Toe pose.
Padangusta. Big Toe, as in Padangusthasana, Hand to Big Toe pose.
Padma. Lotus, as in Padmasana, Lotus pose.
Parivrtta. Reverse or revolved, as in Parivrtta Trikonasana, Revolved Triangle pose.
Parsva. Side, as in Utthita Parsvakonasana, Extended Side Angle pose.
Paschima. Westward, as in Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend pose. (Yoga practitioners traditionally faced east, hence a stretch of the body was of the westward portion). See Purva.
Pida. Pressure, as in Karnapidasana, Ear Pressure pose.
Pincha. Feather, as in Pincha Mayurasana, Feathered Peacok pose, also known as Forearm Balance pose.
Prasarita. Spread out, as in Prasarita Padottanasana, Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend.
Purva. Eastward, as in Pursvottanasana, a backbending pose that stretches the front or eastward side of the body. See Pachima.
Salabha. Locust, as in Salabhasana, Locust pose.
Salamba. Supported, as in Salamba Sarvangasana, Supported Shoulderstand.
Sama. Together, and hence harmonious, as in Samasthiti, another name for Tadasana, Mountain pose. The same root is found in the samadhi.
Sarva. Whole/All, as in Sarvangasana, Shoulderstand.
Sarvanga. Literally, “all limbs”, as in Sarvangasana, Shoulderstand.
Sava. Corpse, as in Savasana, Corpse pose, also known as Deep Relaxation pose. Pronounced SHAH-vah.
Setu. Bridge, as in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Bridge pose.
Setu-Bandha. Construction of a Bridge, as in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Bridge pose.
Sirsa. Head, as in Sirsasana, Headstand.
Sukha. Happiness/Joy/Comfort, as in Sukhasana, Contended Space/Easy pose.
Sthiti. Standing, as in Samasthiti, another name for Tadasana, Mountain pose.
Supta. Supine, as in Supta Baddha Konasana, Reclining Cobbler’s pose.
Surya. Sun, as in Surya Namaskar, Sun Salutations.
Svana. Dog, as in Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward-Facing Dog pose.
Tada. Mountain, as in Tadasana, Mountain pose.
Tri. Three, as in Trikonasana, Triangle pose.
Trikona. Triangle, as in Trikonasana, Triangle pose.
Upavista. Seated, as in Upavista Konasana, a seated, wide-legged forward bend.
Urdhva. Upward, as in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Upward-Facing Dog pose.
Ustra. Camel, as in Ustrasana, Camel pose.
Utkata. Fierce, powerful, as in Utkatasana (usually known as Chair pose).
Uttana. An Intense Stretch, as in Uttanasana, Standing Forward Bend.
Utthita. Extended, as in Utthita Parsvakonasana, Extended Side Angle pose.
Vajra. Thunderbold, as in Vajrasana, Thunderbolt pose.
Viparita. Inverted, as in Viparita Karani, Legs-Up-the-Wall pose.
Vira. Hero, as in Virasana, Hero’s pose.
Virabhadra. Literally, blessed warrior and the name of a mythic fighter, as in Virabhadrasana I, Warrior I pose.
Vrksa. Tree, as in Vrksasana, Tree pose.