Yoga Asanas & their Sanskrit Names

Yoga asanas with their English and Sanskrit names ordered by when they would generally appear in a yoga class.

Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana - Forearm Wheel
Dwi Pada Viparita DandasanaForearm Wheel
  • Mountain PoseTadasana (tada = mountain)
  • Prayer Pose – Samasthiti (sama = same, equal; sthiti = to establish, to stand)
  • Hero’s PostureVirasana (vir = man, hero, chief)
  • Breath of Fire – Kapalabhati (kapal = skull; bhati = shining)
  • Four-Limbed Stick Pose – Chaturanga Dandasana (chatur = four; anga = limb; danda = staff, stick)
  • Downward-facing Dog Pose – Adho Mukha Svanasana (adho = downward; mukha = face; shvana = dog)
  • Upward-facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (urdhva = rising or tending upward)
  • Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana (bhujanga = serpent)
  • Warrior I/II/IIIVirabhadrasana I/II/III (virabhadra = the name of a fierce mythical warrior)
  • Chair PoseUtkatasana (utkata = awkward)
  • Extended Side Angle Pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana (utthita = extended; parsva = side; kona = angle)
  • Child’s Pose – Balasana (bala = young, childish)
  • Revolved Side Angle Pose – Parivrtta Baddha Parsvakonasana (parivrtta = twist, revolve; baddha = bound; parsva = side; kona = angle)
  • Extended Triangle Pose Utthita Trikonasana (utthita = extended; tri = three; kona = angle)
  • Revolved Triangle Pose – Parivrtta Trikonasana (parivrtta = to turn around; tri = three; kona = angle)
  • Intense Side Stretch – Parsvottanasana (parsva = side; ut = intense; tan = stretch)
  • Standing Forward BendUttanasana (ut = intense; tan = stretch)
  • Extended Hand-toe PoseUtthita Hasta Padangusthasana (utthita = extended; hasta = hand; pada = foot; angusta  = big toe)
  • Eagle PoseGarudasana (garuda = a fierce bird of prey)
  • King of the Dancers Pose – Natarajasana (nata = dancer; raja = king)
  • Tree Pose – Vrksasana (vrksa = tree)
  • Downward-facing Tree Pose (a.k.a. hand stand) – Adho Mukha Vrksasana (adho = downward; mukha = face)
  • Wide-Stance Forward Bend – Prasarita Padottanasana (prasarita = spread; pada = foot; ut = intense; tan = to stretch out)
  • Camel Pose – Ustrasana (ustra = camel)
  • Squat – Upavesasana (upavesa = sitting down, seat)
  • Crow Pose – Bakasana (baka = crow, crane)
  • Side Crow Pose – Parsva Bakasana (parsva = side)
  • Eight-angel Pose – Astavakrasana (ashta = eight; vakra = crooked)
  • Peacock Pose – Mayurasana (mayura = peacock)
  • Feathered Peacock Pose (a.k.a. forearm balance) – Pincha Mayurasana (pincha = a feather of a tail; mayura = peacock)
  • Scorpion Pose – Vrschikasana (vrschana = scorpion)
  • Supported Headstand – Salamba Sirsasana (sa = with; alamba = the on which one rests or leans; sirsa = head)
  • Posture of the Root Lock – Mulabandhasana (mula = root, foot; bandha = binding)
  • Staff Pose – Dandasana (danda = stick, staff)
  • West Back Stretching – Paschimottanasana (pascha = behind, after, westward; uttana = intense stretch)
  • The Great Seal – Mahamudra (maha = great, mighty, strong; mudra = sealing, shutting, closing)
  • Head-to-Knee Pose – Janu Sirsasana (janu = knee; shiras = to touch with the head)
  • Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose – Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (parivrtta = turning, rolling; janu = knee; shiras = to touch with the head)
  • Half Lord of the Fishes Pose – Ardha Matsyendrasana (ardha = half; matsya = fish; indra = ruler, lord)
  • One-Legged Royal Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (eka = one; pada  = foot; raja = king, royal; kapota = dove, pigeon)
  • Bow Pose – Dhanurasana (dhanu = bow)
  • Upward Bow Pose (a.k.a. wheel) – Urdhva Dhanurasana (urdhva = upward; dhanu = bow)
  • Sage Vasistha’s Pose (a.k.a side plank pose) – Vasisthasana (vasistha = a sage)
  • Locust Pose – Salabhasana (salabha = grasshopper, locust)
  • Boat Pose – Navasana (nava = boat)
  • Four-footed Tabletop Pose – Chatus Pada Pitham (chatur = four; pada = foot; pitham = stool, seat)
  • Upward Plank Pose – Purvottanasana (purva = front; ut = intense; tan = extend, stretch)
  • Seated Wide-Angle Pose – Upavistha Konasana (upavistha = seated; kona = angle)
  • Turtle Pose – Kurmasana (kurma = turtle)
  • Reclining Turtle Pose – Supta Kurmasana  (supta  = reclining)
  • Cow-Faced Pose – Gomukhasana (go = cow; mukha = face)
  • Monkey Pose (a.k.a. splits) – Hanumanasana (Hanuman was the semidivine chief of an army of monkeys who served the god Rama. Hanuman once jumped in a single stride the distance between Southern India and Sri Lanka and this split-leg pose mimics that famous leap)
  • Bridge Pose – Setu Bandhasana (setu = dam, dike, bridge; bandha = lock; setubandha = the forming of a bridge, dam)
  • Belly Twist – Jathara Parivrtti (jathara = stomach, bellow; parivrtti = turning, rolling)
  • Fish Pose – Matsyasana (matsya = fish)
  • Supported Shoulder Stand – Salamba Sarvangasana (salamba = with support; sarva = all; anga = limb)
  • Plow Pose – Halasana (hala = plow)
  • Ear-to-Knee Pose – Karnapidasana (karna = ear; pidana = squeeze, pressure)
  • Bound Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana (baddha = bound; kona = angle)
  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana (supta = resting)
  • Lotus Posture – Padmasana (padma = lotus)
  • Easy Posture Sukhasana (sukha = comfortable, gentle)
  • Adept’s Posture – Siddhasana (siddha = accomplished, fulfilled, a sage)
  • Auspicious Posture – Svastikasana (svastik = lucky, auspicious)
  • Corpse Pose – Savasana (sava = corpse)

Have fun at your next yoga class!

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One Legged Wheel – Eka Pada Urdhva Dhanurasana
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2 thoughts on “Yoga Asanas & their Sanskrit Names

  1. Hanuman is beyond a “monkey.” He a very important Hindu diety who reunited Sita and Rama. Hanumanasana is named after him. He is referred as “broken jaw” because he tried to leap toward the sun, mistaking it for an apple, and demigod Indra struck him with a weapon to prevent him from doing so.

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