Deciphering Sanskirt Asana Names

For someone who is used to the English terms of Asanas, memorizing the Sanskrit version can be pretty overwhelming. However, if you break it down word by word, you’ll find that it’s much easier to memorize.

Most of the poses’ names are derived from our body parts, natures, animals, directions etc. Have you ever wondered why asanas like “Paschimottanasana” is it translated as “West Stretch Pose” when it is visually a seated forward bend? Remember that yoga is always practiced facing the sun, hence the front of the body is often referred to as the East and the back of the body as West.

Below I’ve created a table of the meanings of the common asana Sanskrit words. I hope you’ll find it useful as much as I do!











































Tammy Lim, YTT200 (Sep’17-Weekend)