Help! How to learn the Asana's names in Sanskrit?!

When I understood  a couple of weeks ago that I could not anymore avoid to learn the names of some Asanas in Sanskrit, I first thought I could manage to learn them “just by heart” (what is called in French, for those who understand it, “un bourrage de crâne”, not sure about the translation, maybe something like ” ballyhoo “?). But after a few attempts I had to surrender and accept that I wouldn’t learn anything without understanding. Because of (or thanks to) the way I was educated… So I started searching for some good Sanskrit translations database. How fast you find THE appropriate information on the web is I believe a mix of method and… luck!

Maybe some of you are not happy yet with what they got. So I will be satisfied / content (neither happy nor sad, just because sharing is important to ME and makes ME grow… Ouch!) if this could help you out in the difficult task of memorising the Asanas’ name in Sanskrit.

By the way, I am still in the process of learning. Unfortunately, I found no magical way to memorising them all in a short moment…

Source: You will find more information on the article, called “Sanskrit Made Simple – a study of asana names” written by Marie Roulleau & Gwynneth Powell. Many thanks to them!!!!

I just added a few words. Hope it’s correct. As always on the Web, there is no guarantee…

Dictionary of most common Sanskrit words in yoga


1. Pada: foot/ leg
2. Hasta: hand
3. Anguli: fingers
4. Anghusta: big toe
5. Janu: knee
6. Sirsa: head
7. Mukha: face
8. Karna: ear
9. Jattara: stomach
10. Anga: limb
11. Bhuja: arm
12. Sarvanga: whole body
13. Sava: corpse
14. Prana: breath/ lifeforce
15. Paschima: west direction (back side of body)
16. Purva: east direction (front side of body)


1. Svana: dog

2. Bheka: frog

3. Baka: crow

4. Ustra: camel

5. Go: cow

6. Bhujanga: snake/ serpent / cobra

7. Kapota: pigeon/ dove

8. Kurma: turtle
9. Matsya: fish

10. Shalabha: locust/ grasshopper

11. Garud: eagle

12. Tittib: firefly

13. Kukut: rooster


1. Bharadva: a sage; also the father of famous archer, Drona, who trained the cousins who would later became rivals and fight the famous war that the Bhagavad-Gita was written about.
2. Garuda: was the king of the eagles; Garuda once provided transportation and carried Lord Vishnu to the aid of devotee, Gajendra who was in a life threatening situation.

3. Marichi: son of Brahma and grandfather of Surya the sun god.
4. Matsyendra: Lord of the Fishes; Shiva discovered a fish, who had completely learned his teachings of yoga. Shiva gave him divine form to then spread the knowledge of yoga. 5. Surya: Sun god
6. Virabhadra: the great warrior who sprang to Shiva’s aid to seek revenge on his father- in-law.
7. Nataraja: one of the names of Shiva, the lord of the dance.

8. Hanuman: chief of the monkey army; one of Rama’s greatest devotees who came to his aid. Hanuman made huge leaps across the sea- first to find Sita and then to save Rama’s brother.


1. Parigha: gate latch

2. Hala: plough
3. Vrksa: tree
4. Tola: scales

5. Tada: mountain

6. Setu: bridge
7. Nava: boat
8. Mudra: seal

9. Dhanu: bow
10. Danda: rod/ staff
11. Chandra: moon
12. Vira: hero
14. Asana: pose/ posture (seat)

15. Kona: angle


1. Eka: one
2. Dwi: two, both (dwa in Polish, pronounced dva)
3. Tri: three (trios in French)
4. Chatur: four (cztery in Polish, pronounced ch-terry)

5. Ashta: eight


1. Adho: downward

2. Urdva: raised/ upward
3. Utthita: extended, stretched.

4. Parivrtta: revolved / rotated
5. Baddha: tied/ bound
6. Supta: reclining/ sleeping / lying down
7: Uttana: intense stretch
8. Sthiti: stability
9. Upavistha: seated
10. Prasarita: spread out
11. Ardha: half
12. Salamba: with support
13. Nirlamba: without support 14. Kona: angle
15. Pida: pressure

16. Parsva: side


Laurence CF – TT200 – Sept/Oct 2013