During the teacher training, I have found the notes of the Ashtanga Yoga asanas in pictorial form that was provided for us very useful in my practice. It has not only helped me to remember the sequence of poses, but has also enable me to picture how each asana looks like (pic-a-pose).

As I prepare to practice my teaching, I struggled with remembering the names of each asana, and resort to drawing stick figures to represent the poses in my lesson plan. While I may be able to remember the name of each asana now, I have realised that the pictorial form of asanas would be useful for my students if they were laid out in sequence and given to them to perform self-practice.

While drawing stick figures may work pretty well, I have attempted to create a pictorial representation that is consistent and easy to draw &  understand. After some exploration, I have found the following method which only uses 3 shapes: circle (head), trapezoid (body), small triangles (hands), big triangles (legs)

  • shoulder represented by the longer side of trapezoid
  • each leg /hand represented by 2 triangles
  • joints of legs/hands are represented by the tips of triangles
  • right leg/hand are shaded
  • directional sign indicated dristi point (direction of the head as well)
  • inhale and exhale may be represented by shaded circle and unshaded circle respectively (for sequence)
  • body (trapezoid) may be angled if necessary (e.g. backbends)

I have attempted to illustrate how the asanas are represented here in pictorial form for the following category of asanas:

(1) Stand, (2) Balance, (3) Sit, (4) Inverted/Back-bend, (5) Recline

A drawing template, pictured here, can be created for ease of drawing. It is cut out from a hard transparent card:

Feel free to explore using it, and do provide me with suggestions on how I may improve on it