Yoga Asanas or postures are body positions, typically associated with the practice of Yoga. They are intended primarily to restore and maintain a practitioner's well-being, improve the body's flexibility and vitality.
In Sanskrit, "Adho" means downward, "mukh" means face and "svan" means dog. In this asana, the practitioner's face is downwards, hence the name.
"Akarshana" means 'pulled' and "Dhanur" means 'bow' in Sanskrit. In this pose the final posture resembles an archer when taking aim before shooting an arrow.
"Ananta" is another name for Vishnu. This pose reflects the sleeping pose of Vishnu on his serpent.
"Ardha" means 'half' and "Hala" means 'plough' in Sanskrit. This pose is the first step to doing the full Halasana posture.
"Ardha" means 'half' in Sanskrit. In this pose we perform the half spinal twist as the full twist is very difficult to achieve. The asana gets its name from Matsyendranath, one of the propounders of Hatha Yoga.
"Ardha" means 'half' and "Padma" means 'lotus' in Sanskrit. Ardha Padmasana is half of the Lotus Pose. Those who cannot practice Padmasana can start with Ardha Padmasana and then move on to doing the full Lotus pose.
The word "Shalabh" means 'locust' and "Ardha" means 'half'. This pose is an easier version of Shalabasana performed with one leg at a time. The final posture resembles a feeding locust, head lowered and tail up.
The word "Baddha" means 'locked' and "Kona" means 'angle'. In this posture the body is locked in a typical angle.
"Baddha" means 'locked' or 'bound' and Padmasana is the Lotus Pose. In this pose the arms and legs are locked to provide steadiness.
"Bala" means 'child' in Sanskrit.
In Sanskrit the word "Bhadra" means 'beneficial'.
In Sanskrit, the word "Bhujanga" means 'cobra'. In the final posture of this asana, the trunk resembles a cobra with its hood raised while the joined legs represent the tail.
"Chakra" means 'wheel' in Sanskrit.
"Chakra" means 'wheel' in Sanskrit. In the final posture of this pose the arched body resembles the rim of a wheel. Hence the name Chakrasana or Wheel Pose.
The word "Danda" refers to 'staff' or 'stick' in Sanskrit. In this pose, the spine, arms and legs are kept straight and stiff like a stick.
In Sanskrit the word "Dhanus" means 'bow'. The final posture assumed in this pose resembles a tightly drawn bow. Your trunk and thighs represent the curve of the bow and the hands and legs the bowstring.
The word "Garuda" means 'eagle' in Sanskrit. Garuda is an emblem of the sun and the solar cycle.
"Gau" means 'cow'in Sanskrit.
In Sanskrit, "Go" means 'cow' and "Mukh" means 'face'. The final position of the legs in Gomukhasana looks like the face of a cow.
The word "Hala" connotes 'plough' in Sanskrit. In this posture the practitioner's body is akin to an Indian plough.
The word "Janu" means 'knee' and "Hasta" means 'hand'. In this pose the hand is placed just beside the knee, hence the name.
"Janu" means 'knee' and "Sirsa" means 'head'. In this posture head and knees are brought close together.
The word "Kanda" means 'bulbous' in Sanskrit. In this posture the feet of the practitioner resemble the bulb of an onion.
"Kona" is the Sanskrit word for 'angle'. This pose serves as a warm up pose for more complicated angle poses like Baddha Konasana, Upavistha Konasana etc.
"Makar" is Sanskrit for 'crocodile'.
The word "Manduk" refers to 'frog' in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs of the practitioner look like the hind legs of a frog.
"Marjari" means 'cat' in Sanskrit.
In Sanskrit "Matsya" means 'fish'. If you attain this posture in water, you will be able to float just like a fish with out any support of your hands or legs.
The word "Mayur" means 'peacock' in Sanskrit. In this pose the body looks like a peacock, hence the name.
"Nat" refers to 'dance' and "Raja" to 'king'. Lord of Dance is one of the attributes used for Shiva. The final posture is a representation of the dance of Shiva.
The word "Nauka" means 'boat' in Sanskrit. The body resembles a boat in the final posture.
In Sanskrit, "Oordha" means 'lifted', "Pada" means 'feet' and "Hasta" means 'hand'. In this pose the hands touch the raised feet of the practitioner.
"Pada" means 'feet' and "Hasta" means 'hand'. In this pose the hands are brought to the feet to catch the toes.
"Padma" means 'lotus' in Sanskrit. In this pose the feet and hands are akin to the petals of a blooming lotus, hence the name.
"Parvat" stands for 'mountain'. In this pose the hands are kept in a position that resembles the peak of a mountain.
"Paschim" stands for 'posterior' or 'back' and "Uttan" refers to 'stretched'. In this pose the entire back region of the body gets stretched.
"Pavan" means 'wind' and "Mukta" means 'free' or 'release'. This posture helps in removal of excess wind in the digestive system.
The word "Purna" refers to 'complete' and "Titali" means 'butterfly' in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs are spread out the way a butterfly opens its wings in flight.
"Sama" connotes 'balance' or 'equilibrium' in Sanskrit. In this posture the body is in such a position that it can be divided vertically into two identical parts.
"Sarva" means 'all' and "Anga" means 'part' in Sanskrit. This pose exercises the entire body, hence the name.
"Sasanka" means 'hare' in Sanskrit. The final body posture in this asana looks like a leaping hare.
"Sava" means 'corpse' in Sanskrit. In this asana the whole body is relaxed by remaining motionless just like a dead body.
"Setu" means 'bridge' and "bandha" means 'locked' in Sanskrit. In this pose, the final posture of the practitioner resembles a bridge.
In Sanskrit "Shalabha" connotes 'locust'. The final posture resembles a feeding locust, head lowered and tail up, hence the name.
"Siddha" refers to a person who has attained spiritual enlightenment. This pose is generally performed to attain spirituality.
"Simha" means 'lion' in Sanskrit. In this pose you assume the posture of a seated lion.
"Sirsha" means 'head' in Sanskrit. In this pose the practitioner balances his body on the head.
"Sukh" means 'pleasant' or 'comfortable' in Sanskrit. This is a cross-legged posture where you are totally at ease.
In Sanskrit, "Supta" connotes to 'reclining', "Baddha" means 'locked' and "Kona" refers to 'angle'. In this posture, the practitioner leans back, hence the name.
"Supta" means 'reclining' and "Udarakarshan" means 'twisting'. In this pose the abdomen is twisted while lying down.
"Supta" means 'reclining' and "Vajra" means 'adamant' in Sanskrit. In this posture the yoga practitioner will be lying down in a supine position in Vajarasana.
"Surya" refers to 'sun' and "namaskar" means 'salutation' in Sanskrit. Surya Namaskara involves series of 12 yoga postures which are done in one long continual process.
"Swastika" refers to 'auspicious' in Sanskrit.
"Tada" means 'mountain' in Sanskrit. The hands in this posture form a peak, hence the name.
"Tal" refers to 'palm tree' in Sanskrit. In this pose the upper part of the body is extended straight up like a palm tree.
"Tolangul" means 'weighing balance' in Sanskrit. In this pose the body posture is balanced on your waist and resembles a weighing scale.
In Sanskrit, "Tri" means 'three' and "Kona" means 'angle'. In 'Trikonasana' you assume a posture whereby your feet resemble the three sides of a triangle.
The word "Ugra" refers to 'difficulty' or 'frightening'. This posture poses difficulty to the practitioner and hence the name.
"Upavishtha" means 'seated' and "Kona" means 'angle' in Sanskrit. This is a warm-up pose for most seated poses.
"Urdhva" means 'up', "Mukha" means 'face' and "Svana" means 'dog'. In this pose the body is stretched out with the face pointing up like a dog.
"Ushtra" refers to 'camel' in Sanskrit. In this yoga pose the practitioner's body resembles a camel, hence the name.
The Sanskrit term 'Ut' means 'raised' and "kata” refers to 'the hips'. In this pose the hips remain raised above the ground, hence the name.
In Sanskrit, "Uttana" means 'raised' and "Pada" means 'feet'. In this yoga posture, the feet are raised up.
"Ut" connotes 'intense', and "Tana" means 'stretch' in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs and spine are stretched, hence the name.
In Sanskrit, "Vajra" means 'adamant' or 'firmness'. This pose gives firmness and stability to the body
"Vaka" connotes 'crane' in Sanskrit. The final posture of the body resembles a crane.
"Vakra" means 'twisted' in Sanskrit. In this pose the practitioner’s trunk gets twisted to the left and right sides.
"Veer" refers to 'warrior' in Sanskrit. In this posture the body assumes the position a warrior takes before attacking. Hence the name Veerasana or Warrior pose.
"Viparit" means 'inverted' and "Karani" means 'action'. In this pose the body is kept inverted.Virabhadrasana - Warrior Pose
"Virabhadra" is a warrior incarnation of Shiva.
In Sanskrit the word "Vriksha" means 'tree'. In this pose the practitioner holds his body still like a tree.