poses, sanskrit

Pose names in Sanskrit

I’ve been talking to a friend lately about the names of the poses.  She thought she’d remember them better if she knew how the words broke down.  I took a few of them apart for her, and I’ll try to do it more as I think of it.  Check out this interesting blog entry about using Sanskrit instead of English names.

When I explain the Sanskrit, please be aware that I am using the meanings I’ve learned either from reading or my yoga teachers.  A list of key terms can be found at Yoga Journal.  If you want to go farther, there are many online Sanskrit dictionaries, and I bet you can find Sanskrit instruction online too.

Sanskrit and English are both Indo-European languages, so you’ll be able to see familiar word roots once you know the meanings.

For starters, asana means ‘seat’, and we use it in yoga to mean ‘pose’.  So most pose names end in -asana.

Utthita Trikonasana
Utthita Trikonasana

Here’s a breakdown of trikonasana

tri ‘three’
kona  ‘angle’
asana  ‘posture’
= triangle pose

Utthita Parsvakonasana
Utthita Parsvakonasana

See how easy this is?  Here’s a breakdown of parsvakonasana:

parsva  ‘side’ 
kona  ‘angle’
asana  ‘posture’
= side angle pose

Notice in the thumbnails that both asana names begin with utthita ‘extended’.
That’s enough for now.  Too much information will just fall out of a person’s brain altogether.

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