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51 Yoga Poses and Their Sanskrit Names

If you have been doing yoga, even as a beginner, your teacher most often uses some of the Sanskrit names during the class. Their use is broad from a few words here or there, to some classes that only use Sanskrit to talk about the yoga poses. You might have heard of the popular yoga pose sanskrit name “Chaturanga Dandasana“, which is a very common term in yoga and rarely described in other fitness classes. Which would mean “four-limbed staff pose” or better known as low-plank. In addition, we all know at least one Sanskrit word, which is Yoga!

Some knowledge to know before starting, the word “Asana” means pose in Sanskrit. During a Yoga class it is used to refer to a certain movement. Most poses “Asana” will include the word at the end of their sanskrit name. This simply describes the name given to the movement, adding the word “pose” at the end. For example, “crow pose” which is “Kakasana“. In this example, “Kaka” means crow with the word “Asana” for pose.

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Why use yoga poses sanskrit names?

Wherever you are today, it is a language anyone can learn just like any other.

My recommendation, if you want to use it for yoga purposes, would be to start learning a few poses here or there. The more you practice and listen during your class, most likely you will end up with a few words. It is believed that this language offers more consciousness to your practice and can bring you to a deeper level.

Your teacher might use the yoga poses sanskrit names to honor and respect the culture and history of Yoga. Unlike other form of fitness classes, you can expect a higher spiritual practice in any given class. As mentioned above, it can also provide you with a deeper philosophical and spiritual practice.

Where does Sanskrit come from?

Sanskrit is a language that is a descendant of India and one of the three oldest languages in the world, being part of the Indo-European languages. Now only spoken by about 1% of the population of India. The first text found using Sanskrit was in 1500 – 1000 BCE in the book Rigveda describing hymns and praises.

Sanskrit is thought of as being a spiritual language that offers healing powers. It was and still can be used in Hinduism and Buddhism as a ceremonial language for religious purposes and rituals.

Did you know, it consists of 52 letters, 16 vowels and 36 consonants.

If you would like to learn more about Sanskrit, read the article below!

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How to read Sanskrit

It might sound like a series of sounds that makes no sense sometimes, but by breaking down most syllables you start to make sense of the word used.

For example “Downward Facing Dog” is “Adho Mukha Svanasa” which is interpreted as “Down Facing Dog Pose”.

Here is a list of the most common words that you will see further below when we refer to them in yoga poses and their Sanskrit names are used. (The use of the accent has been removed in the list below)

Common Words in Sanskrit

  • Ardha: Half
  • Ashta: High
  • Adho: Down
  • Mukha: Facing/Face
  • Svana: Dog
  • Asana: Posture
  • Urdvha: Upward
  • Bhuja: To Bend
  • Chandra: Moon
  • Uttan: Intense Stretch
  • Eka: One
  • Anga: Limb, Body Part
  • Mayura: Peacok
  • Baka: Crane
  • Kaka: Crow
  • Ustra: Camel
  • Bheka: Frog
  • Raja: King, Chief
  • Bheka: Frog
  • Vrksa: Tree
  • Dhanu: Bow
  • Tri: Three
  • Kapota: Pigeon/Dove
  • Matsya: Fish
  • Tittiba: Firefly
  • Salabha: Locust, Grasshoper
  • Garuda: Mytical Bird
  • Kurma: Tortoise
  • Go: Cow
  • Pincha: Feathered
  • Mayura: Peacock
  • Pada: Foot or Legs

For further information about how to start yoga as a beginner, you can read the my article to ensure you have all the best tips to get you started.

51 Most Common yoga poses and their Sanskrit Names

1. Downward Facing Dog

Sanskrit Name: Adho Mukha Svanasana

downwad facing dog or adho mukha svanasana

2. Happy Baby Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ananda Balasana

happy baby pose

3. Crescent Lunge Pose or Low Lunge Pose

Sanskrit Name: Anjaneyasana

silhouette photography of woman doing yoga

4. High Lunge Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ashta Chandrasana

5. Half Moon Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Chandrasana

Half Mood Pose

6. Seated Spinal Twist Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Matsyendrasana

Woman in Blue Tank Top and Blue Leggings Doing Yoga

7. Dolphin Pose

Sanskrit name: Ardha Pincha Mayurasana

Girl doing dolphin pose in yoga

8. Halfway Lift Pose

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Uttanasana

half way lift yoga pose

9. Bound Angle or Butterfly

Sanskrit Name: Baddha Konasana

10. Child Pose

Sanskrit Name: Balasana

girl doing child pose during yoga

11. Frog Pose

Sanskrit Name: Bhekasana

girl doing frog pose during yoga

12. Cobra Pose

Sanskrit Name: Bhujangasana

cobra pose

13. Cow Pose

Sanskrit Name: Bitilasana

14. Chaturanga Pose

Sanskrit Name: Chaturanga Dandasana


15. Balancing Table Pose

Sanskrit Name: Dandayamna Bharmanasana

girl doing balancing pose during yoga

16. Bow Pose

Sanskrit Name: Dhanurasana

boat pose

17. Three Legged dog

Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

three legged down

18. Eagle Pose

Sanskrit Name: Garudasana

19. Cow Face Pose

Sanskrit Name: Gomukhasana

cow face

20. Plow Pose

Sanskrit Name: Halasana

girl doing plow pose during yoga

21. Supine Spinal Twist

Sanskrit Name: Jathara Parivartanasana

supine spinal twist

22. Crow Pose

Sanskrit Name: Kakasana

crow pose

23. Cat Pose

Sanskrit Name: Marjaryasana

cat pose

24. Dancer Pose

Sanskrit Name: Natarajasana

25. Boat Pose

Sanskrit Name: Paripurna Navasana

Couple Doing Yoga

26. Pyramid Pose

Sanskrit Name: Parsvottanasana

pyramid pose

27. Seated Forward Fold Pose

Sanskrit Name: Paschimottanasana

girl doing seated forward fold pose during yoga

28. Wide Legged Forward Fold Pose

Sanskrit Name: Prasarita Padottanasana

girl doing wide legged forward fold pose during yoga

29. Pigeon Pose

Sanskrit Name: Kapotanasana or Rajakapotasana

pigeon pose

30. Locust Pose

Sanskrit Name: Salabhasana

locust pose

31. Corpse Pose

Sanskrit Name: Savasana

girl doing corpse pose during yoga

32. Bridge Pose

Sanskrit Name: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

33. Easy pose or Criss Cross Apple Sauce

Sanskrit Name: Sukhasana

easy pose sitting

34. Mountain Pose

Sanskrit Name: Tadasana

mountain pose yoga

35. Triangle Pose

Sanskrit Name: Trikonasana

triangle pose

36. Seated Straddle Pose

Sanskrit Name: Upavistha Konasana

girl doing seated wide legged forward foldduring yoga

37. Wheel Pose

Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Dhanurasana

woman in blue leggings and black tank top doing yoga

38. Upward Facing Dog Pose

Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Man Doing Daily Exercise

39. Camel pose

Sanskrit Name: Ustrasana

camel pose yoga

40. Chair Pose

Sanskrit Name: Utkatasana

chair pose

41. Goddess Pose

Sanskrit Name: Utkata Konasana

goddess pose

42. Extended Side Angle Pose

Sanskrit Name: Utthita Parsvakonasana

43. Lizard Pose

Sanskrit Name: Utthan Pristhasana

44. Standing Forward Fold Pose

Sanskrit Name: Uttanasana

Woman Wearing Black Sports Bra Reaching Floor While Standing

45. Side Plank Pose

Sanskrit Name: Vasisthasana

side plank pose

46. Reverse Warrior Pose

Sanskrit Name: Viparita Virabhadrasana

47. Warrior III Pose

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana III

woman in red tank top and black leggings doing yoga

48. Warrior II Pose

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana II

Man in Sleeveless Wet Suit Doing Some Aerobics at the Beach

49. Warrior I Pose

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana I

warrior 1

50. Tree Pose

Sanskrit Name: Vrksasana

51. Wild Thing

Sanskrit Name: Camatkarasana

Other common Sanskrit name in Yoga

During your practice, you will encounter some sequences or words that are common and you should just learn them.

Some Common Examples of sanskrit used in yoga:

Surya Namaskar: Which means “Sun Salutation”, which represents 11 movements for Sun Salutation A and 19 movements for Sun Salutation B.

Namaste: Common gesture of hello or respect in India towards another person. The translation of Namaste is roughly “I bow to you” or “the light in me sees the light in you”

Yoga: The translation to English is “union”, “to yoke” or “to join”

Summary about sanskrit and yoga

There is a lot of debate in the western world about the use of Namaste, due to the meaning and the spiritual use. Not every teacher will be comfortable to use it, which is completely up to the teacher to do what is right for them.

Hopefully you learned a few things that will make your next practice that much more powerful and understand the difference between a standard fitness class and a yoga class. Maybe you can show off to some of your friends the new yoga poses and their sanskrit names you learned today!

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51 yoga poses and their sanskrit names

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