Yoga Postures & Meanings

Get the best Yoga Tips at Yoga Divinity

An fundamental part of yoga exercise includes the practice of positions, or asanas. Traditionally, the names of yoga positions were in Sanskrit, an old Indian language. The names were typically stemmed from things they resembled whether it be a pet, a flower or a wheel. Nonetheless, some yoga exercise positions get their names from ancient sages or Hindu misconceptions.


Yoga is among 6 orthodox traditions of Indian philosophy. Yoga was systematized by the terrific sage Patanjali in his classical work, ‘The Yoga exercise Sutras.’ Patanjali organized the practice of yoga exercise into eight stages, the 3rd being asana, or position. According to yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar, the practice of yoga exercise postures is the art of positioning the body as a whole with a psychological, physical and spiritual attitude.


Sanskrit’s an ancient Indian language utilized to name the initial yoga exercise postures. Many names of yoga poses end in ‘asana,’ which is Sanskrit for pose or pose. For instance, mountain posture is ‘tadasana’ in Sanskrit–‘tada’ meaning mountain, and ‘asana’ meaning position. If the posture involves certain movements in the body such as extension, intensity, reclining, twisting, etc., the appropriate Sanskrit term is added to the name of the position. For instance, extended triangular position is ‘utthita trikonasana’– ‘Utthita’ implies extended, ‘tri’ indicates three, ‘kona’ suggests angle, and ‘asana’ ways position.


Some yoga positions were named after something they resemble, such as items in nature, like tree position, half moon posture or birds of haven position. Others are called after pets such as turtle position, frog position, cobra position, camel position or eagle position. The shape your body takes in bridge position and wheel position are reflected in their names. Hero position got it’s name due to the fact that it’s the position excellent warriors sit in. This pose establishes strength and endurance.

Other Meanings

Some yoga exercise postures get their names from ancient yogic sages or Hindu misconceptions. For example, vasisthasana, which is side plank position with one leg extended, was named after the terrific sage Vasistha. Vasistha was the author of numerous Vedic hymns and is among seven sages represented by the stars of the Great Bear. Plow position, or halasana, gets it’s name from the Hindu misconception of Haladhara, which reminds us to plow the field of the mind with hopefulness.