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Real Names for Yoga Poses, in Handy Chart Form

in YD News, YogaHaha

Straight from the Found on the Internets Trove:

Oh sure we’ve got the ancient language of Sanskrit to inform some of us on the meaning behind yoga poses, and then utterly confound the rest of us. Ah-do milkshake what? But what if you just named the poses exactly as they seem? They might go a little something like this!

(warning: somewhat crass and possibly NSFW if your boss has bionic reading abilities)

[Via Pleated Jeans, ChartPorn]

Add your own!



25 comments… add one
  • So funny! Here’s another: Reclining pigeon= “Dead Pigeon”

    • YD

      haha.. have heard the ‘dead pigeon’ before. always get a good laugh!

  • Hilarious!!! Love it

  • OMG. LOL!!!

  • What about fire hydrant? ( I don’t know the sanskrit name) ( you’re on all fours and one legs is going in a circle out to the side)

    Sanskrit is pretentious anyway….. why would you use these outside of a teacher training course….average students don’t know these terms.

    • julienamaste

      Love Sanskrit, but also love this tongue-in-cheek take on the poses! Very funny.

      And some of us teach, using the Sanskrit words, because our students are interested in it, and it’s a nod of respect to the ancient tradition of yoga – for me, without that acknowledgement it’s just another get-fit physical workout. Different strokes for different folks! 🙂

    • Chris

      Philly, ever taken a class in Tae-kwon-d0 ? They use Korean words and terminology all the time.

      In any Karate, Judo, and Ju-jitsu or class, they use Japanese words and terminology.

      Similarly, in a Yoga-class, it is only natural to use the Sanskrit name for the various Asanas. Nothing pretentious about that.

      Besides, Latin has borrowed heavily from Sanskrit, so it is not that hard to remember the Sanskrit names. For example :
      paada in Sanskrit = ped in Latin = related to the foot.

    • Most sanskrit names for postures are simply descriptive; Other postures are named after some kick-ass, cool Hindu deities. It doesn’t have to be pretentious.

    • Jo

      I’d like everyone to realize: You can count on Sanskrit making your life more beautiful. It has already been here for thousands of years and it will be here when you are ready for it.

      Still, philly has a point about using Sanskrit in asana class. Every teacher has to consider the students in front of her or him and meet them where they are. Of course it’s counterproductive to use Sanskrit to show off or to confuse or dismay your students.

      That said, once you have announced or described the next pose in terms they understand, you could choose to add in the Sanskrit name. Because yes, as Julie says, it is a beautiful way to deepen our connection to an age-old tradition. And by cultivating this habit, you’ll be able to teach all over the world, even if you and your students can’t converse with each other!

      But much more than pronouncing asana names awaits the Sanskrit student. This powerful and elegant language can give you a profound understanding of yogic attention and focus – that’s what the yoga sutras are all about. And studying Sanskrit is fun! For example, Chris is absolutely right about all the cognates. You can hear it when the ashtangis count: eka, dvi, tri, catur, panca …

      • RemyG

        Learning the poses in Sanskrit means you can take a class anywhere in the world and be able to participate! It’s another way to be part of a yoga community.

  • Phil
  • AYYY YAY YAY!! I clicked on this link because I have a desire to sharpen my skills with regard to the names of the poses, and always want to find more ways to make things accessible to my students.
    I am a bit of a polly-Anna when it comes to crass stuff, but have to admit I giggled a bit.

  • I always felt Karnapidasana was the best candidate for the title of ‘Smell your own fart posture’: http://images.google.com/search?q=karnapidasana&biw=1188&bih=918&tbm=isch

  • Joe

    Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

    Mt 13:42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    Mr 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

    • Barb

      Thanks for the entertaining poetry, Joe!

  • :)))) something less fun to share with you guys, a little long, still some may appreciate:), love. form this book http://www.amazon.com/Yoga-What-not-Series-ebook/dp/B004BSGOXY

    `The earth is renewed around every 5 or 6 million years. These renewals have taken place in the form of floods. After the waters receded, life on land began again. Following the establishments of balances of all forms of life on earth, people came down from a higher planetry system and brought Yoga and other knowledge with them.These people spoke Sanskrit language and the knowledge was named Veda. Thus the first civilization on earth began.The name of this civilization was Ari Civilization. The word Ari means `enlightened person`. The Aris mean enlightened people, Ari civilization means `society of enlightened people`. The word Ari is not the name of a race or tribe. The people of the Ari civilization practiced the techniques of Yoga, mastered the body, mind and emotions, and were in continual contact with the Universal Consciousness without detaching themselves from nature.
    The Aris` memories were so powerful that once they heard something they never forgot it. That`s why they had no need for written knowledge, that is to say they did not need books. The science of Yoga was passed down orally from master to student for millions of years. In those days the continents were connected as one and the Ari civilization ruled the whole world. That is why there are Sanskrit words in all the languages in our world. When we study the ancient civilizations of our world, we can see that they have all come from same origin. Yoga postures are engraved on relics found in excavations in different parts of the world…`

  • Kell

    I personally use “dog peeing on (left/right)…..” as a cue in class, I really don’t know many sanskrit names (does that make me a bad yoga teacher?…not). And I used smell my armpit for reverse warrior not too long ago, least they are useable… love it.

  • J C

    I’m all for a laugh but the ‘Suck my d*ck, J….” is truly offensive on so many levels. I thought that part of yogic philosophy is to ‘do no harm to self or others.’ Yet in your posting your editor felt it perfectly acceptable to insult one of the most peaceful and kind religious figures in our history and to offend Christians (many of whom also happen to be yogis?) Shame!

  • Rupa

    In my mind, I’ve always called Utkatasana (aka Powerful Pose) by its more utilitarian name: Public Restroom Pose. Best practiced when the Protect-o tissue dispenser is empty.

    • Kell

      Haha ….I use, Port-A-Pottie pose!

  • Kweeny

    It is NEVER okay to show disrespect to another’s GOD. The Bible, which is the Word of God says that “Every knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”.

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