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UNDERSTANDING SANSKRIT

 

Kiana Ng Yoga

When it comes to asana (pose) names, they always end with the word “asana” and begin with an affix (see below) with the middle part of the name being the more specific name of the pose. However, not all poses require an affix. For example, Adho Mukha Svanasana translates to Downward (Adho) Facing (Mukha) Dog (Svan) Pose (Asana) or Hanumanasana translates to Monkey (Hanuman) Pose (Asana).

Here’s a quick guide on a few of the most common terms you might hear in a yoga class, grouped according to relevance:

Affixes:

  1. Adho = downward
  2. Urdhva = upward
  3. Utthita = extended
  4. Parivrtta = revolved
  5. Baddha = bound
  6. Kona = angle
  7. Supta = reclined
  8. Upavistha = seated
  9. Prasarita = spread out
  10. Ardha = half
  11. Uttana = intense stretch
  12. Salamba = supported
  13. Nirlamba = unsupported
  14. Sthiti = stability
  15. Pida = pressure

Numbers:

  1. Eka = one
  2. Dwi = two
  3. Tri = three
  4. Chatur = four
  5. Ashta = eight

Anatomy:

  1. Pada = foot
  2. Hasta = hand
  3. Anghusta = toe
  4. Janu = knee
  5. Sirsa = head
  6. Mukha = face
  7. Anga = limb
  8. Sava = corpse
  9. Bhuja = arm
  10. Prana =  breath/life force

Animals:

  1. Svana = dog
  2. Bheka = frog
  3. Baka = crow
  4. Ustra = camel
  5. Go = cow
  6. Bhujanga = snake
  7. Kapota = pigeon
  8. Kurma = turtle
  9. Matsya = fish
  10. Salabha = locust
  11. Tittibha = firefly
  12. Bidala = cat
  13. Mayura = peacock
  14. Garuda = eagle
  15. Vrischika = scorpion

Nature:

  1. Tada = mountain
  2. Padma = lotus
  3. Vrksa = tree

Sages

  1. Bharadva
  2. Garuda
  3. Marichi
  4. Matsyendra
  5. Surya
  6. Virabhadra
  7. Natarja
  8. Hanuman

Other

  1. Hala = plow
  2. Tola = scales
  3. Setu = bridge
  4. Nava = boat
  5. Mudra = seal
  6. Dhanu = bow
  7. Danda = staff
  8. Chandra = moon
  9. Vira = hero
  10. Asana = pose

With love,

 

Kiana

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