YOGA GLOSSARY OR HOW TO MAKE SENSE OF SANSKRIT

Sanskrit is the primary philosophical language of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and is used for describing all yoga postures / Asanas. The term Sanskrit may be translated as “refined or elaborate”. The language was transmitted orally from generation to generation, from the gurus to their disciples. Comparable to Latin, another dead language, Sanskrit is barely spoken anymore. However, it has an importance in the recital of mantras as well as of the rituals, philosophy and literature. The study of basic sanskrit is part of the foundational 200 hours and also the 300 hours Deep Flow Yoga Teacher Training.

How to use this Yoga Glossary

Learning the root terms of Sanskrit that we use in class at INNERCITYOGA is fun and actually way easier than what you would expect.
Take for instance the asana “Adho Mukha Svanasana”.  You can break it down into the following terms:
Adho = Downward
Mukha = Facing
Svana = Dog
Asana = Posture
Adho Mukha Svanasana = Downward facing Dog Posture. See? That was easy.

Knowing the essential yoga terms may prove useful, if ever you find yourself in a different country far away from Geneva. You may not understand what the teacher says in the local language, but you will know the terms in Sanskrit!


Adho – Downward
Angula – Finger or Thumb
Ardha – Half
Asana – Posture
Baddha – Bound
Baka – Crane / Crow
Bhuja – Arm / Shoulder
Chandra – Moon
Danda – Staff
Dhanu – Bow
Dwi – Two
Eka – One
Gomukha – Face ressembling a cow
Hasta – Hand
Janu – Knee
Karna – Ear
Kona – Angle
Kurma - Tortoise
Mala – Garland / Wreath
Matsya – Fish
Mayura – Peacock
Mukha – Facing

Mula – Root / Base
Nava – Boat
Padma – Lotus
Parivtta – Twisted / Revolved
Parsva – Side
Prana – Breath
Salabha – Locust
Salamba – Supported
Sava – Corpse
Setu – Bridge
Sirsa – Head
Sukha – Ease
Supta – Sleeping / Reclining
Svana – Dog
Tada – Mountain
Urdhva – Upward
Ustra – Camel
Utkata – Fierce
Uttana – Intense stretch
Utthita – Extended
Vira – Hero
Vrksa – Tree


Consider also these links:

;