Origin of Asanas Names
Many of the Asana have animal names, such as the fish posture and the cobra posture. This is because yogi as devised their asana partly by observing how animal instincts work in the wild. When animals are sick they would only eat certain herbs and grasses. Similarly, they would stretch and contract muscles in various postures instinctively. Yogis also observed how animals relaxed. Cats, especially, are experts in relaxation. On awakening from sleep, they instinctively stretch, arch the spine in both directions and then relax.
Names based on:
- Plants: Vrksasana, Tadasana
- Animals: Siàhasana, Gomukhasana, Ustrasana.
- Birds: Mayurasana, Garudasana
- Insects: reptiles and other creatures salabhasana, Mandukasana, Matsyasana.
- Objects: Dhanurasana, Halasana, Trikonasana
- Impact and bodily form: sirsasana, sarvangasana