5 Popular Yoga Poses And What They Symbolize • Yoga Basics

You may have been practicing yoga for a while or even teaching it. They spent hours trying to find all the poses and their names, even in Sanskrit. You understand the difference between the warrior poses and your plank is as stable as a rock. But yoga is much more than just improving your balance, strengthening your core, or helping you sleep better. The shape and name of each asana is full of spiritual meaning and connection to something deeper than the physical world. Knowing the symbolism in common yoga poses can strengthen, inspire and deepen your yoga practice.

Why Study the Symbolism of Yoga Postures?

Yoga is a rich tradition full of symbolic meaning. The classic yoga poses can be understood as language, as a means of communication between body and mind. Learning and understanding the yoga pose symbols can help increase your focus and concentration and deepen your spiritual practice of the postures. Understanding the symbolism in common yoga poses can help you achieve a deeper level of body awareness and life satisfaction. They strengthen and support a committed yoga practice and provide insight into some key topics that run through many yoga traditions.

Yoga poses as symbols

Animals, elements of nature, and the names of ancient sages are the inspiration for many of the names of the yoga poses. The ancient yogis understood the power of symbols and used them to quickly convey the spirit, energy, and form of any asana. Practicing an attitude with awareness of the symbolic story behind it can add a new level of meaning and insight. It can also bring a sense of play, joy, and wonder to your yoga practice.

What do yoga poses symbolize?

Mountain pose

This pose may seem simple, but its meaning and symbolism go deeper than you think. In Sanskrit this pose is known as Tadasana, where “tada” means mountain and “asana” means posture. The mountain pose is also known as Samasthiti, which is derived from the word "Sama" which means upright and still, and "Sthiti" which means still and steady. This pose is the basis for all standing poses and, like a mountain, evokes stillness, strength, stability and strength.

Most people do not pay enough attention to their posture, and over time many develop hip and spine imbalances. This pose creates a lightness in the body, serves to ground us on earth and invites a steady energy into the body.

Child's pose

not how other symbols, The child's posture is straightforward and relatively easy to understand. It is simply a symbol of the child's curiosity that is lost in adulthood. This pose in the fetal position is very satisfying after a long day or a strenuous yoga class for creating a feeling of comfort and security.

By recreating these feelings from childhood and even before birth, you surrender yourself to the earth and immerse yourself in our deepest selves, which can release unnecessary tension. In fact, 54% of yoga lovers said that practicing yoga poses helps them release tension. The symbol here can guide you to reconnect with a time when you felt no stress or tension, just joy.

Warrior two pose

Warrior II is a symbol of the fearless warrior Virabhadra, who is said to have defeated his enemies with a thousand arms. This pose is said to channel determination, courage, and strength. The best way to use this pose is to think of it as a metaphor for the challenges in our lives which are like real battlefields. The strength of Warrior Two can make you feel like a real warrior fighting your way through a battlefield or enduring challenges with strength and inner strength.

Corpse pose

Savasana, or corpse pose, may seem morbid at first, but if viewed differently as a symbol of the cycle of life, it can be profoundly healing for the body, mind, and spirit. As you sit back, imagine dropping all of the dead parts of you into the earth or in the air.

It can be difficult to give up yourself and your feelings in order for Savasna to really work, but with enough practice you should get better at it. In the long run, such a pose can be really therapeutic and help you feel better about yourself. Around 42% of the yoga practitioners surveyed insisted that yoga increases their personal well-being. In many cases, this works best when that deeper connection to the poses and their meaning is found.

Eagle pose

The symbol of this yoga pose is included right in its name. The eagle is a royal bird known for its strength and various myths as a messenger of God. As you sit in the pose, imagine yourself flying between spiritual and earthly planes. Your new eagle eye of the world should have a bigger perspective on life than just one of the many great benefits of yoga.

Eagle pose requires great concentration and a lot of patience. Think of it this way: holding on to all of life's negative challenges or troubles may be easy, just as this pose can be difficult at first, but calmness and proper focus can help you on your journey. Eagle pose helps us see what is important in life.


The benefits of yoga are numerous and can reward you with a life of joy, health, and happiness when performed with mindful awareness and clear intentions. When you not only know how to do a pose, but also the symbolism and meaning behind each pose, it can be done deeper and more easily, like unlocking a door in yourself. These symbols are not limitations, but more ways of doing yoga and explore its possibilities.

What does your favorite yoga pose symbolize for you? Curious about the spiritual meanings of other popular yoga poses? Let us know in the comments below!

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