Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Yogasana Mean?

Yogasana is a term that, in its narrow definition, describes a seated posture in yoga typically used for meditation, such as a basic cross-legged position like sukhasana (easy pose). The word originated in the 19th century from the Sanskrit, yoga, meaning “union” and asana, meaning “seat,” “posture” or “pose.”

In modern usage, yogasana — or asana for short — is used to describe a wide range of yoga poses, not just seated postures. Yogasanas today include reclining poses, standing poses, inverted postures, among others.


Yogapedia Explains Yogasana

Yogasanas are most associated with the physical practice of Hatha yoga. Some are practiced for their physical benefits, such as relaxation, increased flexibility or strength. Other yogasanas are valued more for their mental, emotional or spiritual benefits, such as enhanced focus, mental clarity or connection to the higher Self.

Some examples of traditional seated yogasanas are:

  • Padmasana (lotus pose) — cross-legged with the feet resting atop the thighs.
  • Siddhasana (perfect or accomplished pose) — cross-legged with the feet close to the body and one foot resting atop the other.
  • Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) — seated with the shins and tops of the feet on the ground and the buttocks resting on the heels.

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