Create a Yoga Deck for Learing Sanskrit

A yoga deck with old business cards. It’s a classic memorization technique with a “green” twist. Don’t toss that stack of old business cards, re-use them to enhance your memory of yoga postures.

yoga-cards 001

To make the deck, gather all your outdated business cards, and all the old ones from your plumber, realtor, and webmaster, just sitting at the bottom of your desk drawer not serving any purpose. Write the Sanskrit term on the blank side (or the side with less writing) and the definition on the other side. Presto! You’ve given yourself a study tool, custom made for your practice.

yoga-cards 002

CREATING a yoga deck will help deepen your appreciation of the meanings behind the names of the asanas, and USING it will help you keep new Sanskrit terms clear in your mind. That’s right, expand the list of asanas to also include terms you will hear in Hatha classas, such as:

  • Prasarita – expanded, or outstretched limbs
  • Utthita – extended
  • Parsva – side or flank
  • Upavistha- seated or sitting
  • Kona – angle
  • Eka – single
  • Dwi – two
  • Tan – stretch
  • Sarva – whole
  • Anga – body
  • Salamba – supported
  • Ardha – half
  • Paravritta – revolved
  • Viparita – inverted

The two-fold yoga deck consisting of asana names and common Sanskrit terms will be valuable in two ways: learning for yourself through researching and compiling a list of dozens of Sanskrit words; and secondly, ease of access to keep all the variations strait. You can carry the cards with you and pull them out anywhere. These little self-tests are remarkably effective for both learning and retention.

TIP: On each card in the yoga deck you can include a few descriptive words about the asana on the side of the card with the definition, as well as a note about variations.

3 Examples:

  1. On the back of your card for Vrsasana write Tree, and “standing pose, one foot”.
  2. On the back of your card for Sarvangasana write Shoulderstand, and “use a bolster for supporting shoulders”.
  3. On the back of your card for Trikonasana write Triangle, and “may be revolved (paravrita)”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: