Full 84 Asanas List & History Of The Yoga Tradition

With mysterious beginnings but undeniable consequences, here's the full list of 84 traditional yoga poses.

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The number eighty-four is considered sacred within a number of cultures, including yogic traditions.

It is not known exactly why, but there are many significant yoga texts throughout history that refer to the number eighty-four, including the descriptions and instructions for 84 yoga asanas.

This article will explore:

Complete 84 Asanas List:

Below you will find a list of the eighty-four yogasanas in Sanskrit plus their English translation. Within all of the texts mentioned above, you will find some small variations. The postures listed here are based on the sequence taught by Tony Sanchez.

Please note, many of the eighty-four postures below are considered advanced yoga poses. For this reason, it is advised to practiceonce you have an established yoga practice and under the supervision of an experienced yoga teacher.

a love heart with yoga asanas shapes inside against a blue background

1. Virabhadrasana – Salute to the Gods and Goddesses- series

2. Suryanamaskara – Salute to the Sun

3. Parsvardhacandrasana – Lateral Half Moon

4. Ardha candrasana – Back Bend

5. Padhastasana – Hands to Feet

6. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

7. Dandayamanavibhaktapadajanusirasana – Standing Separate Legs Head to Knee

8. Utkatasana – Chair Pose

9. Garudasana – Eagle Pose

10. Dandayamanajanusirasana – Standing Head to Knee

11. Dandayamanadhanurasana – Standing Bow

12. Tuladandasana – Balancing Stick

13. Vibhaktahastatuladandasana – Separate Hands Balancing Stick

14. Dandayamanavibhaktapadapascimottanasana – Standing Separate Legs Stretching Pose

15. Tadasana – Tree Pose

16. Pada ngusthasana – Toe Stand

a woman doing a headstand at sunset

17. Vamanasana – Short-man Pose

18. Khagasana – Crow Pose

19. Bakasana – Crane Pose

20. Angusthasana – Finger Stand

21. Pranasana – Life Pose

22. Sukhasana – Easy Pose

23. Samasana – Balanced Pose

24. Siddhasana – Success in Meditation

25. Bhadrasana – Gentle Pose

26. Svastikasana – Good Luke Pose

27. Ardhapadmasana – Half Lotus Pose

28. Padmasana – Lotus Pose

29. Utthitapadmasana – Raised Lotus Pose

30. Baddhapadmasana – Bound Lotus Pose

31. Tulangulasana – Weighing Scale Pose

32. Garbhasana – Fetus Pose

33. Matsyasana – Fish Pose

34. Makarasana – Crocodile Pose

a woman doing tiger pose in a park on a yoga mat

35. Parvatasana – Mountain Pose

36. Kukkutasana – Cockerel Pose

37. Savasana – Corpse Pose

38. Parvanamuktasana – Wind Removing Pose

39. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose

40. Salabhasana – Locust Pose

41. Purnasalabhasana – Full Locust Pose

42. Dhanurasana – Full Bow Pose

43. Supta vajrasana – Fixed Firm/ Reclining Hero Pose

44. Ardhakurmasana – Half Tortoise Pose

45. Ustrasana – Camel Pose

46. Sasakasana – Rabbit Pose

47. Janusirasana – Head to Knee Pose (Seated)

48. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend

49. Vibhaktapadapascimottanasana – Separate Leg Stretch Pose

50. Mandukasana – Frog Pose

51. Uttitapascimottanasana – Upward Stretching Pose

52. Purnavibhaktapadajanusirasana – Splits/ Full Separate Leg Head to Knee

53. Ekapadarajakapotasana – King Pigeon Pose

54. Dandayamanapurnajanusirasana – Splits in the Air/ Full Standing Head to Knee

55. Natarajasana – Dancer Pose

56. Akarnadhanurasana – Bow Pulling/ Archer Pose

57. Catuskonasana – Four Angle Pose

58. Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

59. Ardha matsyendrasana – Matsyendra’s Pose/ Spine Twist

60. Ekapadagokilasana – Flying Crow Pose

61. Ekapadasirasana – Foot Behind Head Pose

62. Dvipadasirasana – Both Feet Behind Head Pose

63. Utthitakurmasana – Raised Tortoise Pose

64. Kurmasana – Tortoise Pose

65. Yoganidrasana – Yogic Sleep Pose

66. Omkarasana – Om Pose

67. Samkatasana – Difficult Pose

68. Purnabhujangasana – Full Cobra Pose

69. Purnadhanurasana – Full Bow Pose

70. Purna-Ustrasana – Full Camel Pose

71. Urdhvadhanurasana / Chakrasana- Wheel Pose (Upward-Facing Bow)

72. Ekapadaviparitadandasana – One-legged Inverted Staff Pose

73. Mayurasana – Peacock Pose

74. Baddhamayurasana – Lotus Peacock Pose

75. Ekapadamayurasana – One-legged Peacock Pose

76. Ekahastamayurasana – One-handed Peacock Pose

77. Halasana – Plow Pose

78. Sarvangasana – Supported Shoulder Stand

79. Urdhvasarvangasana – Shoulder Stand (Unsupported)

80. Sirsasana – Supported Headstand

81. Urdhvasirsasana – Headstand (Unsupported)

82. Vyaghasana – Tiger Pose

83. Vyaghrasanavrscikasana – Scorpion Pose

84. Hastasana – Upward Salute Pose

a woman doing lotus pose meditation

The History of the Eighty-four Asanas

Texts such as the 13th century Dattātreyayogaśāstra state there are 8,400,000 āsanas, as many as there are varieties of living creatures. It is said that from these, Śiva selected eighty-four.

There are a large number of ancient and modern texts in hatha yoga and beyond that refer to the number eighty-four, however, they appear to vary in the āsanas described. 

The Haṭharatnāvalī, written by Srinivasa is a Sanskrit text dated around the mid 17th century. It is the earliest known text to list and describe eighty-four āsanas. It appears to be highly influenced by the Haṭhapradīpikā, which was written in the 15th century, although this text only describes fifteen āsanas. 

Around 1737 CE the Jogapradīpikā describes eighty-four āsanas within 314 of its 964 verses. Not long after this, the Āsanayogagratha from Jaipur, dated 1744 CE describes instructions for eighty-four āsanas.

In the 1900s, eighty-four āsanas are described and photographed in publications by Buddha Bose and Dr Gouri Shankar Mukerji, who were students of Bishnu Charan Ghosh.

Ghosh was also the teacher of the infamous Bikram Choudhury. Choudhury taught the eighty-four āsanas to his students as the “advanced class” version of his usual twenty-six postures. Students of Choudhury continue to teach the eighty-four āsanas along with pranayama, mudra, and bandha instruction.

In 2007, Gudrun Bühnemann published Eighty-four Āsanas in Yoga. Her research explores and compares various ancient and modern traditions in which eighty-four āsanas are recorded, from manuscripts to modern day yoga systems. 

a man doing camel pose

The eighty-four asanas From the 20th century Onwards

Bishnu Charan Ghosh

Bishnu Charan Ghosh was born in 1903. He was the founder of Ghosh’s College of Physical Education in Calcutta, India. The school continues to run today under the name of Ghosh’s Yoga College. It is now under the guidance of his granddaughter Muktamala Ghosh.

Ghosh was the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, renowned author of Autobiography of a Yogi. It is said that Ghosh was influenced by the physical culture of India during his upbringing, including body building.

Seemingly, he was influenced just as much by the yogic teachings of his brother Yogananda and would accompany him on his travels worldwide. It is thought that Ghosh’s teaching style combined the spiritual aspect of yoga and the positive health effects of physical exercises.

Ghosh himself did not knowingly document the eighty-four āsanas that he taught. Instead, he published a pamphlet in 1961 titled Yoga Cure. This described thirty-two āsanas along with their health benefits.

Interestingly, there appears to be some similarities between Yoga Cure and the āsanas described in the Gheraṇḍa Saṁhitā, an 18th century Sanskrit text comprised of thirty-two āsanas.

A number of Ghosh’s students, however, went on to create publications which record the same sequence of eighty-four āsanas, accompanied with instructions, diagrams and photographs.

Therefore, it is believed that Ghosh taught these eighty-four āsanas to all of his students.

a woman doing triangle pose

Bikram Choudhury

Amongst these students was Bikram Choudhury. Choudhury later condensed this extensive sequence into a beginner-friendly class consisting of twenty-six postures, known as the “Bikram Yoga” sequence.

Since, Bikram has faced allegations of mass abuse, r*pe, homophobia & racism. To find out more, check out the following articles: on his life, rise & downfall, & on his abuse allegations.

Ghosh’s friend and student, Buddha Bose, documented the eighty-four āsanas in a manuscript through photographs and descriptions of the postures. Although unpublished during his lifetime, Bose’s work would later shed light on the significance of these postures.

Jerome Armstrong’s 2020 book Calcutta Yoga explores the discovery and recent publication of Bose’s manuscript, adding further layers of interest and understanding around the eighty-four āsanas.

Another notable figure in the evolution of the eighty-four āsanas is Dr Gouri Shankar Mukerji, who was both a student of Bishnu Ghosh and a dedicated medical researcher.

During the 1950s and 60s, Dr Gouri Shankar Mukerji authored several books publishing research on the medical effects of yoga postures and breathing practices. His contributions expanded the knowledge and understanding of the health benefits of these ancient asanas.

Beyond Choudhury’s “Bikram Yoga” class of twenty-six asanas, he would teach the original eighty-four āsanas to his most committed and experienced students in what is now known as Bikram’s “Advanced Class.”

While still taught in yoga studios today, it is often not openly advertised on schedules and is reserved for experienced practitioners and teachers who are invited to take on the challenge.

a woman doing fish pose on a yoga mat

Tony Sanchez

Tony Sanchez was a devoted student of Choudhury and played a significant role in preserving and sharing the eighty-four āsanas. Sanchez developed his own teaching style and created classes and courses that centered around these eighty-four postures.

In his book, 84 Āsanas: Level 1, Sanchez provides insights into the history of the sequence, positing that it originated from a system codified in the 10th century AD by Yogi Matsyendranath, the founder of the Nath sect.

Sanchez also connects the teachings of Yogananda and Sivananda, suggesting they may have practiced the eighty-four āsanas together.

Where else does the number eighty-four appear?

Buddhist traditions contain stories of the eighty-four Siddhas. Siddhas are considered fully-realized beings.

The 84 Siddhas

Siddhas are also known as Mahasiddhas (maha meaning ‘great’). They are sometimes attributed to having acquired magical/ superhuman abilities.

There is some evidence that there is a connection between the eighty-four Siddhas and the eighty-four āsanas. A link has yet to be defined, but scholars have suggested that each Siddha could be connected to one of the eighty-four āsanas.

a woman doing cow face pose in a park

Where can you practice the eighty-four Asanas today?

As Bikram Yoga is the beginner’s version of Ghosh’s yoga sequence, you may be able to contact a Bikram Yoga school to enquire if they hold advanced or intermediate yoga classes covering the eighty-four āsanas.

Tony Sanchez teaches the eighty-four āsanas online, so his classes and courses can be accessed worldwide. Esak Garcia, also a previous student of Choudhury runs a teacher training for the eighty-four āsanas.

Ghosh’s Yoga College in Calcutta, India teaches the eighty-four āsanas focusing on their therapeutic benefits.

If ashtanga, vinyasas and surya namaskar aren’t your thing, consider looking into these.

Further Reading

While the exact origins of the eighty-four āsanas remain elusive, their significance and impact on the world of yoga are undeniable.

For further research on the eighty-four āsanas, you may find these resources helpful:

Eighty-four Āsanas in Yoga, by Gudrun Bühnemann

Calcutta Yoga, by Jerome Armstrong

Roots of Yoga, by James Mallinson and Mark Singleton

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Amy is a yoga teacher and practitioner based in Brighton.

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