How yoga poses like “downward dog” get their names (and what “yoga” means exactly)

You can buy yoga mats in grocery stores and take yoga classes at gyms, hospitals, or even malls. It may have originated in India, but yoga is now practiced worldwide through variations of traditional physical and mental disciplines. For some it is a type of medicinal exercise, while for others it is simply a way of chilling out and keeping lean.

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that implies a union or a yoking with the Supreme Spirit. In Hindu religious philosophy, it is believed that this union is obtained through ascetic practice, meditation, and mental concentration.

For over 2,000 years, the educated classes in India have used Sanskrit for literary and religious purposes. The asanas, ”yoga postures or positions, practiced by yogis,” have Sanskrit names.  (A yogi is a yoga practitioner. The feminine form, yogini, is used infrequently.)

Many asanas are named for animals, such as the tortoise, heron, pigeon, crow, or fish poses. Perhaps the most well known pose is named after man’s best friend: downward-facing dog pose, downward dog or simply down dog. In this position the yogi forms an inverted V-shape, with the hands and feet on the floor and the legs and arms straight and hip-width apart. If you’re new to this pose and prone to tight hamstrings, down dog might make you want to howl.

Easier on the hamstrings but equally challenging is tadasana, or mountain pose. This very basic standing pose is believed to have a number of benefits, including improving confidence.

Hanumanasana is an extreme version of the splits. The name derives from Hanuman, a demigodwho resembles a monkey. The pose honors a legend in which Hanuman made a giant leap from India to the Lankan islands. Note to beginner yogis: don’t try this one at home.

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Food Weekly News October 23, 2008 Golden Spoon, the largest frozen yogurt chain in California by sales volume, is marking its 25th anniversary this year with an aggressive expansion strategy to develop the brand throughout the country and worldwide. frozenyogurtrecipenow.net frozen yogurt recipe

Golden Spoon Franchising President Roger Clawson announced the signing of an exclusive license agreement between Golden Spoon Founder Jeff Barnes and Golden Spoon Franchising. This agreement will allow Golden Spoon Franchising to expand frozen yogurt operations into all domestic and international markets outside of its current retail areas. There are nearly 100 Golden Spoon stores in the Western United States with locations in Northern and Southern California, Southern Nevada, Southern Utah and the greater Phoenix area.

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“The Golden Spoon brand will expand dramatically based on the solid economic model and innovative product development that have been trademarks of the company for more than 25 years,” said Clawson, a Golden Spoon storeowner of eight years, who joined the Golden Spoon executive team in 2003. “We are working closely with the Golden Spoon’s creative team to ensure a uniform presentation of our brand. Customers can expect us to continue delivering premium-quality products and service at new and existing stores.” Known as “the ice cream lover’s yogurt,” Golden Spoon has pioneered the formulation of premium soft-serve frozen yogurt that incorporates creative and remarkable flavorings. Since its inception in the 1980s by Golden Spoon Founder Jeff Barnes, the company has perfected a proprietary non-fat frozen yogurt recipe that maintains a healthy and nutritious profile.

“The focus of the Golden Spoon business has always been on delivering the highest-quality yogurt that is not only delicious, but also good for you,” said Barnes. “I look forward to watching Roger continuing forward in this tradition. His vision for expansion has played the key role in the recent progression of the chain, especially in the expansion of our geographic footprint and store count.” A Swirling History Marking a quarter-century in the frozen yogurt industry, Golden Spoon is recognized as a pioneer in one of the coolest trends in food history and has turned frozen yogurt into a viable, long-term niche. The Southern California-based chain was founded in 1983 as a family-friendly business that delivers high-quality, value-priced soft-serve frozen yogurt. Barnes, the creator of the company’s unique, premium product, has developed a flavor profile that has yielded a highly loyal, unusually frequent and long-term customer following throughout the Southwestern United States. web site frozen yogurt recipe

Golden in Sales Golden Spoon has sold more frozen yogurt over the past five years than any other frozen yogurt chain in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, a reality that is attracting experienced multi-store franchise operators to the company. The chain has also consistently experienced significant growth in same-store sales, is widely considered a leader in the industry, and is now growing stronger than ever with a sustainable expansion strategy.

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  1. Ginny Weasley -  December 4, 2015 - 4:51 am

    Yoga is so stupid when done with the goal of “yoking one’s self to the ‘Supreme Spirit.’ ”

    Oh, please.

  2. ummmmm ya know -  September 8, 2010 - 7:19 am

    hello world of God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Form Generator -  August 23, 2010 - 4:39 pm

    hey man I like it. I’m off to write more articles and try out your ideas. After all, we always have something new to learn and being humble, I came here to learn. Bookmarked.

    - John

  4. Waylon Klemisch -  August 19, 2010 - 6:09 am

    this page was exactly what i’ve been searching for! I found this blog bookmarked from a friend. I’ll also share it. Thanks again!

  5. Penny -  July 29, 2010 - 1:58 am

    Obviously certain people who make a comment are not English speakers from birth. However, the fact that others cannot distinguish between “your” belonging to you, and “you’re” meaning you are, shows a lack of understanding of the use of English.Some people just cannot use a comma!
    Some of the comments though are just baffling or unintelligible.
    Some comments refer to things specifically American, which I cannot understand because I am English, probably Anglo Saxon, as Tony Hancock would say: “Undiluted for generations.”

  6. Nirmal Kumar Mishra -  July 28, 2010 - 11:31 pm

    It has been explained in a nice,simple way, as to what yoga really means.
    You connect your soul with the divine spirit. This happens when mind is fixed at a point between the eyebrows, and the inhalation and exhalation attain an equiblibrium for a while. The body must be strain-free. The yogic exercise is different from it, although it brings about a tranquility, which helps in connecting with the supreme power or the spiritual force.In that process one experiences something unique, which cannot be described in words.

  7. addi -  July 28, 2010 - 10:07 pm

    Thank you Dictionary.com.

  8. eddi -  July 28, 2010 - 9:44 pm

    Please, SassafraS, enlighten us with the proper punctuation of which you speak.

  9. Jeevendra -  July 28, 2010 - 8:10 am

    Instead of criticizing every thing, why don’t people get the best out of it. Showoffs… :o

  10. pooka s. -  July 27, 2010 - 1:26 pm

    It’s true — for a website dedicated to improving knowledge on the English language, the writing in this article is shockingly bad on many levels.

  11. Alan Turner -  July 27, 2010 - 12:25 pm

    Uhh! Uhh! I forget what supine means, can someone look it up for me? How is my punctuation doing Sassafras?

  12. Alan Turner -  July 27, 2010 - 12:22 pm

    Assume the potato pose, supine on the sofa and watch TV. Really good way to relax the whole body So is sex come to think of it and you do that supine also.

  13. CBoland -  July 27, 2010 - 11:26 am

    Please, SassafraS, enlighten us with the proper punctuation of which you speak.

  14. H.R.Mahboudi -  July 27, 2010 - 11:08 am

    Yoga is the key to Martial Arts too.Yoga increases internal energy,self confidence,and courage.The concentration resulted from yoga practice gives speed,power,and accuracy to Martial Arts Techniques.

  15. SassafraS -  July 27, 2010 - 9:19 am

    Well, these articles would be all the more impressive if whoever creates them knew how to properly punctuate.

  16. Jag -  July 27, 2010 - 8:37 am

    It is not that Asanas are named specifically after animals. Different Asanas are aimed at affecting/activating different body parts and glands. While doing so the body is bent, twisted, stretched in different ways and whatever shape of the body is formed during a particular Asana, it is named after that shape which could be an animal, an instrument, a weapon…. anything.

    My 29 years of Yoga practice reveals that IT DOES lead to a disease-free life. In my opinion everyday performing 6 postures viz. Dhanurasana, Paschimottasana, Halasana, Supta-Vajrasana, Mayurasana, Shirshasana together with Pranayama rejuvenates all body parts and glands which will lead to a healthy life.

  17. Amola Ghosalkar -  July 27, 2010 - 7:14 am


    I am trained yoga teacher. I wanted to take Yoga classe.
    could you help abt it.


  18. feiseldad -  July 27, 2010 - 6:59 am

    Is ther eany connection between “yoga” and “Yogi Bear”?
    He was smarter than the average bear, Boo-boo..

  19. smoker -  July 27, 2010 - 3:31 am

    It takes years of training, aesthetics, and stoicism, however I do not know if it is a happy life in a secular way. By the way, the knight of Faith, how did he end his life? I forgot(not life of the author.)

  20. YOGA | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  July 27, 2010 - 12:56 am

    [...] “YOGA” is a practice or movements and concentrated focus. — Like Tai-chi Ch’uan the fact is, they have their own lexicon. — “Downward Dog” or “White Crane Lifts Wing” within the the track your on. — The phrases help retention in the learning of the form. –Any special activity with difficult situations — especially the Asian Arts which come from animal movements — with animal salutations — are translated for the market and marketing with Western “improvements”. — The Chi is internal energy and we tried Yoga for a week — We preferred the dancing meditation though we like yogurt so to speak. — Most of us never quite obtain the ultimate purpose of each spiritually motivated practice. — Since the money for machines to workout give us the promise of instant gratification, toys on which to hang clothes and inevitably distract us.–>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  21. Johnnie -  July 26, 2010 - 11:16 pm

    funny as, eh?
    Absolutely hillarious.
    But do you eat Yogos when you do Yoga?


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