Hello there. If you’re here to download the printable yoga pose chart with 39 yoga poses in French and English click the download link below.
Be sure to read the rest of this article, if you’re interested in learning why and how watching yoga exercise videos in French can actually help you improve your French.
How I started practicing Yoga:
Yoga has been pretty trendy in France; however, I could never really get into the classes at my local gym.
That all changed in March of 2020 when most of the world went into lockdown. During this period of social distancing, gyms were closed, and people were left to their own devices.
I was determined to stay active and fit; however, I didn’t own a set of weights and hate running, so I turned to youtube in search of exercise workouts I could do at home in place of my gym workouts.
You might be interested in reading: Can’t Go To Gym? 13 Fun Beginner Home Workouts: Without Equipment
I wasn’t looking for Yoga, Yoga found me
I tried a bunch of random exercise videos from Pilates and Zumba to callisthenics. I even got into jump roping with my weighted jump ropes, which I love for its quick calorie-burning, heart-pumping cardio effects.
Then one day, a Yoga video in my recommended video feed caught my eye.
The idea of reducing some stress from being cooped up indoors while regaining some flexibility appealed to me, so I figured I would give it a try.
Yoga Classes in French
I quickly discovered there were a plethora of yoga classes on Youtube in both French and English and tried everything from Hatha and Vinyasa to Yin Yoga.
To my surprise, I enjoyed yoga (in the comfort of my own home), and now practice in the mornings, five days a weak. Sometimes I’ll even do a quick 20 minute Yin yoga routine before bed.
Repetition is the common link between language learning and yoga.
My first challenge was doing the postures correctly. Many yoga poses look deceptively easy until you actually try to do them.
Basic poses like “downward-facing dog” (Le Chien tête en bas) made me wince in pain as I tried to keep my heels on the ground and my back flat at the same time. “Upward facing dog” (Le Chien tête en Haut) was no walk in the park either. My back just didn’t seem to want to bend back at all.
My second challenge was learning the names of the yoga poses in two languages; French and English. I live in a bilingual household in France, so this was important to me.
To reach my goals, I committed to doing an hour of yoga every day for 30 days. I watched a handful of my favourite yoga videos repeatedly day after day until I knew all the poses in each video and their names by heart. This made following the yoga classes go so much smoother because I could follow the voice prompts and didn’t have to keep looking up at the television.
“That’s when I made the connection between learning yoga and language learning”, which I’m sharing with you today.
Benefits of learning French from watching yoga exercise videos
Repetition and consistency, as it so happens, is a proven method for not only improving your yoga technique but also helps language learners build familiarity with the language and retain new vocabulary long term.
And if a picture is worth a thousand words, the visual aspect of watching yoga exercise videos in French helps support not only listening comprehension but also vocabulary recall. Not to mention, it’s an excellent way to learn French body part names and movement vocabulary.
And for those of us short on time, optimizing your time by combining two activities into one (French + yoga) is a huge time saver.
But exercise has other benefits on our brain and learning that’s proven by science.
Exercise also helps your brain learn better and retain information easier.
Several studies done in recent years have shown that exercise can alter the biology of parts of the brain, which in turn helps the brain prepare to learn and makes retaining information easier.
Researchers at the University of British Colombia conducted a study that found regular aerobic exercise may boost the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning (source: Harvard Medical School).
Although yoga isn’t technically an aerobic exercise, yoga helps the brain in ways that are similar to aerobic exercise according to a study of yoga effects on brain health.
In addition to having a positive effect on key areas responsible for memory and information processing, regular yoga practice also has the added benefit of emotional regulation and mood improvement, which contributes to better overall brain health and functioning.
Put It To The Test With These Recommended French Yoga Instructors
To kick start your French Yoga vocabulary, I created a printable PDF which you can download and print for free. It contains images of 39 yoga poses (Les postures) in both French and English.
Then try out one of the French yoga channels on Youtube which I recommend below.
Something to keep in mind is yoga instructors (in both French and English) sometimes use multiple names for the same pose. For instance, in French, there is a pose called “la sauterelle,” which is also called “la locuste,” which means grasshopper and Locust, respectively. I believe the same is true in English for that pose.
There are many more poses that have multiple names but for the purpose of this article, I only list the major ones that I have come across myself.
39 Yoga pose names in French and English
I have listed out the 39 yoga poses below which you will find on the printable bilingual yoga chart.
- LOTUS – (Le Lotus)
- SHOELACE – (Le Lacet)
- GARLAND – (La Guirlande)
- CHILD’S POSE – (La Posture de L’enfant)
- COW POSE – (La Vache)
- CAT POSE – (Le Chat)
- PLANK – (La Planche)
- COBRA – (Le Cobra)
- UPWARD FACING DOG – (Le Chien tête en Haut)
- DOWNWARD FACING DOG – (Le Chien tête en Bas)
- 3 LEGGED DOG – (Le Chien à 3 Pattes)
- DOLPHIN – (Le Dauphin)
- CHAIR – (La Chaise)
- LONG CRESCENT – (Le Croissant de Lune)
- WARRIOR 1 – (Le Guerrier 1)
- WARRIOR 2– (Le Guerrier 2)
- WARRIOR 3– (Le Guerrier 3)
- HALFMOON– (La Demi-Lune)
- REVOLVED TRIANGLE– (Le Triangle en Torsion)
- GRASSHOPPER / LOCUST– (La Sauterelle) / (La Locuste)
- BOW – (L’Arc)
- 1 LEGGED KING PIGEON – ( Le Pigeon Royal Sur Une Jambe) aka (Le Roi Des Pigeons à Une Jambe) aka (Le Roi Pigeon)
- HALF PIGEON / PIGEON – (Le Pigeon)
- BOAT– (Le Bateau)
- INTENSE DORSAL STRETCH / SEATED FORWARD BEND – (L’étirement de l’ouest) aka (La Pince Assise)
- STANDING FORWARD BEND – (La Pince debout) aka (La Cigogne) aka (La Flexion avant debout)
- CROW – (Le Corbeau)
- HANDSTAND – (L’arbre Droit) aka (L’équilibre sur les mains) aka (L’ATR-Appui Tendu Renversé)
- THE FEATHERED PEACOCK – (La Plume De Paeon)
- KING DANCER / LORD OF THE DANCE– (Le Danseur)
- MONKEY KING -(Le Roi des Singes) aka (Le Dieu Singe)
- STRAIGHT ANGLE -(L’angle assis) aka (L’angle ouvert)
- CAMEL – (Le chameau)
- WHEEL– (Le Pont)
- REVERSE PLANK– (Le Plan Incliné) aka ( l’étirement Intense de l’Est)
- BRIDGE – (Le Demi-Pont)
- PLOW– (La Charue)
- SHOULDER STAND– (La Chandelle) literally “the candle.”
- CORPSE POSE– (Le Cadavre)
Free Yoga in French: Some recommended online Yoga classes
Whether you are looking for a dynamic morning yoga session or a restorative yin yoga class, Ariane has a class for everyone and all levels- Meditation, pranayama, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin and also mudras and mantras. She published her first video in 2013 and has published one every Friday since. She is a certified Yoga Instructor from the Yoga Alliance since March 2012.
Whether you’re looking to warm up with joy and energy or relax meditation session, Jo’s got a video for you! No matter what your yoga level or abilities, her calm tone will guide you in your practice. Jo posted her first video Yoga video in 2016 and posts one every week.
Chloé is from Belgium and has been posting relaxing yoga classes online since 2018. What I like about Chloé is how peaceful and relaxed I feel whenever I follow one of her yoga videos.
The youtube Chanel ELLE, by the magazine with the same name, offers yoga classes by Nathalie Fauqette. Each yoga class is aimed at helping you achieve a certain goal, whether it be to get rid of a headache, dealing with insomnia, to relieve neck pain or getting that bikini body and more.
Georgia is a hatha yoga teacher who’s been sharing her life tips 2011. She teaches her yoga classes with a lot of passion, love and enthusiasm.
Sandra has been posting videos since around~2014. She speaks very clearly and explains all the movements.
40+ French words and phrases related to yoga
In French, a yoga pose is called “une posture de yoga” or “une posture” or “une pose.”
Here are over 40 essential French words and phrases you’ll most likely hear in a French yoga class.
French Yoga Movement Verbs
Movement is a big part of any sport but in yoga, there are certain ones you will hear more often such as “inhale” and “exhale”.
- Inspirez = inhale
- Expirez = to exhale
- Respirez = breath
- Respirature = breath ( the noun, as in “your breath”)
- profondre= deep
- Souple – flexible
- Asseyz-vous – Sit down
- Allongez-vous – Lie down
- Gardez cette position – Stay in the position / Don’t move
- Se détendre = relax
- Relâcher = to release
- étirer = to stretch
- Fléchir / plier = to bend
- à quatre pattes = on all fours
- Accrochez les doigts – Interlace your fingers
- Allongez-vous sur le dos– Lie on your back
- Allongez-vous sur le ventre – Lie on your stomach
- Fermez vos yeux – close your eyes
- Baisser – to lower
- Fléchissez les pieds – Flex your feet
French body parts
It’s essential that you know the names of body parts in yoga.
- Le Corps – body
- La tête – head
- La Nuque – Neck
- Le Dos -Back
- Les épaules– shoulders
- Les bras – arms
- Les mains -hands
- Les jambes – legs
- Les genoux– knees
- Les cuisses -thighs
- Les Pieds – feet
- les pieds nus – barefoot
- Articulation – Joints
French Vocabulary – Yoga Class & equipment
Like most sports, you’ll need some equipment.
- une séance de yoga – yoga session
- Séance de Yoga Débutant – Beginner yoga session
- une classe de yoga – a yoga class
- un cours de yoga – a yoga class
- une sangle – strap
- un tapis – a mat
- un tapis de yoga – yoga mat
- un sac de yoga – yoga bag
- un coussin – a cushion
- une brique – block