The name comes from the Sanskrit Prasarita (प्रसारित) meaning "spread out", Pada (पाद) meaning "foot", Uttan (उत्तान) meaning "extended", and Asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat".
This is a standing pose with the feet wide apart and the body folded forward and down until in the completed pose the head touches the ground and the hands are placed flat on the ground, the tips of the fingers in line with the heels, the arms bent at right angles. In Ashtanga yoga, four variant forms of the asana, which is considered fundamental to that style of yoga, are identified.
- Mehta, Silva; Mehta, Mira; Mehta, Shyam (1990). Yoga: The Iyengar Way. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 42–43.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- Iyengar, B. K. S. (1979) . Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika. Unwin Paperbacks. pp. 81–85.
- Sinha, S.C. (1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
- Vernon, Rama Jyoti (2014). Yoga: The Practice of Myth and Sacred Geometry. Lotus Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-940676-26-8.
- "Six Standing Poses become fundamental positions for Ashtanga Yoga". Ashtanga Yoga Institute. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- MacGregor, Kino (2013). The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace --Includes the complete Primary Series. Shambhala. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-8348-3041-7.