A term widely associated with Yoga
, Asana means 'posture.' It is a Sanskrit
word and originally it meant the place where the yogi is seated.
The practice of Asana is a fundamental stage in many branches of yoga. Yoga Sutras states that the asanas must be firm and comfortable. While executing the asanas the spine, neck and head should fall in a straight line.
Regular practice of asana induces a state of stability and good health. Apart from the physical gains, Asanas have physiological and spiritual effects. Certain asanas used in meditation are said to induce an elevated state of consciousness.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika deals in detail about the several aspects of asana.