Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical Yoga and states that poses should be steady and comfortable, firm yet relaxed. The yoga asanas gently encourage us to become more aware of our body, mind, and environment.The 12 basic poses or asanas are much more than just stretching.
They open the energy channels, chakras and psychic centers of the body while increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones and stimulating the circulatory and immune systems. Along with proper breathing or pranayama, asanas also calm the mind and reduce stress. With regular practice one can increase overall physical and mental health and the aid in the prevention of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. In time, the poses consciously becomes a mental exercise in concentration and meditation.