are about 84 million postures and these include the pattern
of sitting of different species which are known as Asan's. In
the beginning the postures which were used for prolonged sitting
performing the spiritual practices like Sandhya, meditation,
pooja and fire ceremony were known as Asanas. The mythological
root of yoga asanas can be traced to Lord Shiva who is said
to be seated in the yogic pose (padmasana). As far as written
evidences are concerned, asan's had been explained by Patanjali
while discussing the Bahiranga Yog or Ashtanga Yog for the first
time. Yog insists on the primary need for day-to-day good health.
This has to be achieved through physical education which, in
turn, promotes moral and mental discipline and psychic absoluteness.
Asan's are instrumental in achieving this end. It begins with
postural training and rhythmic breathing associated with preventive
measures and autotherapy or the process of nerve purification.
There are numerous kinds of asanas or poses that can be grouped
under Meditative and Cultural poses.
history of Yog in India can be divided into three eras: Pre-Classical,
Classical and Post Classical. Yog can be easily said to have
its origin in Shramanic and Upanishadic traditions. There are
several historical sources that trace the existence of yoga
to Indus Valley civilisation as well. Seals bearing the image
of a figure seating in a yogic pose were excavated from Mohenjo
daro. However, written evidences are only found in the Veds.
Probably it is the Rig Ved which, for the first time mentions
Yog. Yajur Ved, Atharv Ved and the later Satapath also discuss
yoga. Karma Yog, one of its branches, is to be found in the
Lord Krishna's divine discourse in Bhagawat Gita.
have been used for thousands of years in the practice of meditation.
Cave drawings from around 3000 B.C. depict people in the lotus
asan. However it was in the Classical age yoga was systematically
compiled by Maharishi Patanjali for the first time in 5th century
BC. He simplified the concepts and principles of yoga so that
it could reach out to the masses as well. The traditions of
yoga developed further in the Post Classical era. During this
period Samhitas, religious works of the Vaishanav sect and others
mention this ancient Indian discipline.