In the performance of asanas, two avenues or paths are involved. One is the evolutary, expressive or exhibitive path, taking the self towards the body, towards the pores of the skin, towards the periphery. The other is involuntary, intuitive or inhibitive path, where the vehicles of the body are made to move towards the self. The union of these two paths is the divine marriage of the body with the soul and the soul with the body.
Asana means posture, which is the art of positioning the body as a whole with a physical, mental, and spiritual attitude. Posture has two aspects, namely posing and reposing. Posing means action. Pose is assuming a fixed position of limbs and body as represented by the particular asana being performed. Reposing means reflection on the pose. The pose is re-thought and readjusted so that the various limbs and parts of the body positioned in their places in a proper order and feel rested and soothed, and the mind experiences the tranquility and calmness of bones, joints, muscles, fibers and cells.
The structure of the asana cannot change, as each asana is an art in itself. One has to study each asana arithmetically and geometrically, so that the real shape of the asana is brought out and expressed in the presentation.
We must learn in our performance of asanas to express the outer form and beauty of the pose without losing our inner attention.
- The Tree of Yoga
Yoga Shastra Study