Asana means a seat as well as a posture. The word asana comes from the root asa, which means to sit or to lay down. It means to assume and assert a particular position bringing both description and definition in the position. It also means to exist, to present, to dwell in, to abide.
Asana is a state where one arranges and assumes a particular position or form and re-forms it for a right configuration with study (svadhyaya). Positioning the body for posing means action. Re-posing means reflective action. So after action one has to observe, re-think, and re-reflect on parts of the body that work and parts of the body that are not working. Similarly, one has to observe which part of the body the mind is penetrating, and which part is not penetrating. Again, one has to look and see along with the body's extension, expansion and contraction, whether the mind and intelligence concurrently and evenly occupy the entire body in its extension, expansion, and contraction. This is reflective re-posing. While performing the asana, this action, reflection, and reaction makes the practitioner to re-adjust his intelligence sensitively and accurately to cover each limb from end to end. If one learns to extend equally this intellectual sensitivity to all parts of the body along with the self, the asana transforms into contemplative or meditative asana. This must be the aim of each sadhaka, to reach the ultimate descriptive and definitive condition in all the asana. Then his practice turns divine.
Yoga Wisdom & Practice
Pages:- 90 & 91