This is an image of the the hinduistic God best known as Shiva.
He is seen dancing, with his foot on the defeated demon Apasmara Purusha, or ignorance. The dance expresses the creative power of Shiva.
In Sanskrit yoga postures are called ‘asanas’.
An asana refers to a posture that is stable and comfortable.
Asanas are beneficial to the body, the mind and the soul. On a physical level asanas give a feeling of lightness, health, equilibrium, suppleness and strength.
On an emotional or intellectual level they bring us to a state of rest and clarity.
On a spiritual level they remove the obstacles that block the centres of energy (chakras). These favourable effects are achieved in particular by redressing the balance in the endocrine system (a system of the internal organs) and the central nervous system, both of which influence the immune system.
The way in which you adopt the postures is very important.
Your approach should not be too earnest or involve great effort. Begin in a relaxed fashion, and with a smile on your face (laughing relaxes the facial muscles immediately). It is important that you enjoy practicing yoga. Very soon you will notice a feeling of well-being come over you. Yoga masters say that asanas open the door to the soul.
They liberate the body of the unnecessary tension accumulated by daily constraints and enhance the functioning of different systems in the body. In this way they give us back the lust for life that, according to yoga teachings, is the true nature of the soul. With this feeling of strength and vitality, we are a better match for the demands that life makes upon us every day.
Yoga is movement and movement is nothing but change, and for change movement is the tool. This is shown on the following diagram.