Patanjali’s Yoga “Asana”

Asana is a steady and comfortable seated posture | Perfection is accomplished through relaxation and contemplation upon the infinite | Thereafter the yogi is undisturbed by duality.

Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.46 – 2.48

“They (the asanas) are as follows:

  • Padmasana
  • Virasana
  • Bhadrasana
  • Svastikasana
  • Dandasana
  • Sopasraya
  • Paryanka
  • Krauncha nisadana
  • Hasti-nisadana
  • Ustra-nisadana
  • Sama-samsthana

When these postures can be held comfortably, they are called (Yogic) Asanas.

Vyasa Yoga Bhashya 1.46

The origin of modern studio yoga’s 84 classic asanas is symbolic and mythological whereas they are said to have been revealed by Lord Shiva who upon observing that there are as many postures as there are beings, and asserting that there are 8,4000,000 species in all, Lord Shiva fashioned an asana for each 100,000.

Goraksha Paddhati 1.8 – 1.9

Hatha Pradipika (Svatmarama 1450) lists for the first time 84 asana essential for Hatha Yoga.