How yoga asanas differ from other forms of body exercises

In yoga the physical exercises are called asanas. The yoga asanas differ basically from the exercises practiced by athletes or body builders.

In the human body, the backbone or spinal column serves as the chief support to the whole structure. The asanas are mainly aimed at maintaining as well as improving the flexibility of the spine. While assuming the posture of a particular asana, the body is made to stretch gently and this helps to lubricate the joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Regular and systematic practice of asanas enhances the body’s flexibility and relieves tension.

Asanas definitely improve blood circulation and strengthen the nervous system. The gentle bending, twisting and stretching involved in assuming the various asanas, also impart excellent stimulation to the sadhaka’s internal organs.