Yoga is not just about physical development; the original purpose of yoga was to use the body and mind as a vehicle to follow a spiritual path to enlightenment. The yoga postures grew out of meditation. Performing asanas aid with the meditation practice by making it possible to sit comfortably for longer periods of time. Asanas are only one of the eight limbs of yoga. By learning to control the body, it becomes easier to control the mind through improved concentration and focus.
According to Richard Freeman, director of The Yoga Workshop in Boulder, a good yoga posture spontaneously induces a meditative state.
Additional resources: The Yoga Matrix: The Body as a Gateway to Freedom, Studio Talks: The Process of Yoga
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