As B.K.S. Iyengar put it beautifully in his book Yoga – The Path to Holistic Health an asana is an integration of the body and the spirit. ” An asana is not a posture that you assume mechanically. It involves a thoughtful process at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance. Your weight is evenly distributed over the muscles, bones and joints, just as your intelligence must be engaged at every level. You have to create space in your muscles and your skin, fitting the fine network of your entire body into the asana. This helps the organs of perception discern the subtlety of each movement. Practice with dedication. Be completely absorbed by the asana. ”
He goes on to explain that once both sides of the body become symmetrical, undue stress is removed from the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and excretory organs. In each different asana, a different organ is squeezed, spread, dampened and dried, and heated or cooled. Then the organs are then supplied with fresh blood, and massaged, relaxed, and toned into a state of optimum health.
Twists (as you may know) are one of my favorite! These asanas help to maintain a healthy spine and inner body. In twists, the abdominal organs are squeezed and flushed with blood. The spine can become more supple, which improved the flow of blood to the spinal nerves and increases energy levels.