The term Yogasana refers to the internal state contained within an Asana. In his book Alpha and Omega of trikonasana Prashant Iyengar writes
‘Once the body is positioned in the Asana… create a ‘condition’ in the embodiment which is the next step and the most vital, as it is in this internal conditioning which makes an asana a ‘Yogasana’. Here the sadhaka learns to unite one part of the body with another part of the body, the body with the mind, the body with the breath and senses, also the breath with the mind and senses and this takes one into the inward journey which makes the practice of Yoga a Svadhyaya (self-study). It is this unification which justifies the definition of the word Yog which means, ‘to unite’. Merely doing an asana by the body, through the body and for the body is not Yog. Yogasanas are to be done by the body but for the mind, for the psyche, for the consciousness and for the culturing and refinement of a human being.’
That an asana might be done by the body but for the mind, for the psyche and for the consciousness and refinement of a human attests to the ability of a practice based system to deliver us to a state of integrated awareness.
BKS Iyengar notes
‘Mahatma Gandhi did not practise all the aspects of Yoga. He only followed two of its principles — non-violence and truth, yet through these two aspects of Yoga, he mastered his own nature and gained independence for India. If a part of Yama could make Mahatma Gandhi so great, so pure, so honest and so divine, should it not be possible to take another limb of Yoga — Asana — and through it reach the highest goal of spiritual development’
Watch a 20 minute audio visual presentation on Yogasana below