Yoga is an ancient Hindu tradition that combines physical, mental and spiritual exercises
for one to attain union of the body and mind.
Over 5000 years old and with over 840 000 postures, yoga will lead its student to
a lifetime of discipline and constant self study, a very strong body and mind is
required as well as a keen intellect and strong will. So yogis developed exercises
for the body and mind.
These exercises were combinations of asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques),
kriyas (cleansing techniques) and meditation that we know as yoga.
Yogis see life as a triangle of birth , growth, change, decay and death.
All babies are born in a yogic state with full range of movements, clean internal
body free of toxins non attachment to material goods etc... and even breathing the
full yogic breath to allow maximum oxygen capacity of the lungs.
At a young age the cell rejuvenation (anabolic) process exceeds the decaying (catabolic)
process which keeps the body ever growing. The process then maintains an equilibrium
from the age of 20-35, after this period the catabolic exceeds the anabolic process
which leads the body eventually to decline.
This is why ancient sages developed this integral system to slow down the catabolic
(decaying) process in order to keep the physical and mental faculties strong and
healthy for their spiritual journey. They mimicked their surroundings and environment
to build on strength, flexibility and agility which explains some of the postures
names eg kakasana (crow) tadasana (mountain) .