Asana is traditionally defined as a “comfortable seat” that is the seated posture used for meditation. More typically now in yoga, the term is used for any physical posture of Hatha yoga. It is the third limb of Patanjali’s eightfold path of Ashtanga, following after the Yamas and Niyamas.
Asana practice is considered important by yogis because it helps to keep the physical body healthy. Given that the body is the vehicle for the spirit, looking after the physical body is important for spiritual development. Practicing asanas can also have a range of emotional and energetic benefits, increase discipline and concentration, and ready the mind for meditation.