"Any action done with beauty and purity, and in complete harmony of body, mind and soul, is art. In this way art elevates the artist. As Yoga fulfills the essential need of art, it is an art."
Asana perfectly mastered is much more than a simple posture; it implies mastery over certain subtle processes as well. The benefits of the various Asanas are physical, psychological, psychic and psycho-spiritual. The sphere of influence of an Asana extends to the following systems: Circulatory, Lymphatic, Endocrine, Nervous, Pranic [subtle energy] and Susumna [central channel of the spine, the pathway of Kundalini-Shakti which is the path of liberation].
Asanas strengthen the muscles and organs, confers emotional stability and confidence in oneself, induces balance and breathing improves considerably.
Practising Asana all these years teaches one how to make a choice out of the enormous amount of Asanas.
If you practise every day or at least regularly your practice will improve gradually when years go by. Then one day you realize that you are an advanced practitionar with your own "vocabulary" of Asanas. With your own personal way to perform them. The Asanas have become an integral part of your being.
And in this respect hopefully it has become a way of expressing beauty. Not only the beauty of a frozen posture, like a statue, but also the beauty of movement towards and from. A flow of energy from one posture to another. Moving like a wave with grace and elegance. Like a dance in which every movement and gesture has its signifigance.
Then you will become the Cosmic Dancer, Shiva Nataraja.
The true Yogin experiments, chooses and masters. In the end, one Asana is all one needs. Padmasana? [the Lotus posture],Vajrasana? [Diamond posture], Siddhasana? [perfect posture]. Truly, when one of them is mastered, of what use are the various other Asanas? For this has te be known: Ultimately Yoga is the art of sitting, just for the delight of sitting. Body, breath and mind at ease.