The history of yogasanas as a physical, mental and spiritual culture goes back into the depths of time. It is mentioned in the oldest known literature of mankind, the Vedas, which are full of spiritual wisdom, composed by realized and enlightened rishis and sages of that time. It is believed by some that the science of yoga is much older than even the Vedas.
In archaeological excavations made at Harappa and Mohanjodaro, in what is now Pakistan, many statues have been found depicting Lord Shiva and Parvati (his beloved) performing different yoga-asanas.
These ruins were once the dwelling place of people who lived in the pre-Vedic age, even before the Aryan civilization flourished in the Indus subcontinent.
According to tradition and the scriptures, Lord Shiva is the founder of yogasanas, including asanas. He created all the asanas and taught them to his first disciple, Parvati. It is said that there were originally 8,400,000 asanas, which represent the 8,400,000 incarnations every individual must pass through before attaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
These asanas represent the progressive evolution from the simplest form of life to fully realized man. It is believed that by doing them a person can bypass all his lives in one life and step out of the deterministic progress from one life to the next.