Asana comes from the Sanskrit for “sitting” and around 500 BCE the first writing about asanas described them as a comfortable and stable seated pose for meditation.In the 10th century, a yogi stated that there were 84 asanas that came from the god Shiva. But they weren’t listed or described until 700 years later.
In the 19th century, asanas started to mix with other physical exercise practices.In the early 20th century, asanas arrived in America and there were many new yoga centers creating postures and sequences of poses. Hollywood stars, like Marilyn Monroe, did yoga for exercise.
In 1966, Y.S. Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga” showed 200 asanas in photographs. This book forms the ABCs of modern yoga.
Today, we have so many postures and positions that I’m not sure there is a real count. In 1984, Dharma Mittra compiled a list of 1,300 asanas, but I know that many yoga teachers (like me!) invent things for their classes. How many asanas? Wakaranai!