Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, is thought to have been the historical starting point for many mythical birds.
The most significant ancient civilisations including the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Persians have a Phoenix myth about a huge powerful bird that stands up against evil. This bird lives for hundreds of years with the potential to rise again from the ashes of its predecessor.
The story points to the unchanging nature of the divine self or 'soul' and the external body which can be changed, adapted or regenerated. By understanding and nurturing the connection between the outer body and the inner self through asana (physical/postures) practice we are able to progress towards yoga or 'union'.
The physical yoga practice enables us to develop a better connection with ourselves and eventually improve the way that we show up and connect with others.