Yoga is a science and a discipline that has been handed down to us by seers and mystics who developed techniques to enhance our physical and mental agility.  It is said that the practice of Yoga brings flexibility to the spine and joints, keeps the muscles of the body pliable and youthful, increases circulation of blood and strengthens our internal organs; Yoga is all this and more. Yoga improves the power of concentration, cures constipation, relieves stomach disorders, improves coordination of muscles and reduces body fat, strengthens the mind-body connection, calms and relaxes the mind, enhances self-confidence, strengthens self-discipline and self-resolve, reduces stress and increases vitality and energy throughout the body – in fact it can be presumed that NO other form of known exercise can provide all these benefits at one go.  Hence, it would appear that yoga has extensive benefits and can help us to be more balanced, relaxed, focused, efficient and effective – professionally and personally.

In today’s competitive professional world physical fitness can be directly proportional to an individual’s and team’s performances.  Technological developments have reduced effort which has impacted people’s physical and mental ability.   People are willing to invest in developing professional skills towards advancing one’s career but it is crucial that one needs to support that will a healthy body that is flexible, strong and controlled.  In ability to move one’s body with dexterity performances will be lacklustre. Similarly, if one is not able to maintain endurance or stamina for a considerable duration of time, the performance will be diminished. In order to be successful, it is also necessary that a person stays focussed and concentrate with confidence on the task without distraction. Dealing with distractions, adversity and stress is an important component of everybody’s life. So, how can yoga assist in strengthening the mind and body of a person and help him/her perform his/her best?

Yoga is the application of physical postures, control of breath, purification and relaxation of mind body and spiritual principles aimed at bringing greater unity and balance to the mind and body. Yoga teaches a person how to link the mind and body and to come into the present. The breathing techniques in pranayama helps a person to focus on breath, calm the mind and build concentration ability.

Yoga asanas also help to develop the control and concentration of the mind. Being able to hold a posture with steadiness, relaxation and comfort requires that a person is able to focus their mind for an extended period of time. This leads to developing strength and concentration in mind / body and is beneficial to be alert and fit even in competitive scenarios.

Asanas also help to create harmony and balance between the mind and body and help to achieve a healthy body and stable mind, It is all about controlling the mind through physical discipline. Asana aid the efficient functioning of internal organs this leads to an overall positive effect on our body. Yoga Asanas are designed to keep the proper curvature of the spine and to increase its flexibility, develop the function of the cerebellum, the brain centre that controls the body when in motion, improve muscle coordination which improves the grace and fluidity.

YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE. Yoga works on strength, flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, core, and overall strength, among other things. Anybody can benefit hugely by adding yoga to his / her daily regimen. Here’s how Yoga can enhance your life…

Strength: consistently holding up your own body weight will give you more strength than lifting weights

Flexibility: Regular practice of yoga increases flexibility and ease of movement, therefore increasing range of motion. In particular, athletes in sports that require swinging action (tennis, golf, etc.) can benefit greatly. Flexibility in general also helps to prevent injury.

Balance: yoga improves overall balance in everything you do, preventing falls and injury.  When you learn how to be soft and go with the flow, you can easily bend more and are less likely to break or fall over.

Endurance: yoga gives you the endurance. When you learn to tune into your body and mind, any profession can be a form of meditation. Yoga teaches how to pace yourself, slow and steady, for the long haul.

Core: Every asana and pranayama in yoga works on your core strength. Strong core is essential for a healthy back and a healthy body.

Stability: Yoga helps strengthen and stabilize the little muscles that other forms of  physical workouts miss and are important in protecting your joints and spine.

Recovery: Yoga also helps bounce back after injuries  or ailments by tuning into your body and nurturing it with the care it wants and needs.

Most importantly, yoga changes the way you breathe, walk, think and approach everything in life: Your nimbleness with help you build confidence, help you perform better in a professional world and thereby make you successful. Your body will work in tandem with your mind, increasing your flexibility and performance all around.

To all the youngsters, I say, now is the time to set aside just 30 minutes a day and indulge in this ancient form of exercise that can have life-altering benefits for the rest of your lives!

The author of this blog article is Madhuri Reddy, Assistant Professor,Department of Engineering Sciences, International Institute of Information Technology, (I²IT), Pune ( (