According to Ayurveda, the practice of Yoga, which was originated about 3000 years ago in India, is known very
well to connect the mind and body. As mentioned in ayurvedic texts, yoga helps in balancing the ‘doshas’ (elements) of
one’s body. The word “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit root “yuj” which means union, or yoke, to join, and to direct and
concentrate one’s attention. Western medicine systems have also acknowledged that regular practice of yoga promotes
strength, endurance, flexibility and facilitates characteristics of friendliness, compassion, and greater self-control, while
cultivating a sense of calmness and well-being. Sustained practice also leads to important outcomes such as changes in life
perspective, self-awareness and an improved sense of energy to live life fully and with genuine enjoyment. Yoga Sutras, by
Maharshi Patanjali, are considered to be the pioneering texts on Yogic practices, which highlights the practice of ‘asanas’,
‘pranayama’ & ‘sadhana’ to be of utmost importance in order to calm the body, balance ‘vata’, ‘pitta’ & ‘kapha’ doshas,
and connect soul to body. In Yoga Sutras, Maharshi Patanjali outlines an eightfold path to awareness and enlightenment
called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs”. The eight limbs are comprised of ethical principles for living a
meaningful and purposeful life; serving as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline, they direct
attention towards one’s health while acknowledging the spiritual aspects of one’s nature. Yoga is a great tool for maintaining
physical endurance while at same time address common mental health conditions- stress, depression, insomnia, anxiety,
anger, mood-swings, etc. very effectively, providing relief in longer term without any medicinal treatment.
Keywords: Yoga, asanas, pranayama, stress, mental health