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Yoga for Modern City Life: An Overview

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Yoga is the art and science of living a healthy lifestyle. This article explains how yoga is important for overcoming challenges in modern city life.

Written by

Dr. P. Saranya

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At September 22, 2023
Reviewed AtSeptember 22, 2023


Before discussing how yoga fits into modern city life, it is crucial to discuss modern life's difficulties. Modern lifestyles undoubtedly improve the lives of people in today's society. Yet it also harms one's bodily, social, psychological, and spiritual health. There are various causes for this type of issue, including a lack of physical activity, the use of technology, and spending a lot of time on devices, as well as sitting for extended periods at work or home because of the job demands. The danger of obesity is raised by contemporary living. This results in the development of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Many people now suffer from numerous respiratory problems due to the pollution that modern technology generates. Psychologically, stress and frustration can affect anyone. Social isolation due to the extensive use of computers and the internet. Due to this, the WHO (World Health Organization) concluded that modern technology and its widespread use have various adverse effects on human health. The fast-paced lifestyle fueled by science and technology, modern people experience nervous system issues. People require little downtime to maintain their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Even when people appear to be at ease, they often talk on smartphones, which adds another mental strain.

In addition to technological development and a casual lifestyle, food habits have changed due modern living. In the past, people consumed organic foods like fruits and vegetables. Food artificially created in factories, such as fast food restaurants, has replaced this practice. People's lives have been negatively impacted by the environment and working practices, particularly in urban industrial settings. As a result, this article explores the significance of yoga as a remedy to the difficulties given by modern lifestyles.

What Is Yoga?

Ancient India is where yoga, a physical, mental, and spiritual exercise, first appeared. The technique was passed down from teacher to student long before this literature was created, with the first codification coming from the guru Patanjali in his yoga sutras around 400 C.E. This transmission used to be done one-on-one. Still, as yoga gained popularity in the West in the twentieth century, group classes have taken over.

The Sanskrit root yuj, which means "to yoke" or "to unite," is where the word yoga originates. The goal of the practice is to unite the physical, mental, and spiritual selves and human awareness as a whole. The sense of spiritual awakening results from such a union's tendency to dispel ego-driven ideas and actions.

While there have been many diverse interpretations and methods of yoga over the years, most practitioners agree that the ultimate aim of the practice is to be liberated from pain. While each yoga school or tradition has unique emphasis and practices, most yoga schools and traditions center on integrating body, mind, and breath to change the energy or shift consciousness.

What Are the Eight Limbs of Yoga?

The traditional basis for yoga is contained in Patanjali's yoga sutras, where he describes an eight-fold method for practicing. The "Eight Limbs of Yoga" are guidelines for people committed to bringing about a union of the body, mind, and spirit.

Each of the Eight Limbs provides a way to live with more morality, self-control, reverence for the environment, and a sense of spirituality. These eight techniques are meant to be used holistically and comprehensively:

  • Yamas - Five rules for living that are universal, ethical, and moral (nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-covetousness).

  • Niyamas - Five spiritual and self-control practices (cleanliness, contentment, spiritual austerities, a study of scriptures, and surrender to god).

  • Asana - bodily posture, initially meant only for seated meditation but now expanded to include all physical yoga practices.

  • Pranayama - A set of breathing techniques used to manage the flow of prana (vital life force).

  • Pratyahara - Sensory withdrawal.

  • Dharana - Concentration on a single point.

  • Dhyana - A type of meditation.

  • Samadhi - Liberation or glorious union with the divine.

What Is the Value of Yoga in Modern-Day Life?

Get More Attentive and Maintain Focus: The value of yoga in contemporary life is immeasurable. Focusing on the present is one of the most valuable lessons yoga can teach humans. In a recent study, Researchers discovered that daily yoga can raise human intelligence and memory. Modern lifestyles, including using mobile phones, laptops, television, and social media, constantly demand human attention. Yoga may help us stay focused and bring our awareness to the present. Yoga is a miracle for people who live in cities. Frequent yoga practice might help individuals manage their busy schedules and enhance their coordination and reaction speed. Also, it can sharpen their focus and aid in lowering their mental anguish. Yoga's continual breathing exercises help relax and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure can all be lowered.

Strengthening Power: Yoga is crucial in boosting the physique and helping individuals gain power. These days, doctors recommend daily yoga practice to their patients. For new mothers, yoga, for instance, is crucial. Yoga helps people regain their physical shape and power. The reason for this is that yoga includes several stretching exercises. Hence, it is a low-influence workout despite involving the entire body.

Due to modern-hectic lives, people often struggle to combine personal and professional lives without feeling depressed. In this scenario, yoga may offer calm and mindfulness to everyday life. Yoga's ability to settle our erratic energy levels is one of its crucial characteristics in contemporary living. Yoga is more than just a slim and trim workout. Our muscles become stronger as a result. Doctors now recommend yoga to treat arthritis and avoid back discomfort.

Increasing Flexibility and Posture: Yoga is also vital in modern life since it makes human bodies more flexible, which makes their lives easier to handle. It enhances the alignment of the thigh bones, hip joints, and knee joints.

What Are the Yoga Poses That Help Cope With the Modern Lifestyle?

Hatha yoga can help people avoid the adverse effects of an urban, sedentary lifestyle. If people regularly practice a series of yogic asanas and pranayama, they can fend off ailments brought on by a modern lifestyle. The following are some simple exercises people can do:

  • Surya Namaskar is not only a terrific warm-up activity, but it also aids in weight loss.

  • The cobra pose helps to address improper posture brought on by prolonged desk occupations by strengthening the upper back.

  • Rotations of the wrist, ankle, neck, shoulder, and eyes might reduce stiffness caused by prolonged desk work.

  • Shalabhasana eases lower back pain brought on by prolonged slouching in a chair.

  • Sarvangasana and downward dog pose helps to reverse blood flow in the body, preventing baldness and early graying.

  • Gomukhasana helps to prevent cervical pain, which is a growing problem. One can perform this pose while sitting on a chair.

What Are the Risks Involved in Yoga?

When a qualified instructor leads the practice, many forms of yoga are relatively gentle and safe for people. It is unlikely to cause significant injury during the practice of yoga. Sprains and strains are the most typical injuries among yoga practitioners. But, before beginning a yoga practice, people should consider a few risk factors.

If at all feasible, seek medical advice before beginning a yoga practice if a person is pregnant or has a chronic medical problem like bone loss, glaucoma, or sciatica. Some people might need to alter or stay away from certain yoga poses because of their medical condition.

Advanced postures and challenging movements like headstand, lotus pose, and strong breathing should be avoided by beginners.


Yoga, as a practice, aids in the control of the mind, body, and soul of the practitioner. It combines mental and physical disciplines to promote relaxation, stress management, and a calm body and mind. Also, it aids in boosting body tone, muscle strength, and flexibility. It enhances vitality, energy, and respiration. Yoga may be only stretching, but it has many more benefits for the body regarding how people feel, appear, and move.

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Shakti Mishra
Shakti Mishra


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