The power of yoga for study

Laura Lenfers is from Germany and is nearing the completion of a Master of International Communication at Macquarie. Here she shares how yoga has increased her productivity and mental wellbeing during her time at Macquarie.

“I started to practice yoga last summer, when I was volunteering in India. Coming back to university, I signed up for classes at the Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre to continue my practice.

The classes are taught by Yogi (pictured below), who has been teaching yoga at Macquarie since summer last year. His class is challenging but after a long day in the library it helps me to refocus and calm down.

Yogi says that regular yoga practice can help to stay calm, focused and motivated, especially during the stressful examination period.

‘Yoga teaches you to live in the present moment,” he says. “It emphasises that past and future are only creations of the mind and that everything happens in the now. And with that philosophy, most of our problems are taken care of.”

Many people view yoga as a complex cluster of postures, or asanas. But yoga is majorly concerned with mental and spiritual well-being. The practice of sitting still and focusing the attention on something — whether it is your breathing or your third eye centre — can have powerful effects.

‘Often people’s intentions of practicing yoga are wrong,” says Yogi. “Yoga is not about gaining more strength and flexibility – it’s about the union of mind, body, and soul. Strength and flexibility are side effects.”

“By training the mind to focus and concentrate on the present moment, productivity can be improved.”

Read more about classes offered at Macquarie University’s Sport and Aquatic Centre.