A monkey mind cannot exist in the present moment, because it is constantly distracted by the thoughts passing by. In a world where the mind is continuously thinking, practicing of asana, pranayama and meditation helps train our mind focus on the present.
Our mind is always saddened by the fact of future making us sick; in most cases it’s something about to happen or something which has already happened. It jumps around, resting briefly on one of the many thoughts that pop up before moving on to something else. Learning to recognize this tendency and disengage from it helps us be calmer, less stressed, and more productive.
Practicing asana helps us focus on what our body is doing. It can be all-consuming in such a way that you only realize later that several minutes have passed in which you haven’t engaged in a thought. Pranayama in a similar way focuses our attention on breath leaving no room for unwanted thoughts. This leads us to meditation, in which we learn to sustain this state of mental tranquility.
According to the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the ability to quiet the mind might be the whole purpose of yoga.