Does performing a simple task take up a lot of energy? Have you been distracted at work lately? Chances are you are lacking the ability to concentrate. We’ve all heard about the health benefits of yoga and meditation, but it works wonders on changing our internal make-up. With Yoga, one becomes full attentive of the mind and body and helps focus on the breath, alignment and movement; along with helping concentrate.
How does Yoga help concentrate?
In order to keep distractions at bay, yoga is a go-to option. The ancient yogis believed in the magical powers of yoga and its potential to improve concentration. Later, research added authenticity to their claim with science and logic. Research shows that practicing Yoga for 20 minutes improves brain function. When you practice yoga on regular basis, it helps to calm your mind and senses.
Drishti, meaning focus, is the point where you shift your “gaze” during the yoga practice. Your attention follows where your eyes go. By focusing your gaze on one spot, you can internally find equilibrium. With that follows attention, which in turn helps you concentrate so much better.
Here are 7 Yoga Asanas that will help you get rid of that mind clutter and improve concentration.
The Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
Simplest, yet the most beneficial one, the “Vrikshasana” helps improve balance, gives your body a proper posture and boosts concentration. This pose doesn’t necessarily require you to close your eyes. You can keep your drishti where it is or shift your gaze to look upward or even try to close your eyes for a greater balance challenge. Practice Vrikshasana early in the morning on an empty stomach and hold it at least for a minute.
The Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
For beginners, this pose is a wonderful opportunity to meditate. For this pose, one needs to sit cross legged on a solid, hard surface and put both feet on the opposite thighs. Take deep breaths while you close your eyes and focus. Try to clear your head of thoughts and just..relax. Traditional Hindu texts claim that Padmasana destroys all disease and awakens kundalini (a dormant energy residing at the base of the spine that can be awakened through meditation and yoga).
The Natarajasana (Dancer’s Pose)
Named after the dancing avatar of the Lord Shiva, Natraja, this is a challenging pose that takes time to perfect. Practice Natarajasana every day in the morning on an empty stomach and hold the pose for at least 15-20 seconds. It helps firm your muscles and makes you strong. Natarajasana clears your head of depression and stress.
It enhances blood circulation and is very rehabilitative for the spine. It also helps in improving metabolism and digestion and thus helps you in shedding extra kilos.
The Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
This is a strong pose with a lot of different elements involved. It challenges and improves your strength, balance and flexibility. It helps in creating openness within the hip joint and concentration of the mind. It is very useful for working on whole body integration. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. You can also perform the pose with your back to, and leaning against, the wall. To increase the challenge of this pose, raise the lower hand away from the floor and rest it on the standing thigh. Balance solely on the standing leg for 15 to 30 seconds.
The Makrasana (Crocodile Pose)
It is a beginner yoga pose that relaxes the whole body and helps relieve pain related to other yoga poses or other activities. Crocodile Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences. It improves concentration and focus and also gives a meditative effect which helps you calm the mind and thus reducing anxiety.
The Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
This pose is effective in taking care of your overall health. Practicing Ustrasana daily can be a great way to relieve neck and back pain caused by slouching in front of a computer or driving.
Hold the pose for at least 30-60 seconds. It reduces menstrual discomfort, activates your nerves, and reduces fat in the body. You can also practice Ustrasana with the front of your body against a wall.
The Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand)
This pose helps improve posture and digestion. Whether you practice it against a wall or alone, if you practice it regularly, you are bound to literally turn your world upside down. This asana improves blood circulation, along with enhancing the functioning of your respiratory and immune systems. Salamba Sirsasana re-energizes your whole body.
It helps to develop mental clarity. It also improves your memory and concentration. (Learn this asana under the guidance of an instructor. Only practice on your own when your instructor gives the go-ahead.)
If you’ve been meditating for a long time, good job, we are very proud of you. If not, no worries. Even sitting quietly in Lotus Pose or cross-legged and focusing on your breath is an excellent way to increase mental clarity and focus. Yoga is the method of cultivating more focus and concentration. Why not begin today! Tap here for a complete yoga tutorial.