When was the last time you gave something your complete attention?If you can’t think of something immediately, then that’s not a good sign. A quick mind, sharp focus and easy recollection of events reflect a sound state of mind. And to tune your haywire mind that way, try these 7 yoga exercises.
Before that, let’s find out how yoga helps with concentration.
How Does Yoga Help To Improve Concentration?
Practicing yoga quiets your mind and keeps distracting thoughts at bay. Patanjali, the sage who compiled Yoga Sutras said, ‘yoga chitta vritti nirodha’, which means yoga reduces the fluctuations of your mind. It flushes out the emotional clutter in your head and helps you concentrate better.
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. In a recent experiment at the University of Illinois, a group of people was made to practice yoga daily for 20 minutes. And, viola! The results showed that the brain function had improved. Guess that’s enough to prove the claim, and now, it’s time to begin the actual practice. Following are some yoga asanas to get you started. Check them out.
Concentration Improving Yoga Asanas
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
- Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
- Natarajasana (Dancer Pose)
- Bakasana (Crane Pose)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana or the Mountain Pose is the mother of all asanas. All the yoga poses that you assume branch out from the Tadasana, which is the base. Tadasana can be practiced anytime during the day, but if you are preceding or following it up with other asanas, make sure your stomach is empty, or there is a gap of two to three hours from your last meal. Tadasana is a basic level Hatha Yoga asana. Hold the pose for 10-20 seconds.
Benefits: Tadasana improves your posture and strengthens your legs. It balances your breathing and increases awareness. It relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet. Tadasana firms your abdomen and buttocks and strengthens and enhances the flexibility of your spine. The pose relieves tension and pain in your body. It expels dullness and refreshes you.
To know more about the pose, click here: Tadasana
2. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
Vrikshasana or the Tree Pose is named so as the pose reminds you of a tree. It has the grace, stability, and humility of a healthy tree, which you imbibe while practicing it. Unlike many other asanas, Vrikshasana doesn’t require you to close your eyes while practicing it. Keep your eyes open during the pose to maintain balance. Practice Vrikshasana early in the morning on an empty stomach and hold it at least for a minute. This asana is a beginner level Hatha Yoga pose.
Benefits: Vrikshasana improves balance and stability in your legs. It builds self-confidence and esteem and helps you deal with life’s issues in a composed manner. It increases your stamina and stretches the entire body. It calms your nervous system and treats numbness.
To know more about the pose, click here: Vrikshasana
3. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Garudasana or the Eagle Pose is an asana named after Garuda, the king of all birds and a vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Garuda has a unique place in Indian mythology, appearing in the Ramayana as a tough bird that tries to save Sita from Ravana. It is best when you practice this asana in the morning on an empty stomach. Garudasana is basic level Vinyasa Yoga asana. Hold the pose for 10-30 seconds.
Benefits: Garudasana strengthens the muscles of your legs and balances your body. It makes your hips and legs more flexible and restores neuromuscular coordination. It corrects postural faults and increases the suppleness of your body. The pose gets rid of urinal problems, prevents asthma, and calms you down.
To know more about the pose, click here: Garudasana
4. Natarajasana (Dancer Pose)
Natarajasana or the Dancer Pose is named after Nataraja, the dancing avatar of Lord Shiva. It is a challenging pose that takes time to perfect. Practice Natarajasana every day in the morning on an empty stomach. It works best when practiced at the crack of dawn. Natarajasana is an intermediate level Vinyasa Yoga asana. Hold the pose for at least 15-30 seconds.
Benefits: Natarajasana helps you reduce weight and improves digestion and metabolism. It strengthens your thighs, ankles, and chest and improves body flexibility. The pose firms your muscles and makes you strong. Natarajasana clears your head of depression and stress. It enhances blood circulation and endurance.
To know more about the pose, click here: Natarajasana
5. Bakasana (Crane Pose)
Bakasana or the Crane Pose is named so as it is similar to the posture of a crane, which represents happiness and longevity in many cultures. Initially, it can be quite challenging to assume Bakasana, and only daily practice will help you get it. Practice it in the morning or evening on an empty stomach. If you practice in the evening, make sure there is a gap of four to six hours from your last meal. Bakasana is an intermediate level Hatha Yoga asana. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: Bakasana increases your mental strength and endurance and strengthens your forearms. It tones your abdominal muscles and enhances the flexibility of your spine. Bakasana improves your mind-body coordination and removes tension and anxiety. It develops positive thinking, increases body awareness, and reduces acidity.
To know more about the pose, click here: Bakasana
6. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Ustrasana or the Camel Pose is a backward bend that resembles a camel’s posture when it sits. Practice Ustrasana preferably in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. And if that is not possible, exercising in the evenings too is fine, but make sure you have your meals four to six hours before practice. Ustrasana is a basic level Vinyasa Yoga asana. Once you assume the Ustrasana pose, hold it for at least 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: Ustrasana strengthens and stretches your back and shoulders and improves your posture. It relieves backache and improves respiration, digestion, and excretion. It heals and balances your chakras and stimulates the endocrine glands. The pose takes care of your overall health. It reduces menstrual discomfort, activates your nerves, and reduces fat in the body.
To know more about the pose, click here: Ustrasana
7. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Paschimottanasana or the Seated Forward Bend is an easy forward bend that focuses on the back of your body. Practice the asana on an empty stomach and clean bowels, or in the evenings after a gap of four to six hours from your last meal. Digested food releases energy, which can be used to practice the pose. Paschimottanasana is a basic Hatha Yoga pose. Hold it for 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: Paschimottanasana is a stress reliever. It reduces anger and irritability and calms your mind. It reduces constipation and stimulates your intestines and gall bladder. It cures stomach pain, headache, and piles. It strengthens your hip bones and stretches your shoulders. It activates your spinal nerves and energizes your body. The pose increases your appetite and reduces obesity.
To know more about the pose, click here: Paschimottanasana
Now, that you know what to do to increase your concentration, let’s answer some questions regarding yoga.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Is there an age limit to practice yoga?
It is best to begin yoga practice from 12 years of age and continue till your body permits to do so.
Do we have to be religious to practice yoga?
You don’t have to be religious to practice yoga. You should have faith in the practice, and that’s all you need.
Deep concentration will take you places. When you know a set of yoga asanas can improve your focus, why not try it and improve the quality of your life? Find your yoga mat and get going.
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