Improve your Concentration with Yoga!

How many times do you tell your kids to study well? It happens almost daily, doesn’t it? Did you ever stop to think about teaching them how to focus better?

The ability to concentrate is not taught formally either in most educational set ups or at home. But it is the most vied for proficiency that everyone requires in their life. Yoga is a natural way to boost the focus levels of any person. Let us explore more about it.

How yoga helps in improving your focus?

Yoga proves to be a great tool for enhancing your concentration levels. It is natural and free from side effects. It can be learned by kids and adults alike. You may start practicing it at any age. In fact, if you practise yoga regularly, it helps prevent age related ailments like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, forgetfulness, etc. in old age.

Let us learn yoga asanas and pranayama that help enhance your concentration levels with regular practice:

1.  Pada Hasta Asana( Hands to toes Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It slows down your heart rate and stimulates the nervous system.
  2. It helps relieve your mental stress and physical fatigue.
  3. It improves blood flow to the head region and enhances concentration.

Steps to do it:

  1. Stand straight on a floor mat with your legs together and shoulders relaxed.
  2. While inhaling, bring both arms straight over your head.
  3. While exhaling bend forward and slowly bring your body and arms down.
  4. Touch your toes with fingertips of both hands.
  5. Keeping your head down, slide your palms (facing upward) under your feet. Your wrist lines should be touching the toes, while ebending your elbows outwards.
  6. Hold the pose and continue breathing for 40-60 seconds.
  7. Inhale and slowly bring your body up to release the pose.

 

Pada Hasta Asana

Source: doctorcancer.org

2.  Vriksh Asana (Standing Tree Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It rejuvenates your mind and body.
  2. It helps in body balancing and calms your mind.
  3. It improves your ability to concentrate.

Steps to do it:

  1. Stand on a floor mat and keep both legs stretched out straight in front.
  2. Now bend your right leg, take it over your left knee and place your right foot on the floor so that it touches the left knee on the outer side.
  3. Bend your left leg, place your left heel beside the right hip.
  4. Make sure your body is relaxed and both the hips are on the floor.
  5. Lock your right knee on the outer side with your left elbow and hold your right ankle (if you can’t reach till your ankle, grasp the calf muscles of the right leg instead).
  6. Turn your upper body to the right side and put your right arm behind on your back.
  7. Look over the right shoulder, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 20-40 seconds in this pose.
  8. Exhale, release the pose and relax.
  9. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the body.

Vriksha-Asana

Pic Credit:  yoga-shala.net

3.  Akarana Dhanur Asana ( Bow Tensing Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It makes your arms, shoulders and back muscles stronger.
  2. It boosts your concentration levels and enhances your eye health.

Steps to do it:

  1. Stand on floor mat with a gap of 2-3 feet between your legs.
  2. Point your right toe in front and turn your left toe outward and look to the left side. (your body still faces the front side)
  3. Lift your left arm without bending till it is in line with your shoulder.
  4. Make a fist with the left hand with the thumb pointing upward.
  5. Fix the left thumb on a point in line with the shoulder and fix your gaze on the left thumb.
  6. Now form a fist with right hand with the thumb stretched upward.
  7. Bring the right arm up (without bending the elbow) towards the left hand till your right thumb completely covers the left thumb from your view.
  8. Keeping your elbows at the shoulder level, breathe in and slowly draw the right hand back towards your right ear as if tensing the bow string.
  9. Hold the breath in this pose.
  10. Exhale and slowly move the right hand towards the left hand till the right thumb covers the view of the left thumb.
  11. Repeat from step 8 two more times.
  12. Now switch to the other side and repeat the steps.

Akarana Dhanur Asana

Source:  yoga-im-taeglichen.at 

4.  Vajra Asana (The Diamond Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It induces a meditative state and betters your concentration levels.
  2. It is beneficial for your back health, sciatica and aids digestion.sss

Steps to do it:

  1. Kneel down on the floor mat and rest your buttocks in the ‘V’ of both heels.
  2. Place your palms on your knees facing the ceiling.
  3. Keep your spine erect and relax your shoulders.
  4. Close your eyes and continue taking long deep breaths for 2-5 minutes.
  5. Keep your attention on the movement of the incoming and outgoing breath.
  6. Relax and release the pose after sometime.

Vajra Asana

Source:  photos.boldsky.com 

5.  Padma Asana (The Lotus Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It promotes your attention and awareness levels.
  2. It calms your mind and enhances your concentration.

Steps to do it:

  1. Sit comfortably on the floor mat with your legs stretched out in front.
  2. Bend the right leg at the knee and place the right foot on the left thigh.
  3. Now bend the left leg and place the left foot on the right thigh.
  4. Both the legs are in a crossed position and rest on the opposite thigh.
  5. Now place both palms facing upward on respective knees.
  6. Keep your spine erect, shoulders relaxed and close your eyes.
  7. Take long deep breaths for 5 minutes and stretch it up to 15-20 minutes with gradual practice.

Padma Asana

Source:  doctorcancer.org 

6.  Ardh Matsyendra Asana (Lord of the half Fish Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It tones your spinal nerves and improves blood circulation.
  2. It improves your concentration levels.

Steps to do it:

  1. Sit on a floor mat and keep both legs stretched out straight in front.
  2. Now bend your right leg, take it over your left knee and place your right foot on the floor so that it touches the left knee on the outer side.
  3. Bend your left leg, place your left heel beside the right hip.
  4. Make sure your body is relaxed and both the hips are on the floor.
  5. Lock your right knee on the outer side with your left elbow and hold your right ankle (if you can’t reach till your ankle, grasp the calf muscles of the right leg instead).
  6. Turn your upper body to the right side and put your right arm behind on your back.
  7. Look over the right shoulder, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 20-40 seconds in this pose.
  8. While breathing keep your attention in the middle of your eyebrows.
  9. Exhale, release the pose and relax.
  10. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the body.

Ardh Matsyendra Asana

Source:  c2.staticflickr.com 

7.  Veer Bhadra Asana 3: (Warrior Pose 3)

Benefits:

  1. It improves your posture and tones your back.
  2. It enhances your concentration as well as your memory.

Steps to do it:

  1. Stand up straight on a floor mat and stretch your arms over your head (palms facing each other).
  2. Inhale deeply and shift the weight of your body on your left leg.
  3. Exhale and start bending your arms and upper body forward till they are parallel to the ground.
  4. While you are bending forward, at the same time start lifting your right leg off the floor and take it up till it becomes parallel to the floor.
  5. Now your body makes a ‘T’ pose.
  6. Hold your position for 10-15 seconds and focus on your breathing.
  7. Slowly release the pose while inhaling.
  8. Repeat the steps on the other side.

Veer Bhadra Asana

Source:  augustyoga.com

8.  Parvat Asana (Seated Mountain Pose)

Benefits:

  1. It is an excellent yoga posture for enhancing your focus levels.
  2. It can be done even while sitting on an office chair. All you need to do it is a relaxing environment.

Steps to do it:

  1. Sit cross legged on a floor mat keeping your hands beside the body.
  2. Keep your spine erect and loosen your shoulders.                  
  3. While breathing in lift both arms from the side over your head.
  4. Keeping both arms straight (do not bend the elbows), join both palms together in namaskar mudra.
  5. Lift you head up and close your eyes.
  6. Hold this posture and continue taking deep breaths for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Keep your attention on the incoming and outgoing breath.
  8. For releasing the pose, breathe out and slowly bring the hands down from the side and relax.
  9. With regular practice you may gradually increase the breathing time from 2 to 15 minutes.

Parvat Asana

Source:  ojasfoundation.com 

9.  Yog Mudra

Benefits:

  1. It boosts the blood flow to the brain.
  2. It calms your nerves and relaxes your mind.
  3. It enhances your concentration power.

Steps to do it:

  1. Sit in padmasana or ardh padmasana on the floor mat.
  2. Take both hands behind your back.
  3. Make a loose fist or Adi Mudra (thumb touching the base of the little finger and rest of the fingers loosely wrapped around the thumb) with the right hand.
  4. Hold the right wrist with the left hand.
  5. While breathing in take your head up and bend it slightly backward.
  6. While breathing out, slowly bend your upper body forward till your forehead touches the floor.
  7. Make sure your hands are in the same position behind your back.
  8. Continue taking normal breaths in this pose for 30-60 seconds.
  9. While inhaling slowly lift your body up vertebra by vertebra and relax.

Yog Mudra

Source:  theyogainstitute.org

10.  Bhramari Pranayama

Benefits:

  1. It calms your nerves and increases your concentration levels.
  2. It lowers stress and hypertension.

Steps to do it:

  1. Sit comfortably on a flat surface with your legs crossed.
  2. Keep your back straight, body relaxed and close your eyes.
  3. Close your ears with your index fingers.
  4. Take a deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds.
  5. While exhaling making a humming sound with your mouth closed (pronounce ‘hhmmmm’ ).
  6. Inhale deeply, hold the breath for some time and repeat the humming while exhaling.
  7. Repeat for 2-3 minutes and relax with your eyes closed for a few minutes.

Bhramari Pranayama

Source:  2.bp.blogspot.com

11.  Anulom Vilom Pranayama

Benefits:

  1. It calms and relaxes your body and mind.
  2. It improves your concentration levels and makes nervous system strong.

Steps to do it:

  1. Sit comfortably on a flat surface with your legs in a crossed position.
  2. Keep your spine straight and relax your shoulders.
  3. Keep your left hand on the left knee with palm facing the ceiling.
  4. Close your eyes and inhale deeply.
  5. Close your right nostril with right thumb and exhale through the left nostril.
  6. Now keeping the right nostril closed with your thumb, inhale through the left nostril.
  7. Now close the left nostril with ring finger and exhale through the right nostril.
  8. Inhale through the right nostril while keeping the left nostril closed.
  9. Exhale through the left nostril while keeping the right nostril closed.
  10. This completes one round of anulom vilom pranayama.
  11. You can do 11 rounds daily twice a day to boost your concentration.

Anulom Vilom

Source:  onlymyhealth.com 

Do these asanas and pranayama under an expert’s guidance to prevent injury. If you have any physical pain or condition, do consult your doctor before you start practicing yoga.

Spend some time amidst nature. Stay positive and relaxed. Spend time with your loved ones and keep your surroundings stress free. Your concentration will improve along with your efficiency by leaps and bounds.

Additional Reading:

Top 6 Pranayama to Keep Hypertension at Bay!

Effect of yoga on academic performance in relation to stress

 

 

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