Yoga Asanas To Improve Concentration

Bhubaneswar: Yoga is all about linking breath with motion and becoming fully present in mind and body. The practice itself is centered on concentration – focus on the breath, the alignment, and the movement. Bringing our awareness to the present moment and focusing our attention on our breath, movement, and challenging poses will in turn improve our concentration.

Here are some asanas you can try to improve concentration.

1.Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

This flying warrior pose requires focus and concentration as you stabilize your body on one leg and draw your torso parallel to the floor.

Just like your gaze, if your thoughts start to wander, you may lose your balance. Find a mental and visual Drishti (a focus point to set your gaze/thoughts on).

How to practice Warrior III:

  • Start in Mountain Pose with your feet either touching or hip-distance apart
  • Find your Drishti by focusing your gaze on one still point on the floor
  • Either draw your hands to your hips or bring your palms to meet at the heart center
  • Lift your right knee hip level, engage your core, and begin to kick the right foot out behind you as you hinge your torso forward
  • Find your final expression by extending your arms out in front of you
  • Modify or intensify as you like, hold for five deep breaths, and then switch sides

2. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Another one-legged balance, Half Moon works the hips in the opposite direction of Warrior III, creating openness within the hip joint and concentration of the mind.

How to practice Half Moon Pose:

  • Find Mountain Pose with your feet either touching or hip-distance apart
  • Find your Drishti by focusing your gaze on one still point on the floor
  • Hinge from your hips to come into Standing Forward Fold
  • Plant your left fingertips at the top left corner of your mat and bring your right hand to your right hip
  • Lift your right foot up off of the floor and bring your right leg to hip level
  • Externally rotate your hip so your right hip stacks on top of your left. Keep both legs straight and strong
  • Lift your right arm skyward, making one long line between both arms, and shift your gaze skyward
  • Modify or intensify as you like, hold for five deep breaths, and then switch sides
  • Extended Hand-to-Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
  • As if balancing on one leg isn’t hard enough, this posture kicks it up a notch requiring strength, flexibility, and a big dose of concentration.

3. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

This balance pose has two points of contact with the floor (the feet and one hand), but that doesn’t make it any easier . . . Requiring lots of concentration to stabilize and align, this pose is a true test of awareness.

How to practice Side Plank:

  • Find Plank Pose with your feet touching and shift your weight into your right hand
  • Find your Drishti by focusing your gaze on one still point on the floor
  • Roll to the pinky side of your right foot and stack your left foot on top of it
  • Press the floor away from you and lift your hips as you reach your left arm skyward
  • Modify or intensify as you like, hold for five deep breaths, and repeat on side two
Breaking