When Yoga is mentioned, a certain number of the population utter a groan. The images we see of yoga, tend to only show fit people bending themselves into impossible shapes. Yet you should not dismiss yoga as a way to improve your focus and concentration. If you only want those benefits, there is no need to sign up for classes. Yoga has poses to fit almost every desired situation, from easing pain, to stretching and of course focus and concentration.
Let’s look at some yoga poses and breathing techniques that will get you the results that you desire.
1. Probably the easiest thing for anyone of any size, shape, or physical fitness to do, is alternative nostril breathing. Although images show people with their legs crossed sitting on the floor, you can do nostril breathing sitting in a comfortable chair or standing if you wish.
When you are comfortable, close your eyes and take your right thumb and use it to close off your right nostril completely. Inhale deeply and hold momentarily, then cover the left nostril completely and exhale all the air through the right nostril. Continue to breath like this for 3-5 minutes and then relax your hands, open your eyes, and begin to breath normally. Take note of how you feel? Are you feeling calmer and more focused? If not, repeat the process. The vast majority of people will find that doing one round of nostril breathing, when they are feeling upset, unfocused, or just plain weary…. will return their energy and concentration abilities.
2. Now for one of the simplest poses, that again basically anyone who can stand, is able to do. It is called the prayer pose and has you standing with your feet together or if you wish, about a foot apart for balance. Bring your hands up to level of the center of your chest and place them palms together as if you were praying.
Close your eyes and feel all the tension releasing, from the top of your head and let it go through the body, all the way down into the feet and let it escape the body. Begin to breath in through the nose and hold for a two count and release the breath. Hold this pose and do the breathing for 3-5 minutes.
3. The warrior pose is a bit more involved, however it does not require any serious bending or twisting, that you may find difficult due to weight or health issues. In this pose, it helps to imagine that one is an ancient warrior, who needs concentration and focus, to do well on the battlefield.
Start by placing your feet, 3 feet apart and raise your arms, level to your shoulders with the palms down. Now take your right foot and turn it outwards to the right and bend the knee. Your right knee should be directly over your right ankle and now you can take your left leg and shift it out just a bit, so that your left ankle is bend inwards and the leg is completely straight but angled at about a 45% degree because all the weight is shifted towards the right foot.
Focus your gaze outwards over the center of the top of your right hand and begin to breath deeply, in and out.
Hold this pose for about a minute as long as is it still comfortable for you. Slowly bring your right foot around straight and center yourself. Now you can do the exact same pose but shift it to the left side. Remember to focus intently over the top of your left hand, and concentrate on your breathing. This pose will release tension in your body and give you laser sharp focus for the day ahead.