When life gets hectic, it can be hard to focus on one thing at a time. Busy people often learn to multitask and prioritize, but it can still lead to those frenzied feelings of discontent. Perhaps you’ve tried nootropics as a supplement to improve your concentration, or maybe a weekly massage is all you need to stay sane.
Yoga is another strategy to employ when you feel overbooked, overwhelmed, or just plain over it. The following poses can improve concentration, focus, and even memory.
Breathing is an amazing way to calm your mind and send a message to your body that says, “Chill out, I’ve got this!”
- Alternate Nostril Breathing: Alternate air intake one nostril at a time while pushing the air out of the other nostril. Use your thumb or forefinger to close off one nostril at a time.
- Humming Bee Breath: Take a deep breath in. Then, use your fingers to press the cartilage into your ears as you breath out while make a buzzing sound, as loudly or quietly as you like.
- Skull Shining Breath: This type of breathing focuses on a forceful exhalation by pulling the belly button toward the spine. Your lungs will then naturally pull the next breath into your body. Complete about 20 quick exhalations in one round.
Even if you’re not an advanced yogi, you can reap the benefits of some of these simple poses to help you regain focus and concentration.
Pose 1 – Mountain Pose
Stand with your feet together, arms hanging at your sides. Pull your shoulders back, keep your neck and gaze neutral. Straighten your spine and imagine your feet are rooted to earth like a mountain while your head feels a slight upward pull. Concentrate on good posture by pulling your belly button in and engaging your leg muscles too. Extend your fingers toward your feet to elongate your frame. Breathe. Close your eyes if it feels good.
Pose 2 – Eagle Pose
This pose will challenge your balance while requiring you to maintain a sharp focus. Begin in Mountain Pose. Reach your arms high, then swing them down and cross your right arm under your left. Wrap your arms around each other with your palms meeting if possible. Then, bend your knees to bring your hips low like you’re going to sit in a chair. Pull your belly in, keep your weight in your heels, and lift your chest up, keeping your gaze forward and steady.
Pose 3 – Warrior Two
Place your legs in a lunge position with your front toes facing forward and your back toes angled in slightly. Bend forward while stretching your arms out horizontally. Reach your head up while your arms stretch out and strong and your legs lunge deeply.
Pose 4 – Seated Forward Bend
Sit on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your feet flexed, allowing your toes to point towards the ceiling. Reach your arms up first, extending your spine long. Then, begin to reach forward with your arms bending from your hips. Maintain a straight spine while reaching as far as you can toward your toes. Relax and breathe in the posture for several seconds or longer.
Pose 5 – Child’s Pose
Rejuvenate with this pose. Begin on your knees with your bottom resting on your heels. Open your knees enough to stretch your upper body between them. Stretch your arms forward, resting your forehead on the mat.
Yoga is a simple yet effective way to cleanse your mind and body. You will undoubtedly reap the benefits from the first time you practice, and the benefits will persist as you do as well!