Simple Yoga Techniques For Better Focus

Yoga practice can work just as much with your way of being, as with your body. If done with direction of attention, we can use techniques like asana, pranayama and meditation to help hone not only our body but also the mind to help us find clarity, direction and focus in our day to day lives.

3 Yoga Techniques To Follow

1. Pranayama

Start by sitting upright; use your first finger and thumb of our right hand to cover your nostrils one at a time. Start by exhaling through both nostrils, then block your right nostril with your thumb and inhale through your left. Release your right nostril and block your left, exhaling through right – inhale here before blocking the right and exhaling through your left. Repeat for 10 full cycles.

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This tricks the brain into relaxing and starting the clearing process, allowing our focus and attention to be greater and direction easier to find.

2. Yoga Asanas

Cat/Cow Stretch

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Arguably the best yoga exercise which covers the breath, body and mind; start in table top with joints stacked and begin alternating from extension to flexion in the spine. Try adding the breath as you exhale rolling the spine like a cat stretching, and then as you inhale allowing the sitting bones and eyes to lift up and let the belly fall.

To help find focus and direction start to refine the movement of your spine, ensuring the whole spine moves from the bottom to top. Allow your attention to move deeper and deeper inside internalizing your awareness as you practice at least 10 slow repetitions.

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Tree Pose 

One of yoga’s most grounding and clearing poses, tree allows you to focus completely in the present moment as you find your attention on your balance and nothing else.

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Start standing in tadasana, lift one knee up into your chest and then use your hand to guide your foot to the inside of your upper, or lower leg and bring your hands to your heart. Try simply to lift yourself up a little higher from the crown of your head, and find your focus straight ahead on one specific point.

With your attention on this point, experience the movements from side to side, forward and back, and allow yourself much like a tree in the wind to wobble a little without losing your focus. If this is easy, look up or even close your eyes so that you feel the wobble. Hold for up to 2 minutes and then repeat on the second side.

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The attention and focus it takes to stay upright here is balanced by the softness and calm that is needed to allow the movements and keep your attention. Tree pose is perfect for finding the elements of balance, clarity and focus.

3. Contemplation Meditation

Here, we use thoughts as a vehicle in meditation, allowing the mind to find direction and focus. It is important that we don’t try and push out the thoughts, but rather experience them from a meditators’ mindset of curiosity and become an observer of the thoughts.

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Sit in a comfortable position, resting your lower back and quickly scan the body for any tension. Soften everything including the muscles of your face and begin to take your attention inside. Just watch, feel, and listen. Notice patterns and themes and allow them to be. Try not to dive into thoughts but rather let it guide and communicate with you. Let what is already inside guide us into the directions we know already. Stay in this experience for at least 5 minutes or until you feel you’ve understood the message coming through.

None of these techniques are very hard, or take a lot of time; if we add them to our routine, we can find ourselves more in tune, clearer with more focus and direction.

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Try each of these out on their own, as part of your own practice or in the sequence listed above and see how you feel. It’s possible a shift in your direction is as close and easy as that, good luck!