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We've all been treated to reams and reams of blogrolls and newsprints about the physical benefits of an asana practice. But the great thing about yoga is that it is invariably working on changing your internal make-up as well. Yoga strips away the unnecessary emotional clutter that makes a home within us while we're too busy meeting deadlines, gulping down coffee to stay awake, partying the night away to 'make the most of' the weekend. This emotional clutter is what prevents us from focusing and being able to concentrate on the task at hand. A daily yoga practice has the capacity to alter the way you live and approach your life. Incorporate the following asanas in your daily practice to build your concentration skills and live a more fulfilling life!
1. Seated Meditative Pose
Sit on the floor in any comfortable meditative asana. You can sit in the Padmasana (Lotus Pose) or arrange your legs in any other formation. Those with joint pain can even sit on a chair with back support. Bring your hands together in the Namaskar Mudra, making sure both hands exert pressure on each other. Let your thumbs float near your heart, remember that a physical and emotional connect is necessary. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Make your inhalations and exhalations long and breathe with awareness. Make sure that your eyes are soft and forehead is relaxed. Sitting like this for just 5 minutes a day will help you channelise all the nervous, negative energy out of your system and give you greater powers of concentration.
2. Tree Pose/Vrikshasana
This pose is a great way that you can balance your body and improve your concentration. Start with standing up straight. Slowly shift your weight on to your left leg. When you're comfortable, try and grab a hold of your right foot and bring it as close to your groin region as possible. Raise your hands up over your head and join them in a Namaskar. Take long inhales and exhales a couple of times. Repeat on the right side.
3. Eagle Pose/Garudasana
This pose will not only help you improve your concentration, but it will also help release tension from your shoulders and hips (which are the major tension hoarders of the body). Start with standing up straight. Now bend your right leg and cross it over the left knee. You will invariably bend the left leg as well. Continue to 'wrap' your right leg around the left by hooking your right foot around the left calve. Next, cross your right elbow above your left elbow and continue to 'wrap' both arms around each other. Repeat on the left side.
4. Warrior III/Virbhardasana III
This is a pose which really requires you to practise focusing and concentrating, along with strengthening your legs. Start with standing up straight. Raise both hands above your head. Shifting all your weight to your left leg, start to bend your torso forward at the same time extending your right leg straight back. In the final position your body should be in a 'T' position. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on right side.
5. Lord of the Dance Pose/Natrajasana
If there were to be a 'poster asana' for yoga, this would be it. From experienced gurus to newbies, everyone practices it. This pose is graceful, it's a great stretch, and it develops your concentration abilities. Start with standing up straight and tall. Bend your right leg at the knee and grab the ankle with your right hand. Raise your left hand straight up. Slowly start to tilt forward. Push your right leg as high up as it will go, maintaining a hold on your ankle. Repeat on right side.
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Know your yoga asana
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