Yoga to improve focus: A 5-minute routine to increase concentration

In a world filled with buzzing smartphones, multitasking madness and an endless to-do list, finding focus can feel like an elusive treasure. Finding focus and maintaining mental clarity can be a challenge. The constant stream of distractions and demands can leave us feeling scattered and overwhelmed. Thankfully, yoga offers a sanctuary for the mind and body. Here we will learn how to do a 5-minute yoga flow to improve focus and concentration, specially curated by certified yoga instructor Swati Kain.

Through a combination of mindful movement, breath awareness and meditation, yoga cultivates a deep sense of presence and inner calm, creating an ideal environment for sharpening the mind. By synchronizing movement with breath, yoga trains the mind to stay focused on the present moment, anchoring attention and reducing mental chatter.

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Yoga to improve focus

1. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjariasana)

We begin our gentle yoga flow with cat-cow pose, a dynamic movement that coordinates breath with spinal flexion. Start on all fours, with your hands directly below your shoulders and knees beneath your hips. As you inhale, arch your spine, lifting your tailbone and gaze towards the ceiling (Cow Pose). As you exhale, round your spine, tucking your tailbone and dropping your head (Cat Pose). Repeat this fluid motion for several rounds, syncing breath and movement to cultivate a sense of grounding and presence.

Also read: Cat-cow v/s downward and upward facing dog: An expert gives a lowdown on yoga poses you must try

2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transitioning from cat-cow pose, lift your hips up and back, coming into downward facing dog. Press your palms firmly into the mat, spreading your fingers wide. Engage your core and lengthen your spine, allowing your heels to sink towards the ground. This pose rejuvenates the body and mind, relieving tension and invigorating the senses. Take several deep breaths here, letting go of any mental clutter and focusing on the present moment.

3. High Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning your right knee directly over your ankle. Gently lower your left knee to the ground, keeping the top of your foot resting on the mat. Inhale and lift your arms overhead, reaching towards the sky. High lunge energizes the body and promotes balance while encouraging mental stability and focus. Feel the strength and stability in your legs, drawing your attention inward and grounding yourself in the present.

4. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

From high lunge, rotate your back foot to a 90-degree angle, aligning your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor. Keep your gaze focused over your front fingertips. Warrior II enhances concentration and builds endurance. Feel the strength and determination of a warrior as you hold the pose, directing your attention towards your breath and the sensations in your body.

Warrior 3 pose
Warrior pose can help increase your focus and concentration!

5. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Transitioning from warrior II, shift your weight onto your front foot and slowly lift your back leg, extending it straight behind you. Simultaneously, bring your torso parallel to the ground, reaching your arms forward. Engage your core and find stability in your standing leg. Warrior III cultivates balance, focus, and mental clarity. Embrace the challenge of finding stillness and strength in this balancing pose.

6. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

From warrior III, gently lower your lifted leg and place the sole of your foot against your standing leg. Find your balance and bring your hands together at your heart center. Tree Pose encourages focus, stability, and a connection with nature. Imagine yourself rooted like a tree, firmly grounded while remaining flexible. Direct your attention to your breath, allowing your mind to settle into a state of tranquility.

7. Savasana

Our gentle yoga flow concludes with savasana, the final resting pose. Lie flat on your back, arms relaxed by your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and surrender to deep relaxation. Allow your body and mind to absorb the benefits of the practice, rejuvenating and calming the nervous system. Spend a few minutes in this state of deep rest, letting go of any lingering thoughts or tension.

Savasana or corpse pose
Savasana is a great yoga pose to improve focus. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Remember, practising yoga is a journey, and each time you step onto your mat, you have the opportunity to deepen your connection with yourself and improve your ability to stay present and focused throughout the day. So, embrace the power of yoga and allow it to guide you towards a more centered and focused life. Namaste.

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