A wavering focus is one of the major causes for low productivity at the work place or low grades at school and college. It is this same attribute that students, professionals, entrepreneurs and home-makers alike have been trying to achieve to uplift the quality of their lives. While a lack of focus is the mother of all follies, achieving better concentration is not really that difficult when one knows where to look for help.
Of the various focus improvement options available today, yoga and pranayama are probably some of the oldest and time-tested methods that can take you closer to your goal. Though it may seem that yoga is more of a physical workout technique, it works on the mental level too. It makes the body more flexible and improves the immunity level. It also alleviates stress, soothes the nerves and calms the mind.
Here is a list of simple pranayamas that can help you achieve better focus:
Nadi Shodhan pranayama (Alternate Nostril breathing technique) cleanses your ‘nadi’ or subtle life force channel. This technique cleans the vital energy channels, paving the way for better focus.
By releasing the accumulated stresses in the body, Nadi Shodhan pranayama creates a soothing effect on the entire nervous system. It brings the fleeting mind to a stand-still and this calmness is the foundation for solid concentration.
Bhramari pranayama (Bee breath) helps you to ward off unnecessary thoughts and drives you to the present moment! Being in the present lets you focus on the job at hand instead of thinking about past or future.
The humming sound ‘hmmm’ is part ‘Ohmmm’ which is regarded as the basic healing sound of the universe. In a nutshell, the Bhramari breathing technique is one of the reset buttons to stop chattering mind. You can focus more on a refreshed consciousness!
Kapal Bhati pranayama (Skull Shining breathing technique) polishes the forehead area through the cleansing breath. It brings waves of freshness to the brain cells and energizes the nerves throughout the body.
Also, Kapal Bhati pranayama clears the blocks in your subtle life force channel. It is one of the antidotes for laziness. Long story short, it has got all ingredients to make you focus better!
Have you felt sleepy even when you wanted to stay awake and finish work? Bhastrika pranayama can help you ward off sleep for a while. Further, by increasing your awareness, this breathing technique lets you concentrate better.
Just as the air is blown through a bellow makes fire glow more, the Bellow breath energizes your mind. As we breathe in, the brain is gently compressed and when we exhale it gets relaxed. This gives a massage-like effect on the brain.
Mudras are basically hand gestures that help you to make changes to the flow of life force in the body. Holding the hands still in a mudra or a seal creates stillness of the mind as well. This leads to better focus.
Each mudra makes the prana flow in a particular section of the body. Brahma mudra is yet another stress buster and is known to relax the faculties of the mind. Although it is a relaxation technique, the effect of applying this seal is an improved concentration.
Chin Mudra or Gyaan Mudra
‘Chin’ translates to consciousness and when you apply Chin mudra, you experience tranquility. Nerve endings are known to have significance in the flow of prana. In this seal, we short circuit the flow of subtle vital energy by touching the tip of the index finger with its counterpart in the thumb. This soothes the nerves in our body and instantly relaxes the mind. No wonder the end result is the much-desired awareness and focus of mind.
Lack of exercise, odd sleeping patterns, and poor food habits can also be the cause of focus related problems. While yoga helps get the routine back on track and puts the body in good shape, one must also work on improving their food habits. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian science that can help you make proper diet choices.
With a regular practice of yoga and an ayurvedic diet, one can definitely achieve better focus and enhance the quality of life.
It would be a good idea to tie in all the above practices with the Sudarshan Kriya (SKY) which is the foundation of The Art of Living “Happiness Program.” Incorporating a simple technique of leveraging our breath to manage our emotions and feelings, the Sudarshan Kriya helps us reduce our stress-levels and get ourselves off the emotional roller coaster we unwittingly put ourselves on. We cannot change the world, but we can change ourselves - for the better.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga Incase of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and an Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us at email@example.com