Easy yoga poses to improve focus and balance


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It is not news that yoga has many health benefits. What is less talked about is that yoga is one of the best tools to help increase focus and maintain focus. This in turn helps exercise the brain, which is like any other organ in the body, and makes you more alert.

Health coach and yoga expert Shreya Sethi says, “When we perform yoga asanas, pranayama or meditation, we literally engage every sense organ with awareness. Even the gaze is fixed. For example, in meditating, when our eyes are closed, we fix the gaze either between the eyebrows or in the center of the heart. This directs attention to a point and helps the brain develop the habit of not being distracted. And in these times, I could easily say that this skill is paramount. In addition, Sethi draws attention to the literal translation of “yoga”, which is simply the union of mind, body and soul, which she translates as the essence of being. In order for these to converge, Sethi says that stability of the mind, without distractions, is most important. Consciousness increases when distractions decrease!

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When it comes to balance, Sethi says it’s easier to start with the body. “The cerebellum is a small part of the brain located at the back of the head where it meets the spine. It acts as the center of control of movements and balance of the body. It receives messages about the body’s position from the inner ear, eyes, muscles and joints, and sends messages to muscles to make postural adjustments necessary to maintain balance. It is best to control these muscles and joints first for balance, then work towards meditation where balance and focus are only for the mind, ”Sethi advises.

Sethi lists some yoga poses that can help improve focus, balance, and harmony in the body.

Warrior III Or Virbhadrasana III

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• Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale, raise both arms above your head, palms facing each other.
• Shift all of your weight onto the right leg. Exhale, point the toes of the left foot and sweep the left leg back while lowering your torso forward. Make sure your arms and back sweep leg are in the same line.
• Try to achieve a T-shape. If you can’t, make sure your arms and left leg are in the same line. Keep your gaze fixed on a focal point to maintain balance.
• Take five deep breaths. Exhale to return to a standing position. Repeat with the other leg.

Half Moon Pose Or Ardhachandrasana

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• Begin by bending your body forward with your palms under your shoulders and your knees straight. If your palms do not reach the mat, you can use blocks or books under the palms.
• Keep your gaze between the palms. Shift your weight onto your left foot and sweep your right leg until it is aligned with your hips, keeping the hips square. Try to keep your left leg straight for extra strength.
Open your hips, stacking the left hip point over the right hip point. Slowly, once stable, keeping the focus, remove your right hand from the mat and gently place it on the waist.
• Finally, turn your head so that your gaze is on the right corner of the mat.
• Balance yourself here for about five breaths before releasing the right leg to the floor and repeating the pose on the other side.

Lord of the dance pose or Natrajasana

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• Stand straight on the mat, looking forward towards a fixed point.
• Shifting the weight onto the left leg, bend the right knee, flex the right foot back.
• Hold the right ankle with the right hand. Keep the left leg straight and firm on the ground.
• Inhale, rotate the right shoulder to point the elbow up, pulling the right foot towards the head. At the same time, raise the left arm forward in line with the shoulder.
• Extend your spine and left arm to lean forward and reach upward with your hand.
• Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds breathing deeply and keeping your eyes focused on the focal point in front. Exhale to lower the left arm to the side and release the right foot to the floor.
• Repeat for the other side.

Vrikshasana or tree pose

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• Take a moment to feel both feet rooting into the ground with your weight evenly distributed over the four corners of each foot.
• Start shifting your weight onto your right foot, lifting your left foot off the ground. Keep your right leg straight but don’t block the knee.
• Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot high on the inside of your right thigh. Press your foot into your thigh and your thigh into your foot with equal pressure. This will help you keep both square hips forward so that your right hip does not protrude.
• Focus your gaze on something that is not moving to help you keep your balance.
• Take five to ten breaths, then lower your left foot to the ground and repeat on the other side.
In addition to practicing these postures, it is important to also practice pranayama and meditation. Sethi says, “The end goal is to move from using the body, which is easier to control, to controlling the breath and then the mind. You can start with belly breathing, Anuloma Viloma, Kapala Bhaati and move on to more attentive work that requires less stimulus for meditation.

Read more: Guide to strengthening immunity through pranayama or breathing exercises


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