How to Use Yoga for Better Concentration and Memory
It’s a well-known fact that yoga is good for physical, mental, and spiritual health. Since we’re all interested on the topic of improving mental performance here, we thought of looking into how this practice can help improve concentration and memory.
Turns out, yoga can improve mental focus, too. In a study conducted by professor Edward McAuley in Illinois, they found that participants who did a 20-minute yoga session were able to process information more quickly. They were also more quick and accurate to perform cognitive tasks after the practice.
If you’re already practicing yoga, you may already be enjoying these benefits. If not, we recommend these top three yoga poses you can do to improve concentration and focus.
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Best Techniques in Yoga for Memory Improvement and Concentration
These are 3 easiest asana you can do in yoga to improve concentration:
1. Vrikshasana (Tree pose)
This asana is a balancing posture that forces you to focus your mind. The more focused you are, the longer you can hold this balancing pose. This asana also improves neuromuscular coordination.
How to do it:
- Stand straight and place your hands by your side.
- Bend your right knee, placing your right foot flat on the roof of your left thigh. Make sure your left leg remains straight as you do this.
- Once you find your balance, start taking slow, deep breaths.
- As you breathe, slowly raise your hands, bringing the palms together in a ‘namaste’ mudra.
- Keep your back straight while taking several deep breaths.
- As you hold the pose, fix your gaze on the object in front of you.
2. Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2)
This pose requires intense focus with your whole body fully engaged and gaze fixed in one place. It’s one of the most common poses in yoga and is less intimidating compared to more advanced yoga postures.
How to do it:
- Stand straight with your legs apart about 3-4 feet.
- Stretch your arms to the side, palms facing down.
- Turn your right feet out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the side.
- Then, angle your left foot slightly inwards.
- On exhale, bend your right knee making sure it’s directly over the right ankle. Your right shin should be perpendicular to the floor.
- Turn your head to the right and place your gaze in one position.
- Do deep, slow breaths while you stay in this position.
3. Garudasana (Eagle pose)
Garudasana is another yoga pose that forces you to concentrate on your balance and breathe. If done properly and consistently, you can enjoy better focus and balance.
How to do it:
- Start by standing straight, making sure your feet are together.
- Once you find a steady focal point, bend your knees a little and lift your right leg, crossing it over to the left thigh. Hook your right feet behind your left calf.
- Bring your arms in front of you, left over right, and bend your elbows. Then, cross your arms in front of you trying to bring your palms together.
- Stay steady in this position as you inhale and exhale slowly. Keep your back straight as you breathe deeply.
- Focus on one point in front of you as you try to hold this pose.
Yoga and Meditation
To get the best benefits from yoga, you should also do meditation. Yoga meditation is part of the whole well-rounded yoga experience that will help you quiet your thoughts and focus on your physical presence.
To meditate, sit in a half lotus position and focus on the flow of your breathe. Keep your attention on your breathe and if your mind wanders, dismiss it and go back to your breathe again. Practice this for at least 5 minutes and gradually increase the duration as you go. Doing this together with yoga will clear your head and help you refocus.
Have you tried yoga as a means for improving mental performance? Share your thoughts in the comments.