Your Brain On Yoga: 6 Poses That Improve Concentration

It’s the middle of the day, you’ve just finished lunch, and you’re back at your desk experiencing a serious case of “post-meal-itis”. You find yourself trying to focus on a report that’s due at the end of the day, but all you can register is your eyelids getting heavier and heavier as your glucose levels decrease, taking your concentration and focus right along with it.

Here are a few yoga poses you can do to re-awaken your mind and power you through to knock-off time. Your improved results may even convince your boss to consider implementing an afternoon yoga session to get the entire office back on track!

1. Eagle pose

Yovada - Eagle Pose

Eagle Pose

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From standing shift your weight onto one foot, bend the standing knee slightly. Lift the other leg and wrap it around the standing leg. Try to see if you can wrap your foot around the calf of the standing leg. Now, double wrap your arms and bring both palms to touch. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears, and push your arms away from your face. Sink deeper in the legs if you can. The more you press down into your standing heel and squeeze your legs together, the easier it will be to balance.

2. Tree pose

Yovada - Tree Pose

Tree Pose

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Start in a relaxed standing position with your feet hip width distance apart. Shift your weight onto your right foot, bend your left leg, and gently place your foot on the inside of your right leg as high up onto your inner thigh as possible. If that is too challenging, you can always place your foot on the inside of your lower leg, below your knee. Just remember not to place your foot on your knee, as this can potentially harm it. Create extension in your body by standing up tall, lift your arms up to the ceiling if yu can, and find a spot on a wall to focus on.

3. Warrior II

Yovada - Warrior II

Warrior II

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From Downward Facing Dog, sweep your right leg between your arms, planting your foot firmly on the inside of your right hand. Turn your back foot so it’s parallel to your mat, and root down the outer edge of your foot into the ground to balance the weight evenly between both legs. Windmill your arms up into a “T”. Bend your front knee so it’s stacked directly over your ankle. Gaze out to the middle finger of the hand extended in front of you. Keep your torso lifted, arms extended energetically, and relax your shoulders down and away from your ears.

4. Crow

Yovada - Crow Pose

Crow Pose

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From a squatting position with your feet wide, plant your hands firmly on your mat about a foot in front of your knees with your arms bent slightly. Lift your hips, separate your knees, and try to tuck them as high into your upper arms as possible, using your arms as a shelf. Shift your weight into your hands and begin to lift one foot, or maybe even both feet off the ground. Keep your gaze forward.

5. Mountain Pose

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Mountain Pose

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Stand with your feet together, rooting down on all four corners of each foot with the arches lifted. Activate the quads by lifting the knees up off your shins. Keep your tailbone and pelvis soft and neutral. Press your shoulders down and back away from your ears. Let your arms hang by your torso. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and the crown of your head aligned with the center of your pelvis.

6. Headstand

Yovada - Headstand

Headstand

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From a hands and knees position, place your forearms on your mat, interlace your fingers, and tuck your pinkies inside your palms. Keep your wrists and forearms pressed firmly into the ground, and push down into your arms to release your shoulders away from your ears. Place the crown of your head on the floor inside your arms, ensuring the back of your head is against your hands. Tuck your toes, lift your hips and straighten out your legs. Start to walk your feet in toward your face, and using your core to control the movement, tuck each leg into your chest. Begin to powerfully push each leg up toward the ceiling, extending through the toes.

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Jaimee Ratliff
Jaimee Ratliff

Jaimee Ratliff is a writer, traveler, yogi and passionate advocate for living a life you love. She can be found writing on all things travel and inspiration over at This Way North. Jaimee is also the author of Party of One: An Inspirational Guide to Letting Go of Fear and Loving Solo Travel.

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