How Can Yoga, When Done Correctly, Help to Increase & Improve Concentration?
Yoga is an ancient art form that has many well-known health benefits, and is used often as a relaxation technique. In fact, if you practice yoga daily, you can potentially see drastic changes in both your mind and body. There are many ways you can improve your life, with yoga. In particular, many people now take on yoga to help increase or improve their concentration levels, as this can be one of the many benefits, if performed regularly.
In our busy and hectic world, it can be difficult sometimes to concentrate on the things that are actually important, as distractions are everywhere, whether that be family, work, or school. Yoga is known to boost the mind and can help you for concentration purposes. These outcomes are only made possible when yoga is done correctly and on a regular basis.
You don’t have to be a master at yoga to
do yoga poses the right way, however. A complete beginner can perform certain yoga exercises, stretches and asanas, just by understanding a few basic fundamentals. As you become better with basic physical postures, you will be able to advance to more technical ones, yoga props, and even aerial yoga if that were your goal.
In this post, we’ll go over how yoga can be done "correctly", and how "correctly" done yoga can increase and improve your concentration levels!
How Can Yoga be Performed Correctly?
So how can yoga be performed "correctly", to start to see advancements in body and mind? What is yoga? Why is yoga right for me? Can yoga help with stress? These are just some of many questions beginner yogis have, and rightly so. Many people mistakenly think that yoga is just about the body and increasing levels of flexibility, but it is far more. Yoga is not always about trying to push your body to the limit, it's also about finding a sense of inner peace as well as physical strength.
On the yoga mat, you'll want to challenge yourself with difficult poses, but above all else, correctly practiced yoga needs to bring balance, stability, and attention to the body and mind.
To perform yoga the right way, you'll want to start with an intention. Figure out what you want to accomplish with your yoga sessions, and prepare ahead of time, have an end goal. Look at poses beforehand and make sure you have the flexibility and strength to pull them off, so not to be disappointed if you need to work up to certain poses.
Not only is getting familiar with poses before trying them, better for you mental state, but like any other exercise or training, you can injure yourself if unprepared or inexperienced. It's always better to engage in some sort of beginner classes, or videos from a reliable trainer first, especially just starting out. Even doing simple poses and beginner routines can increase your level of concentration, so, don’t be ashamed to start off with beginner asanas and work slowly and patiently.
In addition, always focus on the breathing. Your breathing is a vital part of doing yoga properly. You'll want to stay strong and stable in your poses, and at the same time, you'll to breathe in and out, rhythmically and purposefully. Focusing on simply breathing, can help you sink better into your pose and better help with reaching a level of inner peace. It also hones in on your concentration skills, during yoga.
Yoga is about more than performing poses, it's about bringing inner peace to both the mind and body. So, consider your breathing, body strength, and intentions to practice yoga successfully.
What are the Benefits of Doing Yoga Correctly?
Well obviously this is the goal, to start with a variation of poses and then master those poses and move onto others that are beneficial to your ultimate goals. So, before we talk about how it can improve concentration, specifically, we’ll briefly talk
about how yoga, when done right, can help you in other ways.
First and most important, a sound yoga technique
will prevent you from getting injured and put you on a clear path to success and the benefits it can provide both short, and long therm.
When you take the time to practice yoga
with intention and preparation, you'll prevent injury and reach your goals much faster. As your preparation improves, so will your sessions, leading to better mental focus, concentration, flexibility, muscle endurance, muscle strength and mind-body cohesion.
How Doing Yoga Correctly Increases and Improves Concentration:
Doing yoga to improve your concentration levels can be extremely effective. There are a number of ways that yoga, performed the right way, can increase your attention span, focus, and your concentration abilities.
1. Reroutes Your Attention
When you practice yoga, studies have found that you're able to concentrate better. Part of this has to do with how yoga reroutes the mind’s attention. As you do yoga, your attention is brought solely to the body and mind, breathing techniques, specific asanas, etc.
In fact, one such review of literature published in 2019, states that there is promising early evidence that yoga, positively impacts brain health and that yoga "may hold promise to mitigate age-related decline", from a neurological standpoint.
The act of bending and holding yoga poses, keeps the mind completely focused and settled in the moment. Now this doesn't mean your mind may not occasionally wonder, but if it does, this may also be an indication that you need to change up your routine, maneuvers, and props to challenge yourself more.
However, over time, you train your mind to focus better on specific important tasks, both in your yoga routine and outside of your sessions.
This may simultaneously help with people that have sleep issues, helping to ease their minds at times when it may worry about stressful events and wonder, like at bedtime!
2. Improves the Flow of Oxygen, Blood Circulation and the Release of Endorphins in Your Body
It is not just the mind that is
influenced by yoga, but physically, your body gets a boost as well, and in the long-term can help with endurance, flexibility and avoid injuries as we age.
Yoga helps, like with many physical exercises or training programs, to open up the lungs and deliver nutrient rich oxygen more efficiently to the body. This is done through breathing techniques, as well as many yoga routines, getting your heart rate up into a nice fat burn or cardio burn-zone. Long term, this can help with better oxygen circulation throughout the body and better heart function.
A better pump, and moderate exercise, leads to the release of neurotransmitters, called endorphins. These are your feel good neurotransmitters that are released after exercise, in this case, yoga for approximately 30-minutes post workout.
3. Reduces Stress and Fatigue
Yoga improves your concentration in other ways, too. Yoga is thought to help with decreasing stress and helping to deal with stressful situations more effectively. Blood pressure may also be helped with regular exercise and yoga routines, improving heart rate, the body stops fighting against itself. When you are not in a stressed-out state, your mind enters a more tranquil state, which allows you to relax and concentrate better.
In addition, with less stress, there is
less strain on the body and mind. This can help free up your mind and body and allow you to feel more energetic and focused throughout your day. Overall, with more energy gained from regular
yoga practice, should have your feeling more prepared for the day and less fatigued.
One study from the International Journal of Yoga 2011, concluded that yoga helps to decrease stress, anxiety, depression, and things such as chronic pain and overall well-being in life!
4. Reduces Anxiety and Negative Emotions
As we talked about prior, yoga not only can help with stress load and management, it can influence in a positive way the reduction of anxiety and negative emotions. In fact, like regular exercise, doing yoga alongside professional treatment options is something that can help with symptoms of anxiety. This is because yoga has such a powerful impact on the mind.
This can seem unrelated to the ability to concentrate, however, when you're high anxiety and have many other thoughts racing through your head daily, it makes it harder to focus on what's truly important or other positive emotions. As you become stronger mentally and physically while practicing yoga, yoga can be tied to the ability to increase your concentration and focus your current sessions and routine preparation.
This mental clarity will hopefully make it easier to focus on things that can be beneficial to your well-being or your families well-being.
Overall, when yoga is done correctly, yoga can contribute to your life is a huge way! Whether that be physically or mentally it can touch you personally, leading to better health, and a better ability to focus and concentrate on the positive things in your life, and an easier time handling the more difficult ones.
Don’t rush into your practice, educate yourself about the practice first, and know where your are physically and what your end goal is. Please be sure to share your experiences, and what yoga has done for your life on our blog and in the comments section!