“Healthy body, healthy mind” is a well-known adage. Today neuroscience and evolutionary biology are proving that physical exercise boosts brain power by stimulating the growth of new connections between cells in a wide variety of important cortical areas in the brain. Today we will talk about particular asanas which are proven to be effective in improving your memory, focus, and concentration. But yoga is not just about asanas as we have discussed many times before in this blog.
THE SEVENTH LIMB OF YOGA
The eight aspects of Ashtanga Yoga consist of Asanas (poses) as well as Pratyahara, Dharna, and Dhyana which are associated with transforming your consciousness. Dhyana is the seventh limb of yoga. The Yoga Sutras define Dhyana as "continuous flow of the same thought or image of the object of meditation, without being distracted by any other thought". It is usually practised while doing meditation but it can be very beneficial if we also practice it while performing pranayama and asanas. It is very close to mindfulness which we have talked about in a previous article.
Physical discomforts and health problems can also be an impediment to your focus when you are required to concentrate on important tasks. Yoga asanas help you get rid of physical discomfort by improving your digestion, alleviating stress and mild depression, improving blood circulation and respiration.
ASANAS FOR IMPROVING CONCENTRATION AND MEMORY
1.Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Yoga Pose)
Paschimottanasana is a Sanskrit word that is made up of three words: Paschima meaning West or back, Uttana meaning intense stretching, and Asana meaning pose. This asana calms the brain and helps relieve stress and depression and helps in bringing states of meditativeness. Additionally, it improves digestion and is also great for stretching, it stretches your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
2.Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Padmasana is one of the classic postures for meditation along with siddhasana (perfect pose) and sukhasana (easy pose). Padmasana is a cross-legged sitting yoga posture. It calms the mind and deepens meditation. It is a great posture for improving your posture by keeping your spine straight. Additionally, it opens up the hips, stretches the ankles and knees, and keeps the ligaments flexible.
3.Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Ustrasana or Camel pose is a kneeling back-bending asana. This asana is beneficial for you if you wish to improve concentration through yoga.
It Improves your posture, opens up your hips stretching the deep hip flexors. It improves digestion by expanding the abdominal region.
4.Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Setu Bandhasana is one of the basic back-bend poses which will prepare for advanced back-bend type asanas as you get more flexible.
It calms the brain and the central nervous system. It helps alleviate stress and mild depression. It stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips and strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings.
5.Padahastasana (Standing Forward Pose)
Padahastasana or Standing Forward Pose is also known as Hand to Foot Pose. It is a part of the Surya Namaskar which is a harmonious set of 12 asanas. Padahastasana alleviates flatulence, constipation, and indigestion, and increases vitality. It massages the digestive organs and tones the spinal nerves.
To learn these asanas from an expert teacher and practice yoga with the aim to build strength, don't forget to take a look at our schedule for live yoga classes and join in!