Patanjali (the creator of Yoga Sutras) said, ‘yoga chitta vritti nirodha’ which loosely translates to Yoga is stilling the fluctuations (the chitta chatter) of the mind.
The main elements of yoga are movement, breathing and meditation. Yoga encompasses the importance of being in the present moment, being ‘mindful’, and maintaining focus and attention. As we head into one of the busiest times of the year, we explore five yoga poses you can try at home or in the office, to give your mind a lift, helping to keep your focus.
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shoddana Pranayama)
If you are unfamiliar with this practice, try this guided version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VwufJrUhic
Alternate nostril breathing can increase mental clarity, reduces anxiety and stress. It even refreshes your nervous system.
2. Easy Pose Meditation (Sukhasana)
This practice allows you to close your eyes, and reflect on what’s on your mind, what stresses you may feel physically in your body, it’s time to sit still, consciously. Inhale deeply and expansively and then let out a slow,
long, drawn-out exhale. This type of practice can help you focus on the things that are too often put to the side.
3. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
The fluid movements in surya namaskar can clear the mind of any unnecessary chatter and bring your attention to nothing but the sound of your deep breathing.
4. Ragdoll (Baddha Hasta Uttanasana)
Baddha Hasta Uttanasana helps stretch the shoulders, arms and chest for supporting the lungs, heart and the neck. This bent over relaxing pose, allows the torso to go deeper down, extending the spine. Ragdoll Pose helps boost energy in the body and bring a conscious awareness and buzz to the mind.
5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Relax into a luxurious and comfortable savasana, taking time to reflect on the centred state of mind and focus. This sutra can help release any additional tension that you might be holding onto in your body, and lets your breathing return to normal.