“The quality of your focus determines the quality of your life.”
Take a minute to think about the above quote before you judge.
The above quote sounds like a big claim, but when you think about it for a moment, you probably come to the realization that there is little to get between.
This statement about the quality of your focus can even be explained in two ways:
1. What gives you attention that grows. So the only thing you have to do to achieve the things you want to achieve is focusing. Focus on what you want, and you will get more of it. So you can use focus to work on the things you want in life.
A simple example … If you want to obtain a degree in psychology, if you focus on learning and studying psychological books for a number of years and you follow a course for that, you will probably get this diploma sooner or later.
You decide to focus on something and eventually you achieve a certain result that affects the quality of your life.
2. The second way to approach this quote is slightly more subtle. It has nothing to do with your thoughts. It is a bit like the ‘the glass is half full or half empty’ thought.
When confronted with a certain situation, you can focus on all the negative things and misery that that situation entails, or you can focus on the positive.
When in most cases you focus on the positive things, your life will look rosier in your experience.
Focus is therefore an incredibly important skill to have and improve your focus is essential. It not only helps you to focus and work on the things that you find important in life, but also plays an important role in all the mental processes and incentives that we receive.
But we are often constantly distracted in the fast-paced world we live in. Smartphones, commercials, traffic, big cities, and television shower us with stimuli that demand our attention.
If we paid attention to all these stimuli, we would literally go crazy. And sometimes this happens a bit in the form of chronic stress or a burnout.
So how do you ensure that in this busy world you are not constantly distracting yourself, but that you yourself have control over your focus and determine where your attention goes? Or rather;
How can you improve your focus?
In this blog you will read more about focus, the relationship with Yoga and you will learn exercises that help you to improve your focus.
What is focus and why is it important?
Focus is to focus your attention on one thing while ignoring other things. You have your attention at a specific something for a certain period, and it is not divided over several things.
Because we live in a world where we are flooded with things that distract us, the ability to focus is one of the most important skills you can have today.
If you can focus, you are able to push aside everything that is not important at that moment and to focus on what is important. Imagine working undisturbed and focused on a specific goal for a number of hours …?
A beautiful and important project at work, a book you want to write, a skill you want to learn or your health.
Can you think of what this would have for your life? And what if you would make a habit of this? What if you could work on your dreams and goals on a deep creative and intellectual level every day for a few hours? Would not that be life-changing?
And yet … .to find focus is one of the most difficult things there is. A survey , published in the International Journal of Information Management in 2003, shows that an average person checks his email about every 5 minutes. And, that it takes 64 seconds to go back to the task you were doing before you checked your email.
In other words, just by email, we waste one minute every six minutes that we are working.
This is only about email and was in 2003, when email, social media and smartphones played a much less important role in our lives.
Yoga and focus
That you have difficulty focusing, does not mean you can not do it, but that you do not train it. Focussing is not a skill that we do or do not get with our birth, but something you can practice and train.
When you lift a weight, the muscles with which you lift this weight become stronger every time you repeat the movement. The same applies to the ability to focus. The more you train your ‘concentration muscle’, the stronger it becomes.
Focus is extremely important within Yoga. You could roughly say that Yoga is the same as focusing.
A definition of Yoga that Patanjali gives in the Yoga Sutras is:
“Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodah” – “Yoga is soothing the fluctuations of the mind.”
In other words, by doing Yoga we try to calm our ‘Monkey mind’ so that we are no longer distracted and can focus on what is important.
You reach the same conclusion when you look at one of the definitions of meditation :
“Meditation is continuous concentration on a certain object for a certain period of time.”
During your asana practice you will also find the importance of focus a lot in the form of Drishti. Drishti is what you focus on while doing an asana. Here you are constantly training your ‘concentration muscle’.
So doing Yoga is largely focused on focusing:
- Focus on your breathing so that you can turn your attention inside.
- Focusing on the positive instead of the negative.
- Focus on the things that you find important, rather than the obstacles.
- Focusing on space and energy instead of stress and stress.
Yoga improves your focus
Meanwhile, it has also been scientifically proven that Yoga helps to improve your focus.
One of the researchers about the findings:
“It seems that following the practice, the participants were able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information. a professor of kinesiology, health and sport studies at the university, said in a statement. “
The research was small-scale, but the results promise a lot for the future and future studies on this topic.
I myself have had a great deal of my practice when it comes to training and improving my focus. I want many things at once, and in a world where almost everything is possible, it is therefore often difficult to keep your focus.
My experience is that when you want to do everything, you end up doing almost nothing at all. So you need focus. And there is no better place than to train and improve your Yoga mat.
Yoga helps to improve your focus and to be able to concentrate better. Especially on things that you find important, rather than the things that only distract you.
Below are a number of practical tips and exercises that help you to improve your focus.
5 Yoga exercises to improve your concentration and focus
1. Tree posture
Balance postures are one of the most suitable Yoga postures to train your focus. When your attention is not there, you fall out of your post more quickly. You must therefore have focus to be able to carry out the attitude well.
The Boom posture is a good and accessible asana to train your focus. He is not difficult, but you must have your attention. So focus.
Garudasana is also a balance posture, but something more challenging. The attitude demands more of you in the physical field than the tree posture, and therefore your focus is even more important.
You will notice that you fall out of the posture at the moment that your attention wanders away and you are not focused.
Another type of balance attitude is Bakasana. You do not perform this balance posture on your feet, but on your hands. It is an armbalance attitude. So extra challenging, and an ideal way to train your focus.
Why? If you fall out of the posture you lie on the mat with your nose. Something you want to try to prevent as much as possible and that is why you are triggered to focus extra well.
This asana is not only good for training your focus, but also for the training you focus on. Do you focus on your fears and on the fact that you might fall out of the posture? Or do you focus on strength and energy and trust in your own body?
4. The Sun salutation
The Yoga Sun Salutation is also a good way to increase your concentration. The flow in which you want to come during the Sun Salutation can be compared to the flow in which you want to come if you have to perform an important task.
At that moment you are 100% focused. Other things around you seem to be fading and you are completely focused on one thing. And that one thing you want to do as well as possible. It is the ‘zone’ in which you become one with what you are doing and in which creativity is given free rein.
You can train this by performing the Sun Salutation and other series of Yoga postures to the rhythm of your breath and with your full attention. Do this every day and you will develop a ‘laser focus’.
5. Breathing meditation
I always finish a Yoga session with a meditation. Asanas bring a lot of energy, but you do not have that energy when you can not control and control it.
Because of your asana practice you are ‘ON’. Energy flow and you are in the flow. During your meditation you try to ground that energy again so that you can use it for the right things.
One of the most accessible meditations is a meditation on breathing. Follow the flow and the rhythm of the breath and try to keep your thoughts in mind. When they stray, you bring them back to the exercise