Yoga Practice to Improve Concentration and Focus
One of the best ways to increase concentration and focus—using the tools of yoga and yoga therapy—is to practice a sequence that includes a series of contralateral postures or movements, also known as cross-crawl. Contralateral means, “on the opposite side.” It refers to movements in which you use opposition, when opposite sides of the body work together to coordinate the right arm and left leg, and the left arm and right leg.
For example: the left arm is contralateral to the right leg when you walk, as you swing the left arm forward you step with the right leg; and the right arm forward when you step with the left leg. Contralateral movements of the arms and legs are natural to walking—as they are for crawling, running and swimming.
What do contralateral and cross-crawl yoga movements do for the body and mind?
This yoga practice stabilizes coordination; builds core strength; energizes the mind, as well as, calm tension and stress. Using contralateral movements in specific yoga poses enhances whole-brain thinking where the left and right hemispheres of your brain work together, thus improving your concentration. This also develops proprioception, the awareness of your body’s position and movements.
This sequence of five postures allows you to synchronize your breath with the movements of your body which helps to improve focus. Each posture builds upon the other through left and right sided action, to further sharpen focus, stretching and strengthening various muscles of the legs, back, torso, shoulders and neck.
If you need to increase your focus during the day, this is a great 15-minute yoga practice from my YogaAway videos.
Benefits: focusing, clarifying, attention-building
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