Rose, a student of mine, specifically asked for some yoga that helps with concentration during finals week.
Here are four common yoga concentration techniques for the development of concentration (dharana) that you can experiment with:
TratakaTrataka (which means steady gaze) is a technique whereby the eyes are fixed upon a certain external point such as the horizon of the sea, or the flame of a candle.
- Take a comfortable seated position outdoors, where objects at various distances between you and the horizon can be viewed.
- Pick at least 4 objects (roughly spaced equal distance), the first being near the feet and the furthest at the horizon.
- Beginning at the nearest object, concentrate upon it for 60 seconds.
- Move you attention every 60-seconds to each successively further object until the final one at the horizon has been reached.
- After focusing upon the last point for 60 seconds, reverse object by object (again concentrating 60 seconds on each) back to the first point.
- Place a candle upon a small table, whereby the flame is at eye-level.
- Sit a distance of between 6 to 10 feet away and place your concentration upon the flame.
- Do not to blink and try to hold you concentration for between 30 and 60 seconds.
- Close you eyes for 30 to 60 seconds and try to reproduce the image of the flame in your ‘mind’s eye’.
- Repeat this process 3 to 6 times in one sitting.
- Take a comfortable sitting position and gaze open-eyed at the tip of the nose.
- Hold this concentration until you feel tension in the eyes, then
- Close your eyelids, but imagine that you are still gazing at the tip of the nose.
- Hold this visualization for 15-20 seconds and then re-open the eyes.
- Repeat this process several times.
- Again, take a comfortable sitting position and turn the gaze to the base of the nose, creating a ‘cross-eyed’ position.
- Raise the eyes slightly, so that this cross-eyed gaze now falls directly between the eyebrows, then…
- Close your eyelids and hold this point of concentration ‘inwardly’.
- Periodically open your eyes to see if this point is being maintained, then close them once again.
- Hold this concentration for several minutes
1. Half Goddess pose:
Lie flat on your back and relax, especially in the legs, pelvis and lower back. Bend your knees, bringing your feet in close to your buttocks.
Slowly allow your knees to part, allowing the weight of the legs to stretch the inner thighs. Try to relax. Do not push your legs farther than is comfortable. Hold this positions for two minutes or more.
Bring your knees together again. This should be done very slowly and smoothly, at all times breathe deeply and remember to relax.
2. Bridge Pose
Begin lying flat on your back with our arms straight at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees, placing your feet parallele to each other, hip-width apart, so that your heels come just to the tips of your fingers.
Press into the feet (without raising your body) and feel the earth energy bring solidity to your legs.
Next, press your feet even more firmly into the floor so that your spine is lifted, vertebrae by vertebrae, much as you migh tlift a stand of pearls one pearl at a time, until you are resting on your feet and upper vertebrae. (Clasp hands together under the back, pressing the chest upward and the shoulders together behind you.) Ideally, the line from you r knee to your shoulders should form a straight plane.
There ya go Rose:)