Clear and focused thoughts are the desire of any hard working individual. Did you know that practicing yoga can help you maintain a steady thought process throughout the day? There are many different ways to alter your level of concentration. If you need to study for an exam, make a deadline, or just stay awake, you can easily grab a caffeinated beverage (or pill) to keep your eyes from drooping and your mind from wandering.
However, those options are not always the best for a health aware individual. With the right diet choices and regular exercise, it is easy to get off the mind altering stimulants and stay awake and aware all day.
Firstly, make sure the food you are eating contains enough brain food (vitamins and minerals) to sustain an active lifestyle. All aspects of an active lifestyle, especially dietary needs, have to be aligned before the benefits of a clear and focused mind are achieved. If you have any known vitamin/mineral deficiencies, this can greatly affect your cognitive abilities and may worsen with excessive exercise.
Lastly, include strength training, stability and flexibility into your workout regimen. Yoga is a great way to fit all of those requirements into one workout. Here is a sample flow sequence that can help keep your body pumped and your mind primed. Practice daily for the greatest brain empowering results.
A great way to increase clarity is to up your oxygen levels in the brain. Practicing Yoga Swan Dives will not only up the oxygen, but help increase blood circulation. This move alone can be used anytime of the day when you need a mental refresh.
- Standing in Mountain Pose raise your arms up above your head and then dive forward to touch your toes with your hands.
- Drop the shoulders away from the ears and raise halfway, resting your hands on your shins or above the knee as you gaze forward.
- Take a few breaths in this position and then fold back down to touch the floor then swing your arms back up to the sky, press your hands together into prayer position as you guide your hands back down in front of the chest.
- Practice this several times as you inhale and exhale deeply with each move.
- If you are prone to feeling dizzy, take caution and slow your swan dives down to accommodate any light headedness.
Another simple and yet highly effective way to increase cognitive abilities is to invert the entire body, otherwise known as hanging upside down. If you haven’t practiced handstands since you were a child, you may want to start there. Click here to read a great article which offers a beginners guide to inversions, and includes many age reversing poses too.
Once you graduate from headstands you can begin to work on your handstands. Use a wall for support as you practice kicking up your legs. From there, start to time how long you can hang out upside down. The longer your practice your inversions, the greater the benefits you will discover. Standing all day, your heart needs to work hard at pumping blood to your brain. By reversing the blood flow during an inversion, your brain gets all the blood it needs, and your face tissues also receive many anti aging benefits from the increased flow.
Be forewarned, if you practice regularly you may enjoy the benefits of handstands so much that you find yourself kicking your legs upside down at the most random points in your day – like at the office or grocery store.
Another amazing way to up your mental abilities would be to source a great Restorative Yoga class near you. If you can find one, check out [the following video]((http://youtu.be/5WL7TS1D_9I) for a simple and yet highly effective routine that you can practice before work or bed.
Finding peace within the body by reducing pain and discomforts can make way for clearer thoughts.
All of these simple yoga moves can gently guide you effectively away from relying on caffeine or other chemicals to obtain clear thoughts. Always remember to keep a healthy and balanced diet plan and speak with your doctor if your mental clarity worsens.
Lastly, always remember that it is ok to forget once in a while.