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Looking to cultivate a stronger practice? You make want to think about honing in on your focus. These poses will challenge your mental–and physical—strength to improve your overall focus.
4 yoga poses for focus
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
This pose strengthens your thighs, opens shoulders in flexion, tones your arms, and mobilizes your upper back. To practice it, allow the shoulder blades to spin out and up away towards the outer armpits (upward rotation). Press the shins back to move a bit more weight into the heels. Spin the inner thighs back and down. Descend the tailbone towards the floor while coiling the thoracic spine (upper back) towards the sternum. Draw the upper arms back in line with the ears while softening the front ribs. Hold for 5 to10 breaths
Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
This balancing posture strengthens your ankles and thighs, tones your inner thighs, stretches your outer hips, opens your upper back—and improves focus and balance. To practice it, lift the elbows up and away from the face to bring more breadth across the upper back. Life the the sternum and spread the collarbones. Engage the inner thighs by squeezing them into the midline. Feel how this brings more stability to the pose. Sit deeper, descending the tailbone. Continue to lift the elbows and the sternum, widening across the upper back while lengthening the front body. Hold for 10 -12 breaths.
See also: Eagle Pose Made Easy
Natarajasana (Dancer Pose)
This posture stretches your shoulders, chest, thighs, groins and abdomen. It also strengthens your legs and ankles—and improves your balance. To practice this posture, press the head of your right thigh bone back, deep into the hip joint. Pull the knee cap up to keep the standing leg straight and strong. Turn the active arm outward (so the palm faces away from the side of the torso). Reach the free arm straight forward, in front of the torso and parallel to the floor. Keep the ankle of the raised foot flexed to avoid the back of thigh from cramping. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
This pose strengthens the external rotators of your hip, lengthens your adductors—and cultivates balance and stability. To practice this pose, turn and look to the floor without allowing the left ribs to collapse forward. Have the floating thigh parallel to the floor with the foot flexed – make sure you can just see your raised big toe. With each inhale find more length along the spine; with each exhale revolve around that length. Spin the bottom ribs forward and the top ribs back. Firm the standing buttock forward and under while pressing the floating thigh bone back. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
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