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Yoga Poses to Help Improve Your Focus

Eagle

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  • Stand hugging right knee to chest and allowing a bend in left knee.
  • Wrap right leg around left leg, hooking right foot on side of left leg.
  • Wrap right arm under left arm and press palms together, fingertips facing up to form eagle pose.
  • Sit down low while keeping hips square, and lift up through the elbows and fingertips.
  • Keep upper arms parallel to the ground and fingertips reaching away from face.
  • Hold for 5 deep breaths. Slowly unwind and repeat on the other side.

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

Warrior I

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  • Begin in down dog. Round right knee toward nose, and step right foot between hands to a low lunge.
  • Spin left heel down with foot slightly angled out.
  • Press into feet and reach arms to the ceiling, framing face.
  • Square hips and find an internal rotation on left thigh.
  • Press palms together, look up slightly, opening chest, and breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on left side.

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

Low Boat

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  • Come to a regular boat pose. Lower middle back toward the ground, pulling belly button to spine and keeping head and shoulders lifted off the ground.
  • Lower legs—keeping them together—until feet are about 6 inches from the ground.
  • Engage abdominal muscles and quadriceps, and breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

Side Crow

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  • Squat on balls of feet with knees together and fingertips on the ground for balance.
  • Twist to right, hooking left elbow outside of right thigh.
  • Breathe here for a few deep breaths to get comfortable, then place hands shoulder-distance apart on the ground, press into fingertips, and start bending elbows (both energetically reaching toward your midline and not winging out) to tip forward, looking a bit forward, not down.
  • Eventually, feet will tip off the ground—don't force it, it will come! Breathe here for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

Tip Toe

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  • Stand balancing weight on right leg and lifting left foot into right hip crease.
  • Reach left knee toward the ground, coming to a half lotus leg. Hold here for 2 to 3 breaths. Keeping left foot where it is, soften leg and fold forward.
  • Place fingertips on the ground and start to bend through right leg, coming high onto the ball of right foot and balancing on right heel.
  • One at a time, take hands to the center of chest and try to balance. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

Forearm Plank Variation

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  • Begin on hands and knees with forearms shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your elbows under shoulders, prayer hands together, with the pinkie edge side of hand on the ground and thumbs pointing straight up.
  • Tuck toes, lift knees off the ground, and step feet back. Reach through heels and crown of the head, keeping a long spine.
  • Connect thumbs to your third eye (just above the midpoint between your eyebrows on your forehead).
  • Engage navel to spine and breathe here for as long as you can (aim for 1 minute).

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

Meditation

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Being able to visualize yourself realizing your goals is more than half the battle. We have to be able to imagine or achieve something, we must believe it is possible.

  • Set a timer for five minutes. Shut off your phone, remove yourself from any distractions, and come to a comfortable seat.
  • First, start to watch your breath: Follow your inhales and your exhales. Each breath cycle, make your inhales and exhales slightly longer; count your breath length.
  • After your inhales and exhales have reached a 10 count, stop counting and let your breath be.
  • Visualize yourself realizing your goal. See what that looks like, feel what it feels like, and if there are any other senses attached, allow yourself to experience those as well (smell, sound, taste, etc).
  • Enjoy the feelings of having accomplished your goal for a few minutes; really savor them.
  • When your timer goes off, take a big inhale, and a big exhale, and smile; you are one step closer to achieving your goal!

Photo: Kevin Talbot @shotbysmooth

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