by NativeRemedies on March 18th, 2011 at 7:00 am
Many people think yoga is just another form of exercise, and yes it’s true that yoga can help you lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve oxygen levels in the body; another benefit of yoga includes what it can do for your mind. If you suffer from ADHD, you may have a rough time trying to slow down your thought processes, thereby leading to overwhelming feelings of stress and anxiety, but incorporating yoga into your schedule can help greatly.
When you begin your yoga session it’s important to make sure your mind is ready too. Focusing on your breath throughout a session is key to a powerful yoga experience. Breathing through yoga isn’t just as simple as breathing in and out, yogic breathing is actually very calculated, long and precise. Keep in mind, yogic breath happens through the nose and not the mouth.
A great way to practice yogic breathing is to place one hand on the belly, one hand on the chest and start filling the belly with breath slowly, allowing it to make its way up to the chest and out through the nose. This sequence is called the 3-part breath and can be done sitting in a chair, on the floor or lying on your back. Practice makes perfect with this technique, it may seem a little odd at first but the benefits are tremendous once you get the hang of it. Breathing in this manner will not only slow down thought processes and relieve stress, but also help expand your lung capacity.
Before you read any further, try practicing this breath a couple times while sitting in your chair. To keep track of your efforts, start to count your breath. As you inhale, count slowly starting at 1 making your way up, then hold the breath for only a second and begin exhaling, counting again starting at 1. The goal is for the inhale and the exhale to take the same amount of time. If you find the exhale is longer than the inhale, don’t worry it’s common, just continue to work on expanding your inhale and the rest will fall into place.
Beside the breath, here are a couple of yoga poses you should add into your routine that can help you calm your mind and concentrate better:
Reverse Table Pose (Purvottanasana): This pose works the upper arms and the legs and is great for those with ADHD because it requires much concentration. While sitting on the floor bring your hands behind you so you’re leaning back, then press into your feet and lift your buttocks off the floor. Hold this pose for only 1 minute, if you have lower back issues you may not want to attempt this pose.
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana): Although I have written about it before, Tree pose is a wonderful help for those with ADHD. The balance it takes to perform Tree pose benefits the mind and the body through concentration. Standing tall, start to lift one foot of the ground and place it on the opposite ankle. You should bear your weight on the foot planted firmly in on the floor. Focus on something right in front of you and breath, this will help you balance. If you start to feel yourself fall over, just start again.
Corpse Pose (Savansana): This pose is the ultimate form of relaxation and the best way to wrap up a session. Lying on your back, bring your arms approximately 4 inches away from your body with your palms facing up. Make sure your legs and feet are comfortable by allowing them to be 4 inches away from each other and feet are splayed to the side. Close your eyes and start to focus on the breath. It may seem like you are only laying on the floor, but it is so much more.
Yoga can be a nice way to end your day or start your morning, or BOTH! For additional help relaxing and relieving stress, listen to our The Calm Within CD.