Dharana: Concentration can be learned - in just 7 minutes!

Dharana (eng. concentration) is the ability to stay where you are. Putting the antennas offline, escaping the turmoil of the world and staying on task. Concentration exercises help to resist the power of distraction and train Dharana as a basis for meditation. Stay focused!

Dharana: Concentration can be learned

Do you know the story of the monkey spirit that jumps restlessly from branch to branch?
In yoga, this image is often used to show how restless our mind can be. Distractions lurk everywhere and if you don't consciously train your concentration, you lose yourself in the jungle of stimuli.

Dharana – increase concentration in a targeted manner

Training Dharana is not difficult, after all, each of us was born with it. We just forgot. Just watch kids play. Sand is shoveled in deep oblivion and the world seems forgotten for hours if it weren't for mum calling for dinner... nevertheless, strengthening the ability to concentrate is not a children's birthday party. It requires regular practice and willpower.
The good news: seven minutes of daily practice are enough to benefit from the increased ability to concentrate in the long term.

Dharana: Concentration can be learned

Still there? Focus!

Concentration is a state of mental awareness. You bundle all your senses for a longer period of time to stay on task. For example, to read this article. How long you can maintain your concentrated state depends on regular exercise and various influencing factors:

  • Emotional State: How are you today? It doesn't matter if you're excited or a little depressed - both have an influence on your ability to concentrate.
  • Physical state: Your body can distract you from a state of concentration. It is therefore particularly important in meditation that you sit comfortably.
  • Nutrition: It is known that B vitamins increase the ability to concentrate. A few nuts and bananas are true " brain food " and therefore helpful to increase your concentration.
  • Environment: (Loud) noises and a busy environment are easily distracting and affect how long you can keep your focus.

Ekagrata: Bringing the spirit to the point

The one-pointedness is one of the classic concentration aids of yoga. Here the spirit withdraws completely into itself, like a tortoise into its house.

Focus points help gather and direct attention. For any practice of concentration, the mind can be focused in such a way that it eventually becomes one-pointed (ekagrata).

focal point concentration exercise example/note
Outer focus point Focusing on a burning candle eyes stay relaxed.
Close inspection of any object Stones, flowers, anthills… nature has a lot to offer for this exercise.
Inner focus point Focus on the center of the forehead Space between the eyebrows, also called the "third eye".
Concentration on the point of origin The point of origin is in the center of the skull. Many people feel it at about the level of the bridge of the nose below the crown of the head.

In the beginning, your mind will keep trying to escape from the focus point. Lasso him over and over again in your mind and calmly bring him back to the focus point without judgment. Sometimes you'll need to throw the lasso non-stop, other days you'll find it easier to stay focused.

According to the well-known meditation and yoga teacher Mark Whitwell, seven minutes a day is actually enough to benefit from the many advantages.

More concentration brings many advantages

It takes willpower to perform concentration exercises. Those who stick with it will be richly rewarded:

  • Improved productivity on the job
  • Better memory performance
  • Calms and soothes the mind
  • Helps with inner restlessness and nervousness
  • Promotes willpower
  • Regenerates the vegetative nervous system
  • Facilitates the state of meditation

Advanced concentration exercises for adults

  • Count letters: Take any magazine and count how many times the letter A, D, O, Z or V appears in your favorite article.
  • Write backwards: Write any text, poem or your name backwards. Fun factor guaranteed!
  • Saying the alphabet backwards: Can be practiced alone or in a group.
  • Observe your breath: when you breathe in, your abdominal wall rises and when you breathe out, it falls again. That's all there is to do. If the mind needs extra support, you can incorporate a mantra, eg "So" with the inhalation, "Ham" with the exhalation.
    Soham (So Ham) is the natural sound of one's own breath and translates as "This is me".
  • Solving Sudoko: These number puzzles not only help to increase our ability to concentrate, but also improve our combinatorial skills and the working speed of the brain

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