Concentration

Definition - What does Concentration mean?

Concentration can be described as the action of focusing and directing one's attention exclusively on something. In yoga, concentration is the sixth of the eight limbs of yoga outlined by the great sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, where he described it as the “binding of consciousness to a spot." The Sanskrit term for concentration as the sixth limb of yoga is dharana.

The previous, or fifth, limb of yoga, pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) prepares the yogi for concentration. The following limbs, dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (union), are considered advanced stages of concentration. Patanjali said that the last three limbs of yoga should be practiced together as samyama, a simultaneous combined practice of concentration, meditation and union, as a tool to achieve deeper knowledge.

Yoga practice, in general, has been proven to be very beneficial for improving concentration and memory.

Yogapedia explains Concentration

Practicing concentration helps to clear, focus and center the mind. Yogis use different techniques that can help increase their concentration, such as the following.

During physical practice, it helps to find one gazing point, especially in balancing postures. Pranayama, or controlled breathing, is also beneficial for concentration, as the individual must focus on the flow of their breath. Meditation is considered a higher form of concentration, and the regular practice of meditation can increase concentration in day-to-day life.

Yoga beginners can practice this discipline by choosing something to focus on and trying to concentrate on it daily for 10 to 15 minutes. The object of concentration can be a thought, idea, mantra, breath or a physical thing. It is highly recommended to practice concentration with a mantra as it can provide a powerful vibration to focus on.

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