Some days, it feels nearly impossible to focus on anything that you need to get done. The minute you try to get in the zone, your dog is dying for attention, your BFF starts texting you about all of her relationship struggles, and mindless social-media scrolling suddenly seems so damn appealing. But just because life is full of distractions doesn't mean you should totally throw your to-do list out the window and give up on all hopes of productivity. Instead, consider literally dropping everything you're doing (or being distracted by), and incorporating a single yoga pose for focus into your day to help you get back on track with laser-like concentration.
Yes, my little yogis, there's one especially effective yoga pose that will help you center yourself, declutter your mind, and find the mental stamina to buckle down and get things done, especially when you're feeling super distracted.
And while you might think that stopping what you're doing for some yoga is a form of procrastination in and of itself, the amount of energy and focus you'll have after you include this asana in your day will be well worth the few minutes you set aside for it.
Tree pose, or vrksasana in Sanskrit, is the perfect asana to ground yourself when you feel totally unable to focus your thoughts.
This stabilizing posture is the perfect way to take a moment to direct your attention to one thing, and one thing only: the challenge of balancing on one leg. Before you know it, your mind will be 100 percent focused on the present moment, and on holding that pose for as along as you can. Pretty soon, the distractions surrounding you will simply melt away.
While it may feel a bit difficult to hold your balance in tree pose when you first start practicing it, it'll definitely get easier the more you do it. Plus, the more you practice this asana, the more natural it will feel for you to concentrate on one thing at a time.
Think about it this way: If tree pose is new to you, that means you're probably going to stumble and fall a bit at first when you do it, and you'll have to adjust your footing to bring yourself back to a place of equilibrium. This same logic can easily be applied in any situation in life that calls for your undivided attention and concentration. When you need to get something done, it might at first feel hard to complete the task — maybe because it's new to you, you're surrounded by distractions, or your focus is otherwise compromised in some way. Whenever this happens to you, always try to bring yourself back to this sense of stability and attentiveness that vrksasana calls for. Tree pose is a reminder that you can bring level-headedness, focus, and a sense of calm to all situations in life, regardless of context.
Combining a steady and balanced tree pose with deep, expansive breathing will help you feel confident in your ability to do what you need to do, procrastination be damned.
As you stand in tree pose, focus your drishti (or gaze) on a non-moving object in your line of sight. This will help you maintain your balance and eliminate much of the wavering instability you feel when you're first trying to find your footing in vrksasana.
Additionally, make sure your raised foot is resting on your calf or thigh rather than on your knee. Bring your hands to heart center and focus on the sound of your ujjayi breath, letting thoughts that don't serve you slowly make their way out of your headspace.
If you're still finding it difficult to balance in tree pose, you can try to take the asana to a wall for added support as you learn to balance in the pose. However, if you feel that you'd like a bit more of a challenge to your focus, you can try closing your eyes as you stand in tree pose. Trust me, it's actually way harder than it sounds, but it may just be the key to conquering procrastination once and for all.