A 10 minute practice to boost cognitive function, for those days when finding focus is hard.
1/ Invert – 2 minutes
Come into any pose that brings the head below the heart – fold forward from a standing (or seated) position, use Downward Facing Dog, Cat pose, or Shoulder Stand.
Breathe light and slow in the position for 2 minutes. Relax your shoulders, neck and head and let the blood flow.
Make sure you come out of the position slowly, to avoid dizziness.
2/ Head Stretch – 2 minutes
Sit comfortably with a straight spine. Rest your hands on your knees or thighs. Now raise and lower you forehead – this can feel weird until you get the hang of it. You want to feel your face and scalp stretch. Continue for 2 minutes.
3/ Head Rolls – 1 minute
Gently and carefully roll your head in a half circle – drop your chin to your chest then roll the left ear to the left shoulder and right ear to right shoulder. After 30 seconds, carefully tip your head back, and do the same.
If you feel any discomfort or clicking please stop this immediately – try just turning your head from side to side instead.
4/ Punching – 2 minutes
Curl your hands into fists, thumbs inside the fingers. Stretch your arms straight out to the sides, elbows straight. As you breathe in, bend your elbows into the ribs and bring your hands to the level of your shoulders. As you breathe out, stretch your arms back to the starting position. Move as quickly as you can for 2 minutes.
5/ Breathe – 3 minutes
Slow your breath. Make it so light that you barely feel as though you’re breathing at all. After your exhale, hold the breath out of your body for as long as you comfortably can. You can count the breath as you hold it if that helps you to concentrate. Just make sure that you don’t hold the breath out for so long that you are gasping for air as you inhale. Comfort is key.
This last exercise is designed to boost your carbon dioxide levels, to maximise your brain’s uptake of oxygen.