Concentration is the ability to keep your energy flowing in one direction for an extended period of time.
Within the 8 Limbs of Yoga we find Dhyana as the sixth limb. Dhyana means concentration, and it’s an essential part of your yoga practice. Without it, you won’t get far. Concentration is a huge challenge for many, and its no wonder when we look at how we live. Instead of practicing concentration, we have become experts in distraction.
When we talk about concentration, we’re really talking about our ability to keep our awareness at a certain point for an extended period of time. We achieve this by using our willpower. When we talk about distraction, it is letting an external force control our awareness. For instance, when you watch a movie, the producer of the movie takes your awareness on a journey. When we concentrate we are conscious, but when we’re distracted we are not.
Most people practice distraction most of the day. We spend our time and energy trying to create a life that will make us feel a certain way. Looking for ways to have our awareness placed at a joyful place. We eat to feel better, we watch movies to feel better, we hang out with friends- and family to feel better, we have sex to feel better and the list goes on. But with this approach the happiness only last until we’re distracted again, and this is why most of our happiness is temporary. With willpower we can get there by ourselves and with concentration we can stay there.
It is really about having a mind that controls you or you being in control of your mind.