Yoga Theme: FOCUS

✨ Theme 2: Focus✨

Inspiration for yoga teachers to elevate your yoga classes

Here’s a summary in bullet points.
Pick and choose what resonates with you, to create your own classes. Remember: keep it simple: it’s better to talk less and give the students more time for reflection, than to try and squeeze in as much as information as possible. The inspiration below can be a good starting point for several classes if you want! 🙂 

I’m always here if you want some help.


P.S. Would you also like a nidra and a yin class with this theme? I could write an outline for you.


Part 1: Brainstorm your theme


An important starting point:
Take a moment to reflect upon what you associate with this theme. Is there anything in particular that sparks your interest? How can you make this theme relevant and interesting for your students? 


– Talk about focus in everyday life. Make it relatable. 

– The struggle to maintain focus is a common challenge. Mention why: bombarded with information and distractions 

– Why is yoga useful? 

It’s a powerful tool for cultivating focus. 

Why? Mind body-connection, stress reduction, mindfulness, self-awareness and we get the chance to reflect and remind ourselves of what is important to us and it can increase

– Talk about not beating yourself up if you can’t focus: the mind is often restless and that’s ok! Remind the students to keep coming back to focusing on the breath when the mind wanders. 

Everyday life

Things for the students to reflect upon: 

  1. How is your focus in everyday life? Has it changed over the years? 

  2. Do you feel overwhelmed when you have too much to do? Difficult to prioritise? 

  3. Motivate the students:
    Getting a better focus can lead to greater productivity, creativity, and overall well-being in various aspects of life. 

Yoga Philosophy

This theme can be part of a bigger theme if you want: the eight limbs of yoga according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, focusing on Dhāraṇā (the sixth limb) in this class. 


1. Dhāraṇā 

Talk about the concept of Dharana, which means concentration or single-pointed focus.

Discuss how Dharana is a step towards meditation; by training the mind to focus,  we can get into deeper states of meditation. 


2. Yogas chitta vritti nirodha 
Stilling the fluctuations of the mind 

Another concept in Yoga Philosophy is the idea of calming the mind. Through yoga and meditation, we can cease the fluctuations of the mind, giving us a sense of inner stillness and clarity and better focus.


3. Svādhyāya
Self study

This is an important part of yoga philosophy. By observing our thoughts, beliefs and patterns, we get to know ourselves better. This gives us the ability to notice what distracts us and instead of getting pulled into the stories, observing the thoughts, cultivating a more focused mind. 


4. Sankalpa
Setting a Sankalpa can help us redirect our focus when we get distracted. What is important to me? This can remind us to direct our energy and attention towards a specific purpose; aligning our actions with our values.
Looking at it from a bigger perspective, it might be difficult to find the time to practice yoga – but if we remind ourselves of WHY we practice – it can be easier to find the motivation to carve out time. 

Embody your theme: asanas & physical

  1. Are there any poses that fit with your theme? For example, is it easier to focus when you’re doing a pose which requires more balance, for example tree pose – or an arm balancing pose? Does your mind wander more when the poses are “easy?”

  2. A “physical” theme that goes really well with “focus” is Dristhi, or focused gaze. (I wrote “physical” with quotation marks because Drishti is so much more than just a physical aspect.) The more we look around the room – the more information we take in. As it says in the Yoga Sutras: a steady gaze gives a steady mind. 

  3. Focus on the breath. Whenever the mind wanders – keep coming back to the breath. It can be useful to invite the students to set a steady rhythm for their breath at the beginning of class – which they can keep coming back to throughout the class. Of course the breath will change a bit according to what we do – so remind the students reconnect with the steady rhythm, especially after challenging poses.

  4. Get out of your head and into your body: focus on sensations and ask questions. “where do you feel this… IF you feel it…” instead of telling the students WHAT to feel.

  5. Shavasana: do a short body scan, or guide the students to focus on the sensations of inhaling and exhaling: how does it feel in the nostrils for example? Or guide the focus to another part of the body and connect it with the breath.

  6. End the class with inviting the students to reflect upon how they can bring this theme into everyday life. By pausing? Breathing? Getting back into the body when the mind feels too busy? 

Poems and quotes 

(Unfortunately I don’t know the names of the authors of some of these quotes. If you do, please let me know so that I can give them credit.)

  1. “The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.”
    – Brian Tracy

  2. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
    – Socrates

  3. “You have to focus on what you can control and let go of what you can’t.”
    – Tony La Russa

  4. “The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.”
    – Robert J. Shiller

  5. “Concentration is the secret of strength.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. “Where focus goes, energy flows.”
    – Tony Robbins

  7. “The mind is like water. When it’s turbulent, it’s difficult to see. When it’s calm, everything becomes clear.”
    – Prasad Mahes

  8. “Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.”
    – John Carmack

  9. “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”
    – Robert Kiyosaki

  10. “When you focus on possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities.”
    – Unknown

Part 2: Write down keywords


– In dynamic poses: keep the instructions short and energising.

– In long holds or yin poses: give them something to reflect upon, followed by a moment of silence.

– Choose a few poses – or time in stillness AFTER a pose – where you can remind them of the theme. 


Here’s a basic and efficient template to get started. It works great no matter which yoga style you teach. 

In the Theming Course you’ll get ready made templates to print, and more information.


Focus on motivating the students

Beginning of class

Food for thought + silence 
Asking one or two questions is a great method: “Have you ever felt…?” “When was the last time you…?” “What do you associate with the word focus…?” 

Choose a pose 

…to remind them of the theme

Choose a pose 

…to remind them of the theme

Choose a pose 

…to remind them of the theme

Finishing poses  

Short reminder or silence. Less talking in general.

After Shavasana

How can they take this theme off the mat, into the world? Note: just a few sentences and try to avoid yoga cliches… 🙂