Dharana (September 2006)
Dharana means withdrawing your mind from outside objects and fixing it on an idea or image. In concentration all the rays of mind are collected and fixed on a center or an idea. No painter, sculptor, musician, sportsman, or student can hope to succeed if his mind is not engaged in the task on hand. So, in yoga also, concentration or Dharana is essential.
Kids Version: Dharana means teaching mind to focus on one point. Concentration is binding thought in one place, that means you concentrate on whatever you are doing, be it homework, playing sport, praying to God etc. With Asana, you relax your body; with Pranayama, you regulate your breath and quite mind; with Pratyahara, you avoid distractions; and with Dharana, you get higher degree of concentration.
For example, if you are trying to solve a problem, you could still your mind by gently pushing away other thoughts that are coming to your mind. And you know that mind is concentrating when there is no sense of time passing.