Updated: Apr 12, 2022
Throughout our yoga journeys, we learn to value awareness over most anything else. Awareness of our breath, of our body, of our thoughts. We break away from going through the motions to being in the moment. Creating an effortless connection of movement and breath. Settling our breath into each pose, we gaze to the walls, the clock, and the floor. Analyzing our neighbors and the to do list in our heads. Actively observing the distractions in the space around us, and within us. As our eyes wander, our mind does the same. Hindering the mind body connection, we seek to create during yoga and meditation practice.
What is a Drishiti?
Each muscle of the body holds a proper spot as we flow from pose to pose. The eyes are no different. Fixating the gaze to single point drives external stimuli into our peripheral and out of our focus. Fixating the gaze to a single point allows the mind to draw awareness inward, creating a deep and effortless state of concentration and focus.
Why use Drishtis?
Develop a strong, focused concentration.
Create a moving meditation, deeper relaxation.
Helpful in advancing asana form, especially balance poses.
The cherry on top of good form.
Discover the 9 Drishitis, identified through Ashtanga Yoga.
1. Nasagra Drishti, gaze at the tip of the nose
2. Angusthamadhyam Drishti, gaze at the middle of the thumbs,
3. Padayoragram Drishti, gaze at the toes
4. Nabhi Drishti, gaze at the navel
5. Hastagram Drishti, gaze at the hands
6. Parsva Drishti (left), gaze to the left side
7. Parsva Drishti (right), gaze to the right side
8. Urdhva Drishti, gaze upwards
9. Bhrumadhya Drishti, gaze at the third eye or forehead
The muscles around the eyes should be relaxed.
The gaze should be soft and effortless, just as the breath.
Movement of the spine follows the direction of the eyes, breath melting us into each asana.
Each and every asana will root through our base (feet, sit bones, hands, etc.) and extend through our gaze. It is essential to develop the strength and technique of both the mind and the body.
Practice Makes Perfect
The use of drishtis during asana practiced is to be developed slowly over time. As with any technique, skill and ease are acquired through consistency.