Drishti – Your Focus, Now Where is the Mind
Drishti, in the context of yoga, refers to a specific point of focus that one’s gaze is directed towards during asana practice. It is an important aspect of yoga as it helps to concentrate the mind, improve balance, and increase awareness. In Sanskrit, the word “Drishti” means “sight” or “view,” and in yoga, it is used to describe the way we look at things.
The practice of Drishti is based on the idea that where the eyes go, the mind follows. By directing the gaze towards a specific point, the mind becomes focused and calm. This, in turn, helps to improve the quality of the asana practice and deepen the meditative experience.
There are nine different points of Drishti in Ashtanga yoga, each associated with a specific asana. These include:
- Nasagrai Drishti – gazing at the tip of the nose (used in standing forward bend)
- Urdhva Drishti – gazing up towards the sky (used in upward-facing dog)
- Nabi Chakra Drishti – gazing at the navel (used in seated forward bend)
- Hastagrai Drishti – gazing at the hand (used in handstand)
- Padayoragrai Drishti – gazing at the toes (used in seated forward bend)
- Parsva Drishti – gazing to the side (used in triangle pose)
- Angusta Ma Dyai Drishti – gazing at the thumb (used in extended side angle pose)
- Parshva Drishti – gazing to the side (used in revolved triangle pose)
- Nabhi Chakra Drishti – gazing at the navel (used in seated forward bend)
The use of Drishti can be challenging at first, as it requires a great deal of focus and concentration. However, with practice, it becomes easier to maintain the gaze and stay present in the moment. In addition to improving the physical practice of yoga, Drishti can also help to develop a deeper connection to the spiritual aspects of the practice.
Overall, Drishti is an essential component of yoga practice, helping to improve focus, concentration, and awareness. By incorporating this practice into your asana practice, you can deepen your yoga practice and reap the many benefits it has to offer.