How Understanding Drishti Can Help Your Yoga Practice
Drishti is a Sanskrit word that means “vision” or “observation.” In yoga, drishti refers to the eyes’ focus in various asanas (yoga poses). Drishti helps to keep the mind from wandering during yoga practice, and it also helps to improve balance and alignment.
It is a specific point to lock your eyes or inner vision on to that is used most commonly during meditation or while holding a yoga posture. The ancient yogis discovered that where our eyes are directed our attention naturally follows, and that the quality of our gazing is directly reflected in the quality of our mental thoughts.
For those newer to the practice, we look at the most common gazing points:
1. Nasagra Drishti: This Drishti involves focusing on the nose’s tip. Practice Nasagra Drishti by gazing at the tip of your nose when you are in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward-facing dog pose).
2. Bhrumadhya Drishti: This Drishti involves focusing the internal gaze on the space between the eyebrows, or the energetic center known as the third eye. Practice gazing toward the third eye, or Ajna chakra, during meditation, fish pose, and the forward fold.
3. Nabhi chakra Drishti: This Drishti involves gazing at the navel. Practice gazing directly at your navel, or your Manipura chakra, during Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog pose).
4. Hastagrai Drishti: This Drishti involves focusing the gaze on the tops of the hands. In Trikonasana (triangle pose), gaze at your top hand with your arm extended toward the sky.
5. Padayoragrai Drishti: This Drishti involves focusing the gaze on the toes. Practice gazing at your big toes in a seated forward bend, like Paschimottanasana.
6. Parsva Drishti: This Drishti involves focusing the gaze to the left or right. In any seated or reclined spinal twists, gaze sideways to the left or the right, depending on the direction in which you are twisting.
7. Angusthamadhye Drishti: This Drishti involves focusing the gaze on the thumbs. During Surya Namaskars (sun salutations), gaze at your thumbs as you transition from mountain pose to a standing forward fold. You can also gaze at the thumbs in Utkatasana (chair pose).
8. Urdhva Drishti: This Drishti involves gazing up toward the sky. Practice this gaze in Virabhadrasana I (warrior I pose) and Navasana (boat pose).
Find Your Focus Using Drishti
There are several advantages to using drishti in your yoga practice. Drishti can help improve your focus and your concentration. It can also help to improve your posture and your breathing. If you are new to yoga, it is essential to find a comfortable position that you can maintain for the duration of your practice. Once you have found your place, you can begin to focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale deeply, and focus on the movement of your breath.
The Power Yoga Co. is a yoga studio in London. We aim to provide the necessary information and best practices to students wanting to become masters at doing their yoga practice while keeping themselves safe. Learn about the basics of Drishti today by booking a class on our website.