What is Drishti? Drishti is the placing the gaze at a particular place while in a yoga posture (an asana). Specific points of gaze are prescribed for certain postures, but it can be helpful to begin with just a few general rules.
- The gaze is placed specifically and gently and a little out of focus. Ideally you don’t really “look” at anything. (this technique can be applied in tratak as well – see this week’s newsletter on Facebook).
- A properly placed gazing point will properly position the head and neck, so if your neck hurts in a posture, adjust where you are gazing.
- As a general rule, the neck is long, and the chin is neutral. The gaze then rests directly in front of you.
- In some postures, the head is turn to look upward (Trikonasana or Ardha Chandrasana). In these cases the head is turned and the gaze is directed towards the sky, however if that strains the neck or forces the chin up or down, then place the eye gaze straight in front of you – in the same direction your heart or sternum bone is facing.
- The tip of the nose can be used in any posture. In my opinion this can be the most intense of the drishtis.
What does the drishti do? It builds your focus!! Through applying it you may discover what focus can really do for your postures. It raises the heat level in the body. It steadies the mind, and thus steadies the body. It brings you into the present – which can help enormously if you are practicing being in postures for a long time (which is really good to do!). Focus can help you learn to manage discomfort – not through ignoring, but used wisely focus gazing outward and breathing when you are uncomfortable can teach you to be present to and transform your experience of pain.