#yogaabc: D is for Drishti
In yoga, as in life, it pays to keep a calm, steady focus. The word ‘drishti’ in Sanskrit means ‘focussed gaze’. Each pose in yoga has a corresponding drishti associated with it, and adding this element to your practice can have a powerful effect on the meditative quality of your practice – bringing the mind more into the present moment and helping to filter out possible distractions. There are other benefits to using the drishtis as well, including helping you find balance and depth in the pose, as well as strengthening the muscles around the eyes and having a beneficial impact on your visual health as well as the central nervous system.
The main drishtis are: the thumb (Angusthamadhye), the third eye (Bhrumadhye), the tip of the nose (Nasagre), the fingertips (Hastagrahe), to the side (Parshva), upwards (Urdhva), the navel (Nābhicakre), and the toes (Padayoragre).
A good way to start introducing drishti to your practice is in your sun salutes. Ask your teacher to talk you through the drishtis in your next class and try to learn them by heart at least for those poses so that as you repeat your morning salutes you can develop a beautiful, focussed flow!