Find a Drishti

I have heard that, depending on where people's eyes wander, you can tell different things about what is going on in their mind. For example, looking up and to the right, you are searching for a visual remembered memory. To the left? Constructed. Some folks say there's a way in this to tell if people are lying. I don't know, but I think it's interesting how our eyes like they are trying to move inside our mind to find our memories (real or constructed). There's a connection, for sure, between our eyes and our thoughts.

In yoga, too, there is an emphasis not just how the body is placed, but how the eyes move. Ashtanga yoga enumerates nine drishtis, or focal points. They are:

Nasagrai  Drishti                                             =  tip of the nose
Broomadya Drishti / Ajna Chakra Drishti     =  third eye
Nabi Chakra Drishti                                        =  navel
Angusta Ma Dya Drishti                                 =  thumb
Hastagrai Drishti                                             =  hand
Padahayoragrai Drishti                                  =  big toe
Parsva Drishti                                                  =  far to the right
Parsva Drishti                                                  =  far to the left
Urdhva Drishti / Antara Drishti                       =  up to the sky

There isn't enough space in my blog, much less this post, to go into a discussion of what drishti to engage during which pose, or the history of the drishti in practice. Here, however, I encourage the yogi or yogini to think about their focus during practice. It's said: where the eyes go, the mind goes. See if trying to maintain a dristhi during your practice affects how deep you can go, mentally and physically.
Find a Drishti

It is especially important during balancing postures to find a drishti, if only because if you don't, you're much more likely to fall over. However, in the sense that everything is a balancing posture, even standing, maybe it wouldn't hurt to engage a focus more often in general.

  1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
  2. Dirgha (Three Part Yogic Breath) and Ujjayi (Ocean-sounding Breath) pranayama
  3. Supta Utthita Vayu Muktyasnana (Reclined Wind Relieving Pose), repeat both sides
  4. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
  5. Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
  6. Roll to standing
  7. Tadasana (Mountain Pose), arms by side
  8. Vrkasana (Tree Pose), repeat other side
  9. Tadasana
  10. Utthita Vayu Muktyasnana (Standing Wind Relieving Pose), repeat other side
  11.  Tadasana
  12.  Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  13.  Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
  14. Garundasana (Eagle Pose)
  15. Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
  16. Repeat 11-15 other side
  17.  Come onto stomach
  18.  Vasisthasana, single knee down (Knee Down Side Plank), repeat other side
  19.  Paripurna Navasana (Upward Boat).  Begin Kapalabhati pranayama (Breath of fire).
  20.  Urdhva Upavishta Konasana (Upright Seated Angle Pose)
  21. Sirsasana (Head Stand)
  22. Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclined Twist). Repeat other side
  23.  Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Popular Posts