Drishti is a Sanskrit word that translates to “gaze” or “vision.” Incorporating drishti into your yoga practice enhances mental focus, physical balance, and energetic awareness.
Drishti can be integrated into your yoga practice in two ways: The first is by physically placing the gaze onto a specific point in our external environment, such as onto our hands or feet. This helps us find balance and focus in all asanas (poses). The second way we can use drishti is to help guide our awareness inward; which in return helps us steady and settle the fluctuations of our minds. This can include closing your eyes down complete or softening your eyelids half way.
By guiding our eyes to rest on a specific point, we build concentration and eliminate distractions from our surroundings. After all, where your attention goes, energy will flow. Whether we are using our drishti to move attention inward or as a physical point of focus, it is a directed gaze that is soft and gentle in quality rather than an intense staring.
Here are 2 forms of drishti that can be integrated into your yoga practice:
Urdhva Drishti: This drishti looks upward or outward and has an expansive feeling of gazing out into infinity. It is an all-encompassing gaze that heightens your connection to the infinite Divine.
Bhrumadhye Drishti: This drishti resides in the middle of the brow at the third eye center. It can be used with the eyes half open or closed. The purpose of this gaze is to bring our awareness inward, raise our consciousness. It is said to stimulate the optic nerves, sharpen concentration, and calm the mind.