What is Drishti?
We hear it every class – set your eyes on a fixed point in the room and soften your gaze. Your Drishti, or gaze, refers to where you place your attention. This doesn’t necessarily mean a physical gaze, but it can begin there, and it is meant to help you concentrate and focus on your practice. But how can you master the perfect Drishti for you?
Personalize Your Drishti
The answer: there is no “one-size-fits-all” Drishti for every person or even every pose. For example, your focus point in warrior II could be your forward-facing fingertips or another point in front of you, whereas in downward facing dog, it could be the back of your mat or the back of the room.
The key to an effective Drishti is to truly just focus on whatever point feels comfortable to you: hone in on that one spot and clear your mind of any distraction.
Benefits of Drishti
We know that your Drishti helps you concentrate on our poses, but there are several other benefits to incorporating this gaze on your mat. Drishti helps you move into our poses safely and more deeply, working you toward True North alignment.
For example, a Drishti toward the ceiling during twisting triangle will continue the direction of your rotation, increasing your stretch and deepening the pose. A Drishti straight ahead of you in eagle will help you stay upright and stable. A Drishti toward your toes in child’s pose will release your neck and relax the backside of your body.
Drishti also helps calm your nervous system, giving your body the ability to focus on what’s essential in the moment and letting go of anything that doesn’t serve you. We’re constantly surrounded by stimulation and distraction; sometimes, a soft gaze or inner focus is all you need to calm your mind. This same principle can be applied off your mat and incorporated into your daily life.
What Does Drishti Mean to You?
We sat down with EPY Harrisburg teacher Heidi Tresoke and asked what Drishti means to her on and off of her mat.
“To me, Drishti means to stay in the present moment and do the thing.” If you’ve ever taken Heidi’s class, you know how adamant she is on motivating us to “do the thing” – she does the same for herself! Whether it’s crow, headstand, all six wheels, or simply getting to the studio on a rough day, Heidi uses her Drishti to guide her through the journey into power with strength and determination. It’s important to remember that Drishtis can be used anytime, anywhere – not just during your practice. For example, taking a few moments to hone in on one point in the middle of a stressful workday can help recenter your thoughts and focus on the single task at hand.
We asked Heidi how she incorporates Drishti off of her mat.
“I use Drishti in my everyday life when I need to reset and refocus. If life is going in all directions, I can focus on one point for one minute to stay in the present moment. My Drishti keeps me from worrying and projecting forward…. I just stay present.”
Using Drishti on and off your mat can bring a new perspective to your practice and your life. By taking the time to focus and “just be”, your body will relax, your mind will be clear, and you’ll be free of anything that doesn’t serve you in the present moment.
Join us August 3rd at Evolution Power Yoga’s York Studio for an Inner Drishti Workshop
You will be lead through a Journey Into Power class, completely blindfolded, to find your inner Drishti. Sign up online HERE