DRISHTI
the eye play

Drishti is a point of gaze, yet it has little to do with our physical sight. The real "looking" is directed internally. We may fix our physical sight upon an external object or a specific point on our body, yet truly the drishti is meant to direct our attention to the subtle aspects of our practice -the breath and bandhas as well as the mind. Those of us with sight are easily distracted by our surroundings. Other people in the room, a clock on the wall, or myriad other forms may pull us away from the immediate concerns of practicing yoga with awareness. 

The drishti is a device designed to balance our internal and external practice. 

If you find the drishtis to be too difficult, then let your gaze move in the direction of the stretch. i.e. in a spinal twist to the right, your gaze will follow in that direction by looking over the right shoulder. 

The Nine Drishtis:

1-tip of the nose

2-between the eyebrows

3-navel

4-hand

5-toes

6-far to right

7-far to left

8-thumbs

9-up to the sky

The main focus is to look inward. [D. Swenson, Ashtanga Yoga-The practice Manual]

The gaze brings more concentration and awareness into the movement. Keep the gaze soft.

Practice of drishti:

1. pay attention to your wondering eyes. What distracts you?

2. Try to control the urge to look something moving in the distance

3. Gaze the space just beyond the tip of your nose for one minute.

4. Does sound distract your eye gaze? Smell? Notice how your senses direct your focus.

5. At different times during the day focus your gaze at specific points (tip of the nose, navel, a spot on the wall) and see what it takes to make you look away.