The simple definition of drishti is the technique of using a specific gazing direction for the eyes to control attention. It is practiced in yoga because of the various benefits it brings to the yoga practice.
A drishti is a specific focal point that is brought into play while holding a yoga posture. Through drishti you can cultivate a deeper level of concentration, improve your alignment, and tune in deeply with body in every asana. This is because when the gaze is fixed on a single point, our awareness draws inwards and the mind remains undisturbed by external stimuli. Drishti allows the mind to focus and move into a deep state of concentration.
To use a drishti in an asana, simply select the point where your gaze is naturally directed by the alignment of the pose. This is especially helpful if you are holding a posture for an extended period of time, and helps enormously when practicing a balancing pose such as crow, tree pose and warrior 3.
Some examples of poses and their drishtis are:
• Upward-Facing Dog Pose, we gaze at the nose tip.
• In Fish Pose, we gaze toward the third eye.
• In Downward-Facing Dog Pose, we gaze at the navel.
• In Trikonasana (Triangle pose), we gaze at the hand
• In most seated forward bends, we gaze at the big toes.
Lastly, when using a drishti, remember not to strain the eyes. The gaze should always be soft and the eyes should be relaxed☺