Gazing Points For Yoga Practice
Essentials of Gazing Points: Drishtis
That missing essential aspect in the practice can sometimes be something as simple and wonderful as a ‘drishti’- gazing point for each pose. Learn to train the eyes and in turn, free the mind.
Concentration (Dhyana) as it is known from Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga is the entry point to beginning a Meditation practice. In fact, concentration focuses the mind so that it can meditate in stillness for a length of time free of distracted concerns (vrttis) that seep into consciousness like a leaking faucet. Imagine being trained to turn off the dripping nonsense so a reservoir of synaptic neural energy at one’s command accumulates and can be ‘picked’ up afterwards. In conserving energy there will be a significant increase in creativity! However, if the leaking energy continues to seep out, the body will begin sending messages to the mind to sleep and/or close off from the world. In varying degrees this is an attempt to conserve vital life force.
Sleeping allows repair time, metabolic cleaning happens and a rejuvenation of neural activity can be attained. Less external stimulation equates to a reduction in loss of energy. With a few techniques the eyes and brain can be trained while awake to discern efficiently between what is distraction verses what truly needs attention. Drishtis in Yoga are used to help break the habits of the mind. With consistent application, drishtis can help lower anxiety, feelings of loneliness, feelings of inadequacy or repression.
If gazing points are a new concept and never practiced before while going through each pose try Office Yoga for the Eyes. This is a series allows you to sit and simply pay attention to nice gentle ranges of movements for the eyes. With ongoing practice of Office Yoga For the Eyes it is possible to become aware of which movements the brain usually employs by mental habit and which feel new. Benefits include regaining awareness and command of eye movements, reduced dryness and reduced eyestrain. These improvements can be immediately noticed. Mental faculties are stimulated.
To begin a practice of strategic gazing points in and out of yoga postures, be aware that the mind having been used to sending it’s repetitive impressions to the eyes, may protest. The practitioner may find the mind sometimes refuses to let the eyes follow the prompt incoming from a teacher verbally. This is despite how simple and easy to follow the instruction may be. It is wise to redirect the eyes to their destination in each pose over and over until the impression ceases and the mind is liberated. The practitioner makes gains in command of an aspect of his or her own body & the eyes. This clears and initiates the mind to being less controlled by the past, enables the individual to be more in the here and now.
Accepting this power is the next practice. The benefits translate to other areas off the mat as well! Set the eyes free, and the mind follows! Hot recommends an Ashtanga Yoga teacher for learning gazing points that partner with each pose. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ teachings are alive and well in many current Yoga teachers around the globe. May all beings everywhere be free and happy, namaste.