Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
Right now in this busy Autumn season it's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget our goals and dreams. Sometimes we are so busy rushing around that we may not even know what we are working towards anymore. I recently caught myself feeling scattered, taking extra long to get things done or rushing and forgetting things. Getting stuck on a hamster wheel of existance is a pretty common occurrence and falling off to hit the ground is sometimes the only way we notice that we are on it.
When we practice physical Yoga asanas (body postures), we can also use the positioning and gaze of the eyes. A Drishti is a point of focus where the gaze rests in a posture. Our eyes often speak more than words when we are communicating with others and the way we use our eyes during our practice can have powerful effect on our bodies and minds.
There are different ways to use our gaze for example when we are doing a seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) we can allow the eyes to look forward towards the toes, which may help us find length through the spine or we could choose to have an inward gaze allowing the gaze of the eyes for fall towards the bellybutton. Looking inwards can help us to allow the back of the neck to release and can direct the mind inwards to a more reflective state.
In a Warrior 2 pose we look towards the tip of the middle finger of the front hand, this drishti on a physical level keeps our head centered and helps us stay upright and balanced. The very slight gaze down to the hand allows the back of the neck to stay long. Without a drishti this pose almost feels like I'm just hanging out on the mat with my arms and legs stretched out, but a soon as I add the gazing point it evokes a strong sense of clarity and direction. Instead of feeling like a scatterbrain (which can at times be my state of mind!) I start to feel like a warrior, strong, grounded and with purpose.
If we keep our gaze steady, it can help our minds become calm and focused. We are no longer likely to be so distracted by all the things around us. Drishti can allow us to become present in this moment and in our practice. We can also relate the use of Drishti to our lives off the mat. If we keep clear goals in our minds and purpose in our hearts we can experience peace and clarity even in crazy times. Keeping us steady and unshakable even in the strongest tides.
What is your Drishti?