In the Ashtanga yoga practice, the eyes are kept opened. In the same way, like when we drive a car, a motorbike or a bike, we look at the road in the direction where we are going, otherwise… we have an accident.
The gaze in Ashtanga Yoga is the path towards plenitude…
Drishti, is the concentration/focalisation of the gaze on a point on the body during the execution of a posture which is held during several breaths.
The benefits of Drishti in the asana practice :
- Develops concentration
- Improves the direction of the nervous flow
- Gives movement to the connective tissues (tissues that envelope our muscles, also called fascia)
The first verse (sloka) from Yoga Korunta mentions the 9 drishti :
- The tip of the nose « Nasagrai »
- Between the two eyes (3rd eye) « Nétriore ma diai »
- The navel « Nabit chakaam staté wad chã »
- The middle of the hand « Hastha grai »
- The middle of the foot « Padãyour grai »
- A point situated in the horizontal right « Parsvai yur ho béyur hãpi »
- A point situated in the horizontal left « Parsvai yur ho béyur hãpi »
- The thumbs, hands together in prayer « Angusta ma diai »
- Look at the sky (gaze upwards) in the vertical line of the eyes « Urdhva drishti hi »
” The yogi focuses his/her visual energy between the two eyebrows, with equal time in the inhale and in the exhale that go through the nose, master of his/her sensitive, mental and intellectual faculties, the Wise (noble-minded) reaching towards liberation, his/her ultime end, is separated from desire, from fear and from anger; he is freed forever.”
Bhagavad Gītā, V, 22/28
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