In the Yoga tradition, the drishti is a point at which you focus your gaze during each of the asanas (postures). It can also refer to the larger practice of engaging your gaze on a certain point to develop concentration and resist distractions.
I practice Ashtanga Yoga regularly, in addition to running, and think that the drishti can act as a focal point in all arenas of life, not just yoga. When you consider what makes an appropriate drishti, it makes sense that you would seek a drishti during emotional hardship, illness, discomfort, or even moments of anxious excitement.
A drishti should be un-moving and stable. In yoga, this means that you should not be using a wavering neighbor’s head as your drishti. When he falls over, so will you.
Often, the drishti is a place on your body. During downward dog, it can be a point on your knees. This reminds us to focus on what we are doing, not on other people or other things.
A drishti subtly reminds you to be still. When you focus on the drishti during a balance pose, for example, your intent on that point gently nudges you to stand up a little straighter, grasp the floor with every single toe, and brace yourself through the core. In this way, the drishti enhances awareness of our bodies and ourselves.
There are a lot of drishtis in my life-my mom, the mantra “Om,” and my breath. What is your drishti?
While we are on the subject of yoga, check out some Yoga for Runners from Women’s Health Magazine. I think yoga (especially Ashtange, plug plug!) is a great compliment to running-helpful in preventing injury and avoiding soreness. See for yourself!
I really miss doing yoga. I’d like to tell myself I’ll do it on my own at home until I can afford to take a class, but I just can’t bring myself to do so without guidance. Sometimes, I need structure in order to let loose.
Great post, though. I definitely need to re-find and re-focus on my drishtis.