“Set your Drishti.”
This is a peculiar phrase that I have often heard repeated during my more “organized” experiences with yoga. The first few times –when I wasn’t as familiar with the jargon—it often left me puzzled (which isn’t as hard of a thing to do to me sometimes).
I, being the writer that I am, decided to rely on context clues and assumed that because he instructed us to set our Drishti that that meant to simply set ourselves as firmly as possible into the stance. It wasn’t until my head was the only one whipping from side to side looking around the room did I realize that the phrase had nothing at all to do with the pose itself.
So what did he really mean?
Once again, it all came down to focus. Drishti, as defined by the Secrets of Yoga literally translates into perception. It is the specific point at which to look or focus the gaze when practicing yoga. Setting your Drishti focuses both the mind and directs concentration inward.
I’m sure by now, the thought or concept of focus seems monotonous. Every pose or flow requires some intentional effort at regulating your focus –particularly as it pertains to the inner being; those pesky thoughts and emotions that have a knack for getting in the way, especially when you’re trying your hardest to push them away. But there is something oddly unique about the concept of drishti.
Yes, it has its more practical uses, such as, having a fixed gaze during a more challenging pose helps to bring about a sense of stillness. As the eyes no longer wander, the body usually finds itself –given a few attempts honestly—with more control over its center of gravity. But when it comes to the more figurative aspect of the term, the act of directing thoughts and concentration inward, I believe this is where the real magic happens.
As a millennial, a staunch multi-tasker and over thinker, I can safely attest to the fact that at times, I have difficulty with narrowing my concentration. Usually caught in a deadline induced panic as it pertains to productivity I constantly find my mind reeling about so many things and in so many different directions.
As a writer, such a trait is both natural and helpful, but in the grander scheme of things, it becomes a hurdle often too high to jump. I’ve had to both learn and understand what it means to take things one task at a time. Planning and executing it before moving on to another.
And while multi-tasking in this day and age is such a useful and necessary quality required in almost every area of life, and even more important one is the ability to hone in on one thing at a time. To steer focus away from all the other nuisances and simply tackle that which is right in front of you.
Learning to do so will help with to not only regulate a sense of stillness and balance in life, but it will also reveal much about how we allow so many little, unimportant things in our world to dominate both our focus and our achievements.
I bow to the divine in you as the spirit within me honors the spirit within you. Even in this crazy world.