Finding Your Drishti: An important Skill for Overcoming “One of THOSE Days” #movementmonday
“True concentration is an unbroken thread of awareness.” ~ BKS Iyengar
You know what it’s like to have “one of those days” where everything seems a little cloudy? Maybe you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or you forget your lunch, your car doesn’t start, or suddenly your nose feels too big on your face and you keep banging your head into things. This is the beginning of what I know as a chaotic energy that just doesn’t quit until the next day’s wake up routine. Often when I experience days, weeks, or longer periods of such bumpy vitality, I have to question is it me? Or, is it the greater universe around me and my clumsy behaviours are a result of the universe’s vibrations?
Last week, after pummeling my head into the corner of my car trunk hood, I finally saw the light! Well, perhaps not THE light, but a halo of stars that felt like they were stabbing me in my eyes as the tears dripped down my face. The sheer panic and shock my body experienced was intense and all I could focus on was this light. This invisible light, a kind of focus I had maybe flirted with before, once or twice on my mat, but not with the same intention or concentration. My intention now became very clear, driven, and controlled. My panic subsided, the shock symptoms began to dissipate, and soon after I appreciated how my yoga was more of a partnering force during this episode along with being my physical and mindfulness exercise routine.
I took a long hard look at myself in the mirror that night. I wondered if my injury was going to scar. I asked myself for forgiveness for being so frenetic and always pushing my limits. I thanked my “lucky stars” for stabbing me in the face to help me realize how much more serious and dangerous this mishap could have been. I acknowledged my pain with breath and was ever so grateful to have not been alone. I told myself, 108 times, LOOK…look up, look forward, look left, look right, look to the middle of my thumb, and to the tips of my feet.
It was this exact moment that I found my drishti. (A focused gaze; a means for developing concentrated intention.) Often on my mat, I will find one point of focus to lock into. When I do, I can hold my posture longer, I can dive deeper into the shape, and I can feel movement and growth in the asana (pose). But I never realized how significant this skill set was off my mat. In this moment of panic and uncertainty my focused concentration became pivotal in managing my pain, fear, shock, and intention. In my moments of despair, I unconsciously practiced yoga. When we can remove current habits, opinions, and projections we can GAZE beyond our reality and get closer to the absolute truth. Find your gaze and envision your journey with the power of your drishti.
There are several ways to position your feet and hands in different variations within the same poses or vinyasas. You can practice your gaze in any and all poses. Try changing your gaze within the following list of options to find your most true and complete concentration:
- a) Eyes focus towards the middle of the eyebrows, set at the “third eye”
- b) Eyes focus towards the tip of the nose, strengthening eye muscles
- c) Eyes focus towards the tips of the hand looking at extended palms
- d) Eyes look left and right, side to side
- e) Eyes pointing upwards to the sky
- f) Eyes pointing inwards on the navel
- g) Eyes focus towards the tip of the toes
Sam Bederman: Certified Yoga Instructor, (CYA-RYT) and Iyengar trained, uses Yoga to assist with healing injuries, aiding in recovery from surgeries, managing chronic and degenerative issues, and as a preventative measure to increase stability and mobility for overall well-being. Sam is a mother of 2 kids, two dogs and the founder of Yogabodii. Visit: yogabodii.com