Why Drishti?

In sanskrit, Drishti means focused gaze. If you’ve practiced yoga, you may have heard your instructor refer to finding a drishti, or point of concentration, while you’re in a balancing posture. This point of concentration allows our brain to focus on one spot so that we reduce stimulation that may harm our natural ability to balance. 

Like much of our yoga practice, we are using our body to consciously observe our state of mind, patterns of thought, and reactivity. We can utilize our drishti in the same way. By identifying a point of focus, we are practicing the observance of ourselves in that moment. When we struggle with anxiety, our mind becomes very distracted and we have a hard time moving with intention and stability. This state of mind leads us to be quite reactive to our environment. Using a drishti encourages us to practice noticing this reactivity, gently focusing our attention, and allowing our whole system to absorb the idea and feeling of intentionally creating balance. In this way, we are empowered by our own choice to bring ourselves into a state of engaged relaxation. With practice, we cultivate this idea more and more as our natural state of being.

This is the intention of my work. To offer a space (drishti!) in which individuals can focus on understanding their moods more fully and tuning into their innate resources through processing and releasing energy and experiences that are no longer serving them. 

Experiment with this idea: If you’re able to, try standing on one leg and balancing. First observe your balance as it feels naturally. Next, try balancing while moving your gaze from side to side in the room (simulating anxiety). Notice how this feels. Now try focusing on one point straight ahead at eye level. Allow your breath to become long and slow through your nose (simulating a balanced, calm mood). You can probably feel the difference in your whole body response to your drishti! If this feels good, allow yourself to get comfortable with and absorb this state of being.

Jessica Lister