2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses (2015)
Drishtis are the meditation gazing points to focus on while performing the poses. They are designed to aid with proper alignment, as well as to strengthen the focus on the present moment. While practicing we tend to look around, compare ourselves to others in the room, or look at the clock. This takes away from the focus on the internal aspects of the practice. Drishtis are meant help you look inward.
They are as follows:
1. Nasagrai or Nasagre (nose)
2. Bhrumadhye or Ajna Chakra (third eye, between the eyebrows)
3. Nabhi, Nabhicakre, or Nabi Chakra (belly button)
4. Hastagrai or Hastagre (hands)
5. Padayoragrai or Padayoragre (toes/feet)
6. Parshva Drishti (to the right)
7. Parshva Drishti (to the left)
8. Angushtamadhye or Angushta Ma Dyai (thumbs)
9. Urdhva or Antara Drishti (up to the sky)
Drishtis can be complicated to grasp at first. However, there are general guidelines for the gaze. It comes down to letting your eyes follow the direction of the stretch. For example, in backbends we look at our third eye in order to let the head roll back and deepen the backbend. Similarly, in seated forward bends, such as Paschimottanasana (Western Intense Stretch Pose), we gaze at the toes to lengthen the spine. The purpose of drishtis is not for you to become cross-eyed; they are a way to softly focus without intensely staring.