02 Jul Quiet eyes, peaceful mind
It’s tempting to let our eyes wander during yoga class.
Especially when we’re practicing next to veteran students whose taut bodies move gracefully like swans across the water.
That’s why teachers will suggest we find a point on the wall, a crack in the ceiling or a strand in the carpet and use it as our single point of vision.
It’s called drishti gaze, which is a consciously directed, unwavering, steady and detached focus.
Not only does it help us stay balanced and present in our postures, but it also helps relax the mind. After all, most of our sensory input enters the body through the eyes.
And so, fluttering our gaze around the yoga room like a hummingbird only forces our brain to process more information and stimuli.
But when we look at one thing and hold our gaze gently, the hamster wheel inside our head slows down.
Quiet eyes, peaceful mind.
How has yoga transformed your vision?
Scott Ginsberg is a writer, regular practitioner and community leader at Bikram Yoga Park Slope. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, A Year in Hot Yoga: Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat.