In yoga, a visual focal point is called a drishti. Focusing the eyes on a specific spot steadies the body, keeps the mind alert and directs energy. A drishti can be used during a physical practice or during meditation. Each focal point creates a different effect.
- Brow point – stimulates the pituitary gland, strengthening intuition.
- Tip of the nose – stimulates the pineal gland and the frontal lobe of the brain, creating new pathways in the brain.
- Chin – this is the moon center gaze, and like the energy of the moon, it brings cooling and calming energy. It also is very reflective, allowing introspection.
- Crown chakra – focusing the gaze on the top of the head stimulates it to open. It also affects the pineal gland.
- 1/10th open – here your eyes are slightly open, relaxed and unfocused. This gaze is balancing and calming.
Drishti requires practice just like any other posture. If the focal point hurts or strains your eyes, relax into it. Increase the strength of your gaze as your practice deepens, just as you would increase the depth of your breath or the holding time for a posture.
Similarly in life, where you place your gaze is the key to making it happen. It’s easy to see problems; the solutions only come when there is a shift in consciousness. That eureka moment or burst of insight comes when you are fully engaged in moving yourself forward.
Changing or directing your focus involves a few direct elements:
- How do you feel in your body?
Your boss is on your case to finish an assignment. You are well aware of the deadline and starting to feel angry. Notice where that shows up in your body. Tightness in your jaw? Are your hands clenched? These are all clues to start moving your body differently. Go for a brisk walk, sing a song out loud, find a spot to do a forward fold. Keep it up for a few minutes. Responding to your body is a quick way to change your focus.
- Be 95% focused on the solutions.
Look for things that are working and apply them everywhere. Is there someone who seems to be able to work with that temperamental boss? Emulate what she/he does. Look for keywords, posture, add your own spin and see what happens.
- Change your language.
How come the boss is always angry with me? Why does this happen every single time? How come I can never catch a break? Your subconscious mind is brilliant at answering these questions. And guess what? The answers are never kind. Let’s try a few new ones. What can I do differently next time? What do I want to achieve in this situation? How can I demonstrate the best of my abilities while being of service to others? The results will be very different. And the good news is that your subconscious mind will help you answer all of these questions in a way that will surprise and delight you.
Give yourself time to get into a new state. Any kind of change requires ritual. A daily practice of meditation and yoga are tools for leveraging the subconscious mind.
Practice this meditation to clear the subconscious mind. The focal point helps to clear neural pathways in the brain.
Contributor: Salimah Kassim-Lakha
The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. None of the information presented is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.