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Drishtis

A drishti is a focal point or gaze point. Using a drishti in your yoga practice helps to deepen your concentration and they bring a steadiness to your yoga. They are cultivated over time, alongside all other aspects of a yoga practice.

The nine drishtis are:
Nasagrai (Nāsāgrai) - at the tip of the noseAngusta ma dyai (Aṅguṣṭha madhyai) – to the thumbNabi chakra (Nābhicakra) – to the navelPadhayoragrai (Pādayoragrai) – to the toesHastagrai (Hastagrai) – to the palm/ extended handParsva (Pārśva) – to the side/sUrdhva (Ūrdhva) – to the sky/ upwardsNaitrayohmadya or Ajna chakra (Bhrūmadhya) - to the third eye/ between the eyebrowsParsva drishti - far right or far left


Ubhaya padangusthasana - example of a Nasagrai (nose) drishti

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a flowing dynamic form of yoga, where each pose is linked and synchronised using a breathing system called ujjayi pranayama.

Ashtanga yoga practices postures (asana), breath (ujjayi pranayama), focal/gazing point (driste). The discipline of this system allows us to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of ourselves. It is both empowering, and liberating and allows us to move through life with a calmness and steadiness of mind and body.

The linking of breathing and movement creates an internal, purifying heat which detoxifies and purifies the muscles and internal organs. Internal locks (bandhas) are used throughout the yoga practice. The breath is the heart Ashtanga yoga.

Ashtanga translates as “eight limbs”. Below are the eight limbs as described by the sage Pattanjali:
Yama (abstinences)Niyama (observances)Asana (postures)Pranayama (breath control)Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)Dharana (concentration)Dhyana (meditation)Samadhi (contemplation)By practising the first …