How to Direct Your Gaze for Power Yoga

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein, Sherri Baptiste, Doug Swenson, Stephan Bodian, LaReine Chabut, Therese Iknoian

“Looking good” during Power Yoga isn’t about wearing the right clothes, having the right hairstyle, or sporting the right genetic background. Nope, it refers to the way you direct your gaze as you move into and hold each Power Yoga posture. The way you direct and hold your gaze during Power Yoga practice has an impact on your mental state, your posture, and your ability to remain focused and energized.

In yoga, the gazing point for each posture is called a drishti, which means both “looking out” and “looking in.” The purpose of the drishti isn’t to get your vision fixed on a particular place or part of your body; it’s actually an exercise in turning your gaze inward. When you gaze inward, you can check to make sure that you’re breathing properly, that your posture alignment is accurate, and that your energy lock is engaged.

Gazing inward is a form of sense withdrawal, so your gaze is a tool to help you in this important part of Power Yoga practice. When you’re “doing the drishti,” you’re focused.

There are ways to find points of focus (drishti). This list includes the classic drishti used in traditional yoga; the name of each drishti is followed by the place or thing on which you should focus your eyes when assuming this gazing point:

  • Nasagrai: Tip of nose

  • Ajna chakra: Between the eyebrows

  • Nabi chakra: Your navel

  • Hastagrai: Your hand

  • Padhayoragrai: Your toes

  • Parsva drishti: Far to the side (either right or left)

  • Angustha Ma Dyai: Your thumbs

  • Urvhva or Antara drishti: Up to the sky

In most Power Yoga postures, you gaze in the direction of the posture’s stretch. If you want to get technical about it, you can memorize the focus or drishti.