Dristi in Yoga Asana Practice Explained

Dristi means 'vision' or 'insight'. In Ashtanga yoga, it corresponds both to a specific gazing point during the practice as well as the feeling or sense that accompanies the gaze.

There are 9 Dristis in asana practice, which include:

  • Urdhva (upward)
  • Bhrumadhya (third eye)
  • Nasagrai (tip of the nose)
  • Parsva (right side)
  • Parsva (left side)
  • Nabhi Chakra (navel)
  • Hastagrai (tip of the middle finger)
  • Anguṣṭha (tip of the thumb)
  • Padayoragrai (tip of the big toe)

By holding a specific gazing point, the practitioner will be able to concentrate considerably and become more conscious of his/her practice.

Each asana has a Dristi to accompany it. While it is hard to hold a specific gaze, it positively helps a practitioner's mind to settle down and focus on the body and the breath. When the mind wanders, the eyes surely follow.

It is important to avoid looking around the room and comparing yourself to other students in a yoga classroom. Yoga is an inward practise, not an outward practice. By using the proper Dristi, you will notice that your alignment will improve. Your ability to surrender to an asana and allow the body and mind to stabilize will develop.

We are happy to teach our students which Dristi accompanies each asana during our classes, courses, and teacher training. To find out more about our most popular 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Course, click HERE.