Eye Focus

Eye Focus

In yoga, the science of drishti teaches us that where our attention goes, the energy follows. Sanskrit for “sight” or “vision,” drishti is the practice of fixing the gaze on a single point of focus. A drishti often accompanies a yoga posture, meditation, or breath. 

A focused gaze works to minimize sensory input. And while the drishti in asana practice has more to do with the physical expression of a posture, the focus in Kundalini Yoga is most often inward. Many Kundalini postures, kriyas, and meditations specify an exact point of focus for the eyes. The physical eyes are most often closed, and the gaze is internal. 

The nuances between the varying gaze points are detailed below. Each impacts the brain and glandular system, through the optic nerve, in various ways. By shifting the gaze from the brow point to the tip of the chin, for example, we change the pressure on the glands and gray matter of the brain. This initiates subtle biochemical changes, and merits eye focus as a powerful technique in itself.

Philosophically, the discipline of drishti reminds us that we are responsible for our focus, both on and off the mat. Accepting responsibility for where we place our attention is key to accepting responsibility for our life. 

 

Gaze Points: Meditation Focus for the Eyes

 

Brow Point (Third Eye Point)

This is our default gaze in Kundalini Yoga. To practice, close your eyes and lift your gaze to the brow point. Your focus will be at the center of the forehead, just above the eyebrows, about a quarter of an inch above the root of your nose and the same distance inside your skull. The eyes are closed, and you are turning your attention inward. This part of the forehead corresponds to the Sixth, or Ajna Chakra.

  • Stimulates the pituitary gland and shushmana (central channel of the spine)
  • Develops intuition

 

Tip of the Nose

To practice, open your eyes just enough to look at the tip of your nose. Do not cross your eyes. If you get a headache, relax the drishti and try again once the pain has subsided. This one takes some getting used to!

  • Uplifting 
  • Balances the ida, pingala, and shushmana nadis (left, right and central nerve channels of the spine).
  • Stimulates the pineal gland and frontal lobe of the brain
  • Creates new energy pathways and neural circuits in the brain

 

Tip of the Chin (Moon Center)

Close your eyes and shift your focus down, to the center of the chin. This point of focus corresponds to the Moon Center. 

  • Cooling and calming
  • Balances the emotions
  • Helps you to see yourself clearly

 

Top of the Head (Tenth Gate)

Close your eyes and focus at the very top of your skull, as if you had a sunroof on the top of your head and could see out of it. This area is the Crown Chakra, also called the Tenth Gate. Project from it. 

  • Stimulates the pineal gland and the Crown Chakra
  • Creates a sense of expansiveness 
  • Cultivates God Consciousness

 

1/10th Open, 9/10ths Closed

Close your eyes, and then open them 1/10th of the way, just enough to see out of them. 

  • Stabilizes the optic nerve, minimizing sensory input which helps in meditation
  • Calms and develops intuition

 

To Consider

The science of drishti, in terms of the practical benefits and the philosophical implication of practice, remains the same across yogic disciplines. But a few gaze points in Kundalini Yoga are unique to this practice, particularly the drishti at the tip of the chin and the tip of the nose.

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