Drishti is point or gaze or focus, yet it has little to do with our physical sight. The real looking is directed internally. We may fix our physical sight upon an external object or specific point on our body, yet truly the Drishti is meant to direct our attention to the subtle aspects of our practice. Those of us with sight are easily distracted by our surroundings. other students in the room a clock on the wall, or myriad other forms may pull us away from the immediate concerns of practicing yoga with awareness. The Drishti is a device designed to balance our internal and external practice
The practice Manual ( David Swenson )
We humans are predominantly visual creatures. As every yoga practitioner has discovered, even during practice we find ourselves looking at the pose, outfit, or new hairstyle of the student on the next mat. We stare out the window or at the skin flaking between our toes, as though these things were more interesting than focusing on God realization. And thwack! Where our eyes are directed, our attention follows.
The full meaning of drishti isn’t limited to its value in asana. In Sanskrit, drishti can also mean a vision, a point of view, or intelligence and wisdom. The use of drishti in asana serves both as a training technique and as a metaphor for focusing consciousness toward a vision of oneness. Drishti organizes our perceptual apparatus to recognize and overcome the limits of “normal” vision.
The main types of Drishti’s in Ashtanga yoga are
1.Nasagrai- Looking at nose.
2. Broomadhya- Looking between eyebrows or third eye.
3. Nabi Chakra- Looking at navel, for example in Downward facing.
4. Angust Ma Dyai- Looking at thumb.
5. Hastagrai- Hasta means hand, so looking at hand, for example in
6. Parsva- Looking far right or left.
7.Urdhva or Antara- Looking upwards.
8. Padayoragrai- Looking at toes.