As I mentioned last time, chronic ankle problems and extra time has given me the opportunity to get back in touch with one of my favorite activities: Yoga.

As you go through the various yoga poses, the instructor will often tell you to “Find your drishti.”  Your drishti helps you maintain your focus and balance during a pose.  It is particularly useful in poses that require you to balance on foot.

“Drishti is a point of focus where the gaze rests during asana and meditation practice. Focusing on a drishti aids concentration, since it is easier to become distracted when the eyes are wandering all over the room. Each yoga pose has a specific drishti, which also aids in alignment … Even though a drishti can be described as a fixed gaze, the eyes should always stay soft, never straining.”  (About.com)

This explanation of a drishti reminds me of the story of Peter walking on water.

25 Early in the morning, Jesus went out to the disciples. He walked on the lake. 26 They saw him walking on the lake and were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said. And they cried out in fear.

 27 Right away Jesus called out to them, “Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 28 “Lord, is it you?” Peter asked. “If it is, tell me to come to you on the water.”

 29 “Come,” Jesus said.

   So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, “Lord! Save me!”  (Matthew 14: 25 – 30)

Christ was Peter’s drishti.  As soon he took his eyes off of Christ and focused on the situation around him he started to sink.  In yoga, as soon as you allow your eyes to wander away from your drishti you start to lose your balance and your concentration.  In life if you don’t have a focal point – guiding principles, steadfast beliefs – that you can focus on, you’ll find yourself drifting off course.

Where is your drishti?