Day 18 and the 3rd hot class with Tracy this week. I really love her classes, so I foresee many more of these.
I’m very blind (near-sighted) and I wear glasses. Contacts don’t really work for me. My eyes are pretty sensitive and I stare into a computer screen all day. One problem with hot yoga is that I sweat so much my glasses try to slide off my face, especially while upside-down, which is frequently. Or maybe it isn’t really a problem…
For the past few classes, I’ve been just taking my glasses off. This leaves me pretty much unable to see much past my own mat. I can see the other people in the class, but if I wanted to really see what Tracy is doing, I wouldn’t be able to. You know that eye chart at the eye doctor? I can’t even clearly see where the chart is, let alone read the big “E” without my glasses.
And you know what? For the most part, I don’t think I need to see in yoga now that I know what most of the poses are and I can listen to the Twister-like directions (left foot behind right, right hand down, left hand up etc…). It seems I have also finally figured out which way is left and which way is right, something that has given me trouble all my life.
When I’m standing on my mat not wearing my glasses, I can see my feet pretty clearly, if a little fuzzily, and not much more.
In yoga, there is a lot of talk about your gaze or “Drishti”
Definition: 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. For instance, in Extended Side Angle Pose – Parsvakonasana the gaze is towards the raised hand, which also reminds us the turn our heads up towards the ceiling. Drishtis are particularly emphasized in Ashtanga yoga. Even though a drishti can be described as a fixed gaze, the eyes should always stay soft, never straining.
If I can’t see anything beyond myself, how can my gaze ever be not soft? Everything is soft because it’s so blurry!
It seems to be working for me, so I’m grateful for that because glasses and sweat really don’t mix.