Likewise Pattabhi Jois in Yoga mala
"For this, meditation is very important, as are the drishti, or gazing places, which include: nasagra drishti [the gaze on the tip of the nose] for samasthiti; broomadhya drishti [the gaze between the eyebrows] for the1st vinyasa; nasagra dristri for the 2nd vinyasa; the gaze between the eyebrows for the 3rd vinyasa—in other words, for the odd-numbered vinyasas, the gaze should be focused between the eyebrows and, for the even-numbered ones, the gaze should be on the tip of the nose." p87
Later Pattabhi Jois included other external drishti points/gazing places, what is it nine now?
Manju often suggests closing the eyes.
The eyes do not need to be open for broomadhya drishti and nasagra dristri, the eyes can be close but still directed at the same point. There are other drishti that krishnamacharya would employ as outlined by his som
Krishnamacharya would employ other 'drishti' internal points of focus as outlined in his son T. K. Sribhashyam's book, Emergence of Yoga,
See this earlier post.
Krishnamacharya and drishti ( the gaze)
|Figure 4.53: Baddha Padmasana - Gaze on midbrow|
|Figure 4.52: Baddha Padmasana - Gaze on tip of nose|
All quotes below from Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda (Mysore1934)
Note: many of the same asana and instructions were also used in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941)
When I explain the rules of yogasana, if the position of the head has not been specified, then keep the head in jalandara bandha. Similarly, if it does not specify where to place the gaze, then the gaze should be directed towards the midbrow.
3.8 Section on the investigation of the twenty Mudras
After the nadis are cleaned by practising the shatkriyas, it is essential that every- body, respecting their body’s constitution, practise at least some of the twenty mudras for the following reasons: in order to keep the ten types of vayu moving in their appropriate respective nadis and performing their assigned activities with- out obstruction (as described in the earlier section); in order to prevent diseases from forming in the body; for the susumna nadi to be taken to and maintained in the brahmarandhram; and for the always wavering gaze to stop moving and become focussed in one place. It is for this reason that the mudras are described here.
Maha Mudra: With the left foot pressed tightly against the rectum, extend the right leg out in front. Make sure that the heel is touching the floor and the toes are pointing upwards. Hold the big toe of the right foot with the fingers of the right hand. Keep the chin firmly pressed against the chest and keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. Similarly, following the instructions mentioned above, repeat the mudra with the right foot pressed firmly against the rectum and the left leg extended forward.
Khecari Mudra: After first learning the yoga marmas with the help of a satguru who is still practising this, cut 1/12 of one angula measure (width of one hair) of the thin seed of skin at the bottom of the tongue with a sharp knife. Apply a well-powdered paste of sainthava lavanam salt (rock salt) on the area of the cut. Rub cow’s butter on both sides of the tongue, and holding the tip of the tongue with a small iron tong, pull the tongue out carefully, little by little. Repeat this (the pulling) every day. Once a week, as mentioned above, cut the seed of flesh at the base of the tongue very carefully. Practise this for three years. The tongue will lengthen and will easily be able to touch the middle of the eyebrows. After it lengthens this much, fold it inside the mouth, keep it in the cavity which is alongside the base of the inner tongue and fix the gaze on the mid-brow.
15. Sambhavi Mudra: Due to the strength of the traataka abhyasa men- tioned in the shatkriyas, after the eyes have teared profusely, fix the gaze on the mid-brow.
If one practises these twenty mudras according to one’s strength and capabil- ity, then diseases associated with svasam (respiration), kasam (coughing), spleen, meham (bladder) — such 84,000 diseases can be prevented. One develops extraor- dinary physical strength and will not fall victim to an untimely death. Moreover, the prana vayu will join the susumna nadi and one develops one-pointedness of the gaze and of the mind. Therefore, these mudras have to be achieved before practising pranayama.
Following the rules for tadasana (yogasana samasthiti krama) (Figure 4.1, 4.2), stand erect. Afterwards, while exhaling the breath out slowly, bend the upper part of the body (that is, the part above the hip) little by little and place the palms down by the legs. The knees must not be even slightly bent. Raise the head upwards and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose.
8 (Dandasana from instruction for) Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana (Figure 4.19 — 4.28)
This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.
The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, the 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, the 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. Practise these following the earlier instructions. In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru. In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose.
17 Utthitahasta Padangushtasana (Figure 4.49, 4.50, 4.51)
First, push the chest forward and stand erect with equal balance. While standing this way, make sure that the head, neck, back, hips, arms and legs are aligned properly and gaze at the tip of the nose.
18 Baddhapadmasana (Figure 4.52, 4.53, 4.54, 4.55)
Place the right foot on top of the left thigh and the left foot on top of the right thigh. Take the hands behind the back and tightly clasp the big toe of the right foot with the first three fingers of the right hand and tightly clasp the big toe of the left foot with the first three fingers of the left hand.
Press the chin firmly against the chest. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. Sit down, keeping the rest of the body straight. This has the name baddhapad- masana. This asana must be repeated on the other side (that is, first place the left foot on top of the right thigh and then the right foot on top of the left thigh) in order to exercise both sides of the body.
This has 16 vinyasas. The 8th and 9th vinyasas are the asana sthiti. The other vinyasas are like pascimottanasana. Study the pictures (Figures 4.52, 4.53) and learn how to keep the gaze.
26 Niralamba Sarvangasana (Figure 4.70)
This has 14 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. The form depicted in the picture is the 8th vinyasa. This is niralamba sarvangasana paristhiti. In order to get to this sthiti, slowly raise the arms and legs either together or one-by- one in the 7th vinyasa . Do only recaka at this time. Never do puraka kumbhaka.
At this time the chin should be pressed against the chest. The gaze should be fixed on the midbrow.
27 Ekapada Sirsasana (Figure 4.71, 4.72)
This has two forms: dakshina ekapada sirsasana and vama ekapada sirsasana. Both these forms together have 18 vinyasas. The first picture depicts dakshina ekapada sirsasana and the second picture vama ekapada sirsasana. The 7th and 12th vinyasas are the asana sthitis of these di erent forms. For this asana, you need to do sama svasauchvasam (same ratio breathing). In the 7th vinyasa, the left leg, and in the 12th vinyasa the right leg, should be extended and kept straight from the thigh to the heel. No part should be bent.
Keep the hands as shown in the picture. In this sthiti one needs to do equal ra- tio breathing. When the hands are joined together in ekapada sirsasana paristhiti, one must do puraka kumbhaka. One must never do recaka.
While doing the 7th and the 12th vinyasas, the head must be raised and the gaze must be fixed at the midbrow.
32 Bhairavasana (Figure 4.78)
This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th and the 14th vinyasas are the right and left side asana sthitis.
From the 1st until the 7th vinyasa, follow the method for ekapada sirsasana. In the 8th vinyasa, instead of keeping the hands at the muladhara cakra (as in ekapada sirsasana), hug both arms together tightly as seen in the picture and lie down looking upwards. While remaining here, do puraka kumbhaka, raise the neck upwards and gaze at the midbrow.
Chakorasana…. The 8th and 14th vinyasas are this asana’s sthitis. The 7th and the 13th vinyasas are like the 7th and the 13th vinyasas of ekapada sirsasana. In the 8th and the 14th vinyasas, press the palms of the hand firmly into the ground, do puraka kumbhaka, raise the body 6 angulas o the ground and hold it there. Carefully study the picture where this is demonstrated. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. The other vinyasas are like those of bhairavasana.
34 Skandasana (Figure 4.80, 4.81)
This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th and the 14th vinaysas show the asana sthiti. The other vinaysas are exactly as for cakorasana. In pascimottanasana, we hold the big toes with the fingers of the hands as we place the face down on the knees. In this asana, instead of doing that, extend the arms out further forward, clasp the hands together in the manner of prayer, slowly bend the body forward and place the face down in front of the kneecap. You must do recaka in this sthiti. The gaze must be fixed on the midbrow.
35 Durvasasana (Figure 4.82)
This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is right-side durvasasana and the 14th vinyasa is left-side durvasasana. In the 7th and the 13th vinyasas stay in ekapada sirsasana sthiti. From there, in the 8th and the 14th vinyasas, get up and stand. Study the picture carefully. While remaining in this asana sthiti, the leg that is being supported on the ground must not be even slightly bent and must be held straight. Keep the gaze fixed at the middle of the nose. You must do sampurna puraka kumbhaka. The head must be properly raised throughout.
All the other vinyasas are like skandasana.
37 Trivikramasana (Figure 4.85)
This has 7 vinyasas. From the 1st to the 5th vinyasas and then the 7th vinyasa, practise following those for utthita hasta padangushtasana. Practise the 2nd and 7th vinyasas as shown in the picture (study it carefully) and remain in these positions. The 2nd vinyasa is the right-side trivikramasana sthiti. The 6th vinyasa as shown is the left-side trivikramasana sthiti. The picture shown here only demonstrates the left-side trivikramasana. It is important that equal recaka and puraka kumbhaka must be carefully observed while practising this asana. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. Both legs must be held straight and must not lean or bend to any side.
38 Gandabherundasana (Figure 4.86, 4.87)
This has 10 vinyasas. The 6th and 7th vinyasas show the asana sthiti. The first picture shows the 6th vinyasa and the second picture shows the 7th. In the 4th vinyasa, come to caturanga dandasana sthiti and in the 5th vinyasa proceed to viparita salabasana sthiti. In the 6th vinyasa, spread the arms out wide, keeping them straight like a stick (like a wire) as shown in the picture. Take the soles of both feet and place them next to the ears such that the heels touch the arms and keep them there.
Next, do the 7th vinyasa as shown in the second picture. This is called supta ganda bherundasana. In this asana sthiti and in the preliminary positions, do equal recaka puraka kumbhaka. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. This must not be forgotten.