Keeping Eyes Open in Yoga Poses

by Melissa West on July 1, 2013

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Eyes open in Yoga?

Should-you-Keep-your-Eyes-Open-in-YogaToday’s question comes to us from Samantha from the membership site and she says:

I hope that this isn’t a silly question… but is it “inappropriate”, or somehow ‘less than optimal’ to keep one’s eyes open during certain postures? For example, in Tree Pose, the second I close my eyes, I begin to wobble. When I keep my eyes open, my focus is still very much ‘inward’ (if that makes sense); I’m not focusing on or really taking in what I’m seeing/being distracted… it just truly helps me to maintain physical balance. Is this problematic? Over time, may I be able to keep my eyes closed during postures requiring balance? Thank you for your time, Melissa! Namaste! _/\_

Dear Samantha

This is such a great question. In yoga there is a term called drishti which means gaze or point of focus. I have a whole Namaste Yoga class on this that I will link to in the show notes. When we practice yoga we often focus our gaze inwards by closing our eyes – you are correct. Yet, when we are in balancing postures, we have a soft gaze on a point (usually on the ground) that is not moving to help us balance. So you are right, it does help to open your eyes in tree pose, find a point to focus on with a soft gaze. This is not being distracted, this is helping to focus and balance you. Closing your eyes in a balancing posture is a way to work on increasing balance, but it is not necessary. Thanks for a great question Samantha. 🙂 Namaste, Melissa

A link to Namaste Yoga 74


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