Drishti is a Sanskrit word meaning gaze, or viewpoint. In yoga, this point of focus is as crucial as how you position your hands, feet, or torso. By cultivating concentration on specific points as you breathe through a sequence, you’ll move closer to the full expression of each posture and you’ll also naturally withdraw attention from the world around you, creating a sense of calm perspective and self-understanding. As John Campbell, Ph.D., a professor of religious studies at University of Virginia, explains in this video, the gaze is not only a physical orientation, but also a matter of what you see when your vision rests there. As his teacher Sri K. Pattabhi Jois told him, once yoga practice is complete and perfect, everywhere you look you see God. In other words, the yoga practice invites a shift in viewpoint that allows us to strip down every experience to reveal the quality of our attention and the goodness that exists in each moment.

Related: The Importance of Breath in Yoga Practice