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holding the asana
Drishti, or gaze, is one of the three main pieces of each yoga pose. When we connect our gaze with ujjayi breath and our bandhas (or locks), we keep ourselves engaged in a pose, contain the internal heat and prana, and find ourselves closer to a sense of pratyahara (or sense withdrawal).
I find that the drishti, in particular, helps students remain focused in class on their own practice, remove external distractions, and keep the mind quiet. Each pose has a recommended drishti, or point on which to gaze. It could be to the side, the tip of the nose, the navel, big toe, etc. but these are merely suggestions and the practitioner needs to decide if the gazing point is working for them and their own bodies.