Dolphins are experts in sound, bears have a formidable sense of smell, bats navigate through echolocation but we, as humans, are predominantly visual animals. And although it isn’t talked about often, vision plays a very special role in yoga.
Focused gaze enhances concentration and direct attention to our inner experience. The gaze can act as a focal point for the mind and as a tool for deepening awareness.
When you turn up the volume on one sense circuit, in this instance vision, it helps to suppress competing stimuli, such as intrusive thoughts and distractions in the environment. In traditional breath meditation, focusing on the sensations of the breath allows you to watch the workings of your mind more closely. In yoga, being intentional with your gaze allows you to tune in more deeply to the physical sensations of your practice and the effect that the poses have on your mental state.
We share this article with permission. This article originally appeared here on Yoga 15's blog.
Abi Carver, creator and instructor of Yoga 15, is a two-time Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and National Academy of Sports Medicine qualified personal trainer. She is trained in Hatha, Power Yoga and Zenthai Flow.