Friday, February 26, 2010


For the past dozen years I've asked students to look at the nose-tip in Uth Pluthi, above.

For the past dozen years, most have looked over me as I said this, and then gazed right back up at the ceiling.

"What do you see up there?" I'd ask.

No one ever laughed. In 12 years.

Now, there is proof that the correct gaze is indeed the nose-tip (for some reason, referring to the primary texts - Pattabhi Jois's Yoga Mala and Lino Miele's Astanga Yoga - and studying directly with the guru umpteen times never seemed to do the trick).

Inside Owl was recently busted by Sharath in Mysore for looking at the Bhroomadhya drishti (space between the eyebrows) in the pose, and writes:

Sharath stood in front of me in uth plu and put his finger to nose-tip (not the first time he’s instructed me to humble it down a notch from ubahya or brow center to nasagrai drsti).


Read the rest of her account here.



*Uth Pluthi is not actually an asana. The "TEE-hee" at the end of the name makes it a command. As in, "SAMASTHITI!"


Photo from this website.


  1. Tee hee...

    I'm pretty sure nasagrai is easier, too...

  2. I have trouble crossing my eyes at all, and brow is harder than nose! If I want to do the correct dristi in yoganidrasana, I have to "lead" both eyes in with a finger and then bind the hands, but then the second I lose the driste it's gone. I really just like to close my eyes in this pose!

    Not that I'm practicing it now anyway! (heathen)

  3. Dharma has us do it for eons w/ very specific breathing and eyes closed. Very powerful.

    Not better, not worse - just different.

    I try not to mix systems.

  4. Oh I am all OVER the place right now. Am enjoying myself though.

  5. Isn't it more the idea to look at the nose tip or between the eye brow and not really gazing at it.
    Isn't it more important simply to keep the eyes without movement.

    This are real questions. Dristi is absolutely neglected in my practice so far.

    I always tend to look up to the sky. All good comes from above, I might think unconsciously...:)

  6. I think it's very important to follow the correct dristi and hand and foot position in each pose. In my opinion, that, plus the locks and ujjayi breathing and correct vinyasa, require a certain discipline - not to mention submission! - and turn the practice into a moving meditation.

    Some of those things also create a certain energy flow that you can't get if you're breathing through the mouth, not using the locks, futzing around between poses (rather than doing correct vinyasa), and/or looking all over the place during practice.

  7. I keep my driste on myself and I've got good breathing, but I don't necessarily do every prescribed driste...

  8. "to" myself that is