The body is a microcosm of the universe in much of Eastern philosophy and religion. Throughout Daoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, many teachings maintain that close attention to detail in the body uncovers the truth of the universe.
This makes sense to me. While I am no where near to understanding the truth of the universe, nor am I sure that I want to, every once in a while certain things that I notice while on my mat have been eye-opening for me in my life off of the mat.
In certain poses on the mat, one’s gaze can make or break a pose, especially when learning the pose for the first time. The easiest example is when learning how to handstand– if one is not gazing forward, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to find any “hang time” on their hands, or even feel comfortable shifting weight into their hands.
Finding a focused gaze during our practice is also a nearly effortless way to truly quiet the mind and stay present. One must not lose focus on the breath, but by also focusing on a drishti, or specific gaze, it becomes nearly impossible for our mind to wander.
It only makes sense that this applies to life off of the mat too. By choosing a positive, constructive gaze in daily life, perhaps we will find ourselves closer to our goals and more focused on the present moment.