Thomas Michael Fortel
is a longtime yoga practitioner/teacher, influenced by the Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Anusara styles of Hatha yoga, and drawing from his devotional experience in Bhakti yoga. He travels widely, sharing his love for yoga.
“Dharana and drishti are Sanskrit words that indicate a process of development in our ability for a depth of mental focus and concentration,” says Thomas Fortel. “It could be said that asana (physical postures) and pranayama (breath) are a foundation of yoga practice for the gradual healing of the mental, physical, and emotional bodies. Drishti is a yogic gazing technique that develops concentration; gazing outwardly and at the same time, the attention turns deep within.
When most people hear the word yoga, they immediately think of stretching the body. While lengthening the muscular system is an aspect of yoga practice, it is a small part of what yoga is about. The ancient yogis developed the practice as a purifying agent to cleanse the nadis (energy channels) and chakras (energy centers) in preparation for the body to receive and hold the light of divine consciousness. To be a ready vessel for this powerful light, it was taught, one must be purified.