Yoga Exercises for Healthy Eyes
Two schools of thought apply to the use of yoga for the eyes. The first looks at the movement of the eyes as an aspect of stilling and focusing the consciousness. Eyes that wander restlessly detract from the individual's peace of mind so some yoga disciplines call for gazing fixedly at a lamp or some other point to develop peaceful attentiveness. A second, more active school of thought, however, employs a series of exercises to correct vision problems resulting from a lack of muscle tone and the reduction of flexibility leading to reduced vision.
Yoga for Combating Visual Eye Problems and Eye Stress
These yoga for the eyes exercises can be both preventative and corrective in their effectiveness and carry the added benefit of stress reduction.
Tension and fatigue in the eyes contributes greatly to an overall sense of exhaustion. Dry bloodshut eyes, eyelid stress, eye pressure and flashing in eyes are some causes of eye stress. Simply relaxing the eyes and addressing this fatigue works wonders in restoring an individual's ability to concentrate and to think clearly.
Basic Yoga for the Eyes
Yoga for the eyes involves a series of motions that cause the eyes to go:
Additionally, multiple techniques are used in concert with these motions to provide intervals of rest and relaxation. These include:
- up and down
- left and right
- and in a circular motion
- squeezing the eyes closed tightly and then releasing,
- and palming, a technique in which the palms are gently placed over the eyes.
Palming is a simple technique that can be used at any time to create warmth, darkness, and a temporary sense of stillness or isolation that is a soothing break for the sensory overload often experienced by our eyes. Sight has been described, accurately, as the most overloaded of the human senses.
Beginning Yoga Eye Movements
Although there are many forms of yoga for the eyes, some basic exercises involve the use of fixed points within the field of vision. Sit with good posture including an erect spine. Hold the body relaxed and raise the eyes to a level position. Find a point directly ahead you can see without straining, then lower your eyes and find a comparable point near the floor. These are the points to which you will return as you:
- move your eyes up as far as you can without straining
- and return to the point directly in front of you
- repeating the maneuver four times
- followed by a series of blinks to relax the eyes
Following the same guidelines, bring your eyes down and back four times followed by repetitive, relaxing blinks.
Repeat this pattern by finding points to your left and right that you may mark either by holding your fingers in the correct position or some straight object like two pencils. Always use four repetitions followed by a series of blinks.
When you have completed these motions, pick points on the diagonal and move your eyes from the upper right to the lower left and then the upper left to the lower right with the same pattern of four followed by blinking.
Variations and Cautions
Other yoga for the eyes exercises may involve clockwise and counter clockwise rotations or placing your index finger between your eyebrows and following the course of the finger with your eyes as you move it to the tip of your nose. In the latter exercise it is important not to blink until the maneuver is complete. Your eyes will tear, which is the point as the sequence is specifically designed to lubricate dry eyes.
In performing yoga for the eyes it is important to remember to never strain the eye muscles with exaggerated or extreme movements and to stop what you are doing at the first sign of discomfort. Start slowly and be gentle. Your eyes are a precious commodity and the point of the yoga movements is to relax and strengthen the eyes, not to cause further tension.