Eye Yoga (guest post by Christin Lee)

Eye Asanas

The eyes are one of the most hard-working organs in the human body. Just as the physical practice of yoga can help stretch the body, yogic techniques can also be used to clean and heal the eye. Whether you wear glasses, contacts, or have perfect vision, the 6 muscles that join the eye to the eye socket are endlessly operating to meet your everyday vision requirements.

Eye fatigue is usual when elasticity and tone decline due to tiresome ocular happenings resulting in discomfort, exhaustion, and even hazy or double vision. Conversely, modifications such as training the eyes, keeping them sharp, and even improving your diet can diminish eye stress and truly recoup eyesight.

Tibetan Palming

Invented by Tibetan yogis, palming is practiced in darkness.

  1. Relax your back and shoulders

  2. Rub your hands together until warm

  3. Place palms over eyes

  4. Breathe deeply

  5. Repeat and stay for as long as comfortable

High Intensity Interval Training

Blinking helps keep eyes moist and clean. Not only does rapid blinking increase circulation, but it also releases tension.

  1. Gaze softly at an object

  2. Blink frequently and gently

  3. Continue while connecting with your breath

  4. Repeat this exercise 5 times for 30 second intervals

  5. Finish with a minute of palming

Shifting

Shifting your eyes from side to side rapidly will engage the macule, the central part of the retina. By exercising this movement, the eyes can receive more information through the retina.

  1. Shift your vision to the left

  2. Shift your vision all the way to the right

  3. Repeat lateral movements 20 times

  4. Close your eyes and focus on your breath

Candlelight Drishti

Trataka is the Sanskrit word for “to gaze.” Trataka is an ancient practice from yogic texts that cleanes the eye and brings clarity to the mind.

  1. Sit in a dark room with a candle in front of you.

  2. Close your eyes and move your attention to your breath

  3. Open your eyes and gaze at the middle part of the flame

  4. Without blinking, maintain your gaze for as long as you can

  5. Close your eyes when they begin to strain and cup your palms over your eyes

The 20/20/20 Rule

If you’re working a job that requires you to stare at a computer screen, this rule will highly benefit you and your visual acuity.  Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to stare at object 20 feet away from you. Taking breaks will help relax the muscles of the eye and release any tension you’ve been holding when working those long hours. Setting a timer on your phone or using an hourglass is helpful to keep track of those breaks.

Sarvangna Asanaor

Shoulder stand or any type of inversion can help undo the effects of gravity on the body. Reversing circulation and bringing blood to the most essential organs of the body are only a few of the myriad benefits of inverting. Deep exhalations are achievable during these postures as the weight of the abdominal organs press on the diaphragm.
 

The eyes are our irreplaceable organs of sight. Try these eye asanas to thwart eye disease and improve your vision. Keep your breath continuous and deep during these exercises to remove tension from current habits. No props are necessary: just you, your eyes, and the will to give the eyes a well-deserved rest.


Christin Lee is a yoga instructor, entrepreneur, and lifestyle blogger living in NYC. She currently writes for InsiderEnvy with an emphasis and focus on fitness, health, and universal human rights.