Eye Yoga Exercises

When it comes to staying healthy, we often overlook the health of our eyes, focusing on other parts of the body instead because as a general rule; the healthier your body is, the healthier your eyes will be.  However, it is definitely worth spending a little more time maintaining the health of your eyes in particular, as our vision is vitally important for our independence, reading, writing, recognising faces, driving and other activities.

Sarah HighfieldIn yoga, it is commonly believed that the fastest way to bring the mind into concentration is through the eyes and eye yoga exercises (asanas) are practised to help people use their eyes to their fullest capability.  With benefits including reduced eye strain, better vision & eye comfort, reduced headaches and increased concentration, these eye asanas will enhance your overall eye health. Along with a nutritiously balanced diet, regular exercise, GP check-ups, sun protection and using a high quality light such as Philips LED Lighting, they will help protect your vision from the stresses of light, stress and environmental toxins.

Healthy Eye Tips:

  1. Reduce time in front of screens (computers, smart phones, televisions) as they can cause the eyes to strain and weaken your eyesight. If you cannot reduce time spent in front of screens, use eye lubricant drops and every 20 minutes, close your eyes for 20 seconds to allow them to relax.
  2. In the sunshine and bright weather, wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Keep a pair with you in your bag so that they are always nearby.
  3. Avoid smoking as it is toxic for the eye, it constricts blood flow to the eyes and can also lead to loss of vision.
  4. Eat well and follow a healthy, balanced diet, full of fresh vegetables & fruit, ‘good’ fats and wholegrains.
  5. Exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy BMI, which helps fight against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  6. Schedule regular check-ups with an eye specialist who will be able to detect the first signs of any eye conditions or diseases.
  7. Aim to have between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  8. Maintain good hygiene and wash your hands if rubbing or touching your eyes to avoid the risk of infection.
  9. Use a good quality light such as Philips LED Lighting, which mimics natural light so that your eyes do not feel uncomfortable or strained.
  10. Practice simple, yet powerfully effective yoga eye exercises for a few minutes each day (outlined below).

Below are some simple eye yoga exercises which can be practised anytime and anywhere

Palming

  1. Sit in a relaxed position
  2. Close your eyes and cup both of your eyes with the palms of your hands, without pressing your hands against your eyes
  3. Ensure your eyes are not being exposed to any light
  4. Relax and open your eyes periodically
  5. Hold this position for 3-5 minutes

Stretching

  1. Sit in a relaxed position
  2. Without moving your head, look up as far as you can go and hold, count 3 seconds
  3. Look all the way down, count 3 seconds
  4. Look all the way left, count 3 seconds
  5. Look all the way right, count 3 seconds
  6. Repeat the process, moving your eyes to the four diagonal corners (upper left, lower right, upper right, lower left)

StretchingFocus Switching

  1. Sit in a relaxed position
  2. Hold something with small letters, e.g. a book or paper, at reading distance
  3. Cover one of your eyes with the palm of your hand, but keep it open
  4. Pick out a single letter and trace the shape that letter with your eyes for 3 seconds
  5. Look up and find an object or letter that is at least 20 feet away (6 meters)
  6. Trace that shape for another 2-3 seconds – do not attempt to squint
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 for 3-5 minutes
  8. Cover your other eye and repeat steps 4-6 for 3-5 minutes

Flexing

  1. Sit in a relaxed position
  2. Look up as far as you can
  3. Rotate your eyes in clockwise, circular movement – take it slow, make sure you reach all the corners
  4. Rotate your eyes for 1 minute
  5. Repeat the process for 1 minute in an anti-clockwise direction