Yoga For The Eyes

 

Yoga for the eyes is a meditation made up of eight eye exercises. The routine is an easy one to memorize and practice any time, any place. I think of it as a mix between asana and meditation because the world easily falls away when you are focused on the slow controlled movements of arms and eyes paired with deep belly breathing.  This video is meant as a general guide, not a session in real time. Usually this practice takes me a half hour with a little stoppage time for dance breaks. Read on for step-by-step instructions.

You may sit however you like for this meditation. Staff pose (legs out straight) takes the most effort and is recommended, but comfort is found in cross-legged and seated lightening bolt. If you have any trouble sitting for long periods on the floor, sit on the edge of your bed, on a chair or even a park bench. If you suffer from any major eye disease such as glaucoma, trachoma, cataracts, retinal detachment or any of the like, please consult an eye specialist before attempting these exercises.

Start by finding your center, a place of calm. Take a few breathes and begin with the first exercise, palming. Palming is your home base in this meditation. You can practice palming between each exercise and really whenever you or your eyes need a break. Cycle through each exercise with slow precision. Focus equally on your breath, posture, and vision throughout the meditation.

 

  1. NOSETIP GAZING x TEN
    • hold arm out straight, thumb up, directly in front of nose
    • focus eyes on the tip of the thumb
    • slowly bend your arm and bring your thumb to your nose while focusing your eyes on the thumb
    • focus on the thumb at the nose tip for several seconds
    • exhale and straighten your arm while focusing on the thumb
    • repeat ten times
  2. UP & DOWN VIEWING x TEN + SWITCH ARMS
    • place both fists on knees with thumbs up
    • slowly inhale and raise left thumb while following the movement with your eyes
    • exhale while slowly lowering your left thumb and following the movement
    • repeat ten times + switch arms
  3. SIDEWAYS VIEWING x TEN
    • make loose fists with your thumbs up
    • raise straight arms up to shoulder level
    • move your fists so thumbs are in peripheral vision while looking straight ahead
    • without moving the head, exhale and look at your left thumb
    • inhale and focus on the space between your eyebrows
    • exhale and look at your right thumb
    • repeat cycle ten times
  4. PALMING x THREE
    • rub the palms of your hands together
    • place your palms gently over your eyelids without applying pressure
    • keeping the eyes closed, lower your hands and rub palms once more
    • repeat three times & in between each exercise if desired
  5. BLINKING x FIVE
    • look straight ahead
    • blink the eyes ten times rapidly
    • close the eyes and take three deep belly breathes
    • repeat five times
  6. FRONT & SIDEWAYS VIEWING x TEN + SWITCH HANDS
    • place left fist on knee and keep right thumb at shoulder height in peripheral vision
    • exhale and while looking forward at left thumb
    • inhale and look to the side at right thumb
    • exhale and look forward at left thumb
    • repeat cycle ten times + switch arms
  7. ROTATIONAL VIEWING x TEN + SWITCH DIRECTIONS + SWITCH ARMS
    • with arm straight and thumb up, trace a clockwise circle
    • follow your thumb with your eyes
    • inhale while drawing the upper arc
    • exhale while drawing the lower arc
    • repeat ten times clockwise + counterclockwise
    • switch arms and complete ten clockwise + ten counterclockwise circles
  8. NOSETIP & HORIZON x TEN
    • focus eyes on the nosetip for five seconds
    • focus on the horizon or a distant object for five seconds
    • repeat ten times
    • close the eyes and relax
    • three rounds of palming

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Benefits

Barring disease, many eye disorders are related to functional defects in the ocular muscles exacerbated by chronic emotional and mental tension. The eight exercises above aim to alleviate such disorders by reducing the rate of malfunction among eye muscles. Along with overall muscle improvement, each exercise has specific benefits.

  • Palming – relaxes and rejuvenates eye muscles while stimulating the circulation of aqueous humour, the liquid that runs between the cornea and the lens of the eye.
  • Blinking – induces relaxation of the eye muscles, by encouraging prolonged spontaneous blinking instead of stressed irregular and unnatural blinking.
  • Sideways Viewing – relaxes the tension of muscles strained by constant viewing of cellphones, computers and paperwork. Sideways viewing also aims to correct squinting.
  • Front + Sideways Viewing – improves coordination of both the medial and lateral muscles in the eyeball.
  • Up + Down Viewing – balances the upper and lower eyeball muscles.
  • Rotational Viewing – improves the coordinated activities of all the eye muscles as a unit.
  • Nosetip Viewing – improves the accommodating focusing power of the eye muscles.
  • Nosetip + Horizon Viewing – also improves the accommodating focusing power of the eye muscles as well as further increasing the range of movement of the eye.

 

 

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