Eye Care: The Yogic Way
What is Eye care, the Yogic Way?
Yoga is known to inflict numerous benefits on the body as a whole, and yes, on your eyes too! The saying goes that “the face is the index of the mind and the eyes are the windows of the soul.” True as it is, these precious gifts and the most important of all our senses need some special care and attention to maintain their health.
Yoga plays a major role in eye health. An effective eyecare routine replete with asanas, pranayama and meditation ensures that the eyes are relaxed and the muscles around the eyes, which tend to lose their elasticity and strength with age, do not sag. Also, as yoga is one of the foremost exercises for relaxation, it holds all the more importance for the eyes and the brain. The muscles of the eyes need to be considerably relaxed if the eyesight is to be improved. It is also said that vision takes about 40% of the capacity of the brain. So, when the eyes are closed and the mind is calmed down, the brain is automatically relaxed to great extent.
Benefits of Yoga Exercises for Eye Care:
- Helps in improving vision.
- Helps in improving focus.
- Helps in making the eye muscles strong.
- Helps the coordination between the right and the left eye.
- Helps in complete relaxation of the eyes by relieving tension and strain in the muscles of the eyes
Yoga for Eye Care: Some Yoga Exercises for the Eyes
- Sunbathing the eyes
This is an age-old Vedic yoga exercise for the eyes. During sunrise and sunset, look at the sun directly with naked eyes for a short period of time. However, be careful of not looking at the sun when it is in its glaring gaze as it may only harm your eyes.Pinch your eyebrows with the thumb and forefinger. This is a very good exercise for the eyes. Follow the entire eyebrow while pinching the inside of the eyebrows. Do it 3 to 5 times.
It signifies six cleansing techniques (shad-kriya) in yoga. To do this, light a candle and which should be kept at eye level at a six foot distance. Now, be seated comfortably and then gaze at the candle flame for up to 3 minutes. In the process, try not to blink at all. If your eyes begin to water, close them. After closing the eyes, meditate into the after-image of the candle flame internally. Repeat this whole process once. Trataka as an eye care yoga exercise is very helpful in strengthening and relaxing the eye muscles. It also increases your focus and concentration and can act as a prelude to meditation.
- Jala Neti (Nasal Wash)
Jala Neti is a kind of nasal irrigation with water. Fill your "neti pot" with warm water which should be preferably slightly salted. Insert the nose cone in one nostril. Adjust the position of the head and pot such that the water can flow out of the other nostril. Since water will be flowing through your nasal passages, you will have to breathe through your mouth. Jala Neti keeps your eyes free from congestion and strain and helps in improving vision. It should be performed in the morning before pranayama.
Pranayama is a very essential part of eyecare. You should practice nadi shodhan (alternate breathing) pranayama and continue with the five cycles of nadi shodhan in the morning and evening.
- Meditation and Visualization
Relax in vajrasana, padmasana or siddhasana position. After that close your eyes and relax the eyes and the tissues surrounding them. At the same time, let your whole body relax completely. Now, move your concentration on your eyeball and try to feel that your eyes are adjusting themselves to focus all images to coincide on the retina without any external visual aid. Do this meditation exercise for 15-20 minutes twice a day.