Yoga for the eyes is a series of exercises that work to strengthen the eyes. It can also encompass deep-breathing exercises, called pranayama, used during the practice of yoga as well as different types of meditation focused on the eyes. Practitioners believe that yoga for the eyes will improve poor eyesight and reduce age-related vision loss. In fact, there have been claims that yoga for the eyes can reverse blindness in some individuals.
Generally, yoga for the eyes is beneficial for everyone. It is particularly helpful for people who spend a lot of time in front of computer screens or televisions. It may also be helpful for students or individuals who frequently read books, magazines, or other documents with small print. In most cases, it is recommended that people take breaks from these activities every hour or so. These breaks can help relieve tension that may be building up in the eye muscles and might even improve eyesight over time.
Strengthening the eye muscles is one of the primary benefits of yoga for the eyes. Performing certain eye exercises helps the muscles keep their elasticity and the lenses of the eyes to remain flexible. This elasticity and flexibility helps ensure that the eyes will be able to focus as the person ages. In other words, practicing yoga for the eyes may prevent blurry vision.
Some people believe that yoga for the eyes also is a good way to ward off eye diseases. For example, it is believed to reduce the likelihood of cataracts or glaucoma. It is also believed to prevent less severe eye issues, such as watery eyes.
There are several common eye exercises that can be used as part of a yoga regimen. Generally, they should be done in a comfortable seated position, usually cross-legged, with the eyes open, back held straight, and head held high. In one exercise, the eyes search upward as high as possible for a focal spot. Then, the eyes are directed downward, searching for a focal spot as low as possible. This exercise should be repeated several times, blinking between sets.
Another yoga-influenced eye exercise uses a left to right movement of the eye. This time the focal points should be as far to the left and then to the right as possible. This exercise also should be done several times, blinking between sets. Some people also add in exercises wherein they slowly move their eyes, directing their sight in circular, clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
Squeezing the eyes tightly shut is another beneficial eye exercise. This helps to work the eye muscles and relax them. When the eyes are opened again, they should be holding less tension. Likewise, an exercise called palming, which uses cupped hands to block out all light, is thought to relax the eyes and help relieve any tension held in them.
Certain breathing exercises used during yoga may also be beneficial for the eyes. For example, pranayama or deep breathing is a good way to increase blood flow through the body, including the eyes. Also, the meditation practices often used during yoga can be a good way to increase energy to the eyes.