What Is Yoga for the EyesWritten by surabhi
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Our eyes are under constant strain in the modern life that we lead today; and prolonged eye strain can lead to eye and vision problems. Very few of us work on the muscles around the eyes. As we age, these muscles loose their elasticity and tone and become stiff. This can lead to eye sight problems, headaches, pain near the eyes and many such ailments. Eyes, when under stress, can affect brain also.
Like other parts of our body, our eyes also need proper care and attention. Relaxing eyes can bring calmness and peace to our mind too. yoga practices, which includes asanas, pranayama and meditation, can help strengthen the eye muscles. There are few simple yogic eye exercises which can restore good eye health.
Shavasana (corpse pose), Surya namaskara (sun salutation), bhujangasana (cobra pose) are few poses which are beneficial for eyes. There are other exercises like palming, candle flame visualization, specific to eyes only, which should be performed after the asanas (Poses).
‘Tratak Kriya’ or Fixed Gazing is a kind of meditation, where one has to concentrate on a point. It could be a picture of deity, ‘Om’ symbol, candle flame or any object. The object is placed in front at a comfortable eye level. The gaze should be fixed at the object and blinking of eyes should be avoided. By fixing the gaze at a single point, one is able to banish all thoughts and distractions for some time. Undoubtedly, this exercise is helpful for eyes; but it also enhances concentration, memory. Throughout the procedure, the breathing should be deep.
Agochari Mudra is the art of focusing the gaze on the tip of the nose continuously without once blinking. The exercise should be done without straining the eyes too much. The ideal time to practice this exercise is in the morning or at night, as it brings about calmness to the mind.
Similarly, there is Sambhavi Mudra which involves focusing the gaze on the third eye, which is the area between two eyebrows. It might seem difficult to focus on that point initially but with time it becomes easier. Once the exercise is finished, eyes can be closed for relaxation. This ‘mudra’ or gesture strengthens the muscles of the eyes and release stress, tension and improves concentration.
Palming is another very useful technique which should be done after asanas and exercises. It is a way to give rest to the eyes by blocking all light and other stimulants. The palms of the hands are rubbed together vigorously and then placed on the closed eyes without applying any pressure on the eyeballs.
Apart from these, simple and proven techniques like rolling your eyeballs, moving them rapidly in diagonal, horizontal and vertical positions improves eye muscle tone and correct vision problems.