As we age, many of us will start to see some changes in our vision: some will experience dry eyes more often and others might be in need to wear reading glasses. In any case, if you find yourself squinting and rubbing your eyes and need to develop a better eye focus while reducing strain, doing eye yoga regularly might help you.
Although it’s not an exact science, the method, which consists of stretching and gently massaging the eyes and surrounding muscles to release tension and relieve tiredness, has been endorsed by VIPs such as Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Sir Paul McCartney. What’s more, several yoga associations, such as Sivananda, Integral Yoga, and the Himalayan Institute, include them in their repertoires. And it might be something worth considering if you spend your days staring at a computer screen or phone for long periods of time.
When mindfully practised, these simple exercises rest overused muscles, reduce tension in the face and eyes, and help strengthen muscles that help the eyes focus-. explains Marc Grossman, behavioural optometrist and licensed acupuncturist to Yoga International -. By making the eyes more flexible and adaptable, you can keep eye problems from getting worse, and can even improve them.
CrunchyTales has dug around to see what are the best exercises for your eyes that you can do easily from your bed or your sofa.
Ready to give eye yoga a try?
The idea is that by strengthening the muscles around the eyes, the area will look more lifted and awake and eye health will be improved. Here are five exercises you can start doing anywhere, at any time, as part of your eye care routine.
- Stick your left hand out as far as it will go and raise your thumb in a thumbs-up posture.
- Sit up straight with your eyes looking straight ahead. Focus your eyes on your thumb.
- Move your arm slowly to your right as far as you can, with your eyes following your thumb.
- Move your arm back in the other direction, following your thumb as far as your eye will go without moving your neck or chin.
- Repeat this movement several times.
- With your eyes staring straight ahead, rotate your eyes up toward the ceiling
- Roll your eyes to the far right
- Roll your eyes to the floor
- Roll your eyes to the far left
- Roll your eyes back to the ceiling, then move your eyes straight ahead
- Repeat 2-4 times, changing direction each time, and then close your eyes to relax for a few moments.
- Blink 10 times in quick succession
- Close your eyes, concentrate on breathing calmly for 30 seconds
- Repeat 3 – 5 times
- Look straight ahead and hold your left arm outstretched in front of you, with your thumb pointing straight up
- Move your thumb to the far left and back in front of you, following your thumb with your eyes as you do so
- Repeat this exercise on the opposite side, using your right thumb
- Sit in a comfortable position in a dark room
- Rub your palms together quickly until you start to feel the heat between them
- Cup your palms over your eyes, without pressing against the closed eyes
- Concentrate on the warmth and the darkness, this is a good exercise to incorporate in meditation practice
Not convinced, yet? According to John Hovanesian, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “We all age differently and what works for one of us might not work as well for others. With eye yoga, the idea is to try to make the eye do things that are a little bit outside of the range of activities they normally do like with normal yoga.”
Whether you opt for eye yoga or other exercises, it’s always better to keep moving.