There was a time when even people over the age of 70 years were able to read books without spectacles. But these days even children as young as two years are wearing glasses. Numerous contributing factors affect our eyesight. Spending long hours in front of computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and television have severe adverse impacts on our vision. Practicing specific gentle yoga Asanas and Pranayama could help in restoring and even enhancing our eyesight.
But before we look into the Yoga for eyesight routine, let us know the yogic view of our eyes.
Eyes and Yoga
According to Yoga philosophies, we have eleven senses or doors. While five of them act as the input points, the other five are the output points. The five entry points are known as the Jnanendriyas. These are our five sense organs – Eyes, ears, tongue, nose, and skin. The exit doors are the Karmendriyas – the actions – excretion, reproduction, locomotion, apprehension, and the speech. The eleventh one is our mind, which is always in a state of motion.
Balancing the other 10 Indriyas, or senses, is essential to bring your mind to stillness. Our mind believes, undoubtedly, whatever we see. And, hence, maintaining a clear vision is vital to keep our mind calm and relaxed.
That could perhaps be the reason why traditional yoga teachers emphasize on beginning a yoga session with below-mentioned eye exercises.
Yoga to Improve Eyesight
1. Eye Rolls - Up And Down
Moving the eyes up and down in a continuous manner, for a fixed time, could offer relief from vision disorders.
Sit down in a comfortable posture, maintaining an erect spine. Let your palms rest on your thighs. Roll your eyeball up and down continuously for ten times, without moving your head. Close your eyes for 15 seconds. Repeat the practice three to five times, pausing for fifteen seconds between the rounds. Roll the eyeballs slowly as it could otherwise cause mild dizziness.
2. Eye Rolls- Sideways
Moving the eyeballs sideways could strengthen the ophthalmic muscles, thereby positively impacting long sight and short sight.
Sit down in a comfortable posture, maintaining an erect spine. Let your palms rest on your thighs. Roll your eyeball from sideways [right to left and left to right] continuously ten times, without moving your head. Close your eyes for 15 seconds. Repeat the practice three to five times, pausing for fifteen seconds between the practice. Roll the eyeballs slowly as it could otherwise cause mild dizziness.
3. Eye Rotations
Moving the eyeballs clockwise and anti-clockwise could relax the muscles of the eye. It could also have a positive effect on the cornea, thus proving beneficial for those with cylindrical powers. It is also a good eye yoga exercise if you are spending long hours in front of the computer.
Sit down in a comfortable posture, maintaining an erect spine. Let your palms rest on your thighs. Roll your eyeball clockwise, slowly and gently, without shaking your head and neck ten times. Repeat the movement anticlockwise ten times in the same way. Repeat the practice three to five rounds, pausing for fifteen seconds between the practice.
You could also use a thumb to guide your eyeballs for the practice if you are new to it.
The gentle warmth that palming generates could enhance the blood circulation in the muscles in and around the eyes. The better the flow is, the more powerful the vision will be.
Choose a dimly lit or preferably, dark room for this exercise. Sit down in a comfortable posture, lengthening your spine to keep it erect. Close your eyes. Relax your shoulders, sending messages to your mind that you are doing a relaxing exercise. Now rub your palms to generate warmth. Place your palms gently over your eyes and allow the heat to envelop your eyes. Feel it and relax into it.
5. Trataka Meditation
Trataka Kriya is a Sanskrit word that means to look or to gaze. The practitioner stares continuously at an object kept at eye level for a fixed time. This continuous gazing enhances the power, focus, and concentration. Regular practice of this meditation could help to lower myopic vision as well.
Place a light candle at about feet away from you at your eye level. Sit down comfortably, keeping your spine erect. Relax your shoulders. Take a couple of deep breaths, in and out through your nose, to prepare yourself for the Kriya. Gaze at the flame without blinking for the next 10 minutes. Keep breathing throughout the practice. 10 minutes is an excellent time for beginners. You can practice it as long as you wish. Ensure that you are not straining your eyes. Once you complete the practice, close your eyes and rest in Savasana.
Pranayama for Eye Sight
Anulom Vilom, Kapalbhati, and Brahmari Pranayama could help in improving your vision. While Anulom Vilom balances the nerves, Kapalbhati cleanses and purifies. Brahmari is the humming bee breath that activates all the nerves, thereby empowering the sight in a better way. We’ll be talking about Brahmari Pranayama today.
Brahmari Pranayama - Bee Breathing Technique
Choose to sit down in a Yoga posture where you can remain still for the next 10 minutes. Maintain a long, erect spine to allow uninhibited energy flow. Rest the tops of your palms on your knees. Join the tips of your index and thumb. Stretch out rest of the fingers. Close your eyes. Take five to seven rounds of natural breaths to prepare your body and mind for the practice.
Now close the flap of your ears with index fingers. Focus on the space between the eyebrows. Inhale slowly through your nose. As you exhale, make a controlled and continuous humming. Keep it even and flowing. Adjust the pitching so that you can feel the hum in your skull. Allow the hum to fade away in a slow, flowing way as you complete your exhalation.
This complete one round of Brahmari Pranayama. Practice it for the next ten minutes.
Prana Mudra for Eyes
Prana Mudra is the Gesture of Life. Ancient texts suggest that regular practice of this Mudra has a positive impact on the flow of Chi, the life force. The Mudra offers numerous health benefits, including better vision.
Sit down in a comfortable seated posture, maintaining an erect spine to allow free flow of energy. Rest the tops of your palms on your knees. Fold the ring and little fingers toward the center of the palm. Bend the thumb as well. Join the tips of these three fingers and stretch out rest of the fingers. Close your eyes and meditate for the next 15 to 45 minutes.
It is ideal to practice the Mudra on empty stomach. You can either practice it for 45 minutes continuously or thrice a day, 15 minutes each.
Along with the exercise, a healthy balanced food is also essential to maintain and improve the quality of your vision. Remember, practice makes you perfect. So keep practicing to see the differences.