The Benefits of Yoga for the Eyes
Many age-related vision problems stem from a gradual loss of flexibility and tone within the eye muscles. Which get locked into habitual patterns and lose their ability to focus at different distances. If you have got the nice fortune of wonderful vision, and don’t want to lose it or, you hope to enhance your fuzzy eyesight evidence suggests that yoga may have an answer. Any student of the Sivananda lineage would recognize the core exercises taught by the late recognized ophthalmologist William H. Bates. Bates claimed he could improve the perception with palming, eyeball rotations, and vision shifting through the same Sivananda exercises.
The late physician swami Sivananda considered sight the foremost abused of our five senses. The primary chapter in his treatise, Yoga Asanas, describes an intensive series of eye exercises. Like any yogic practice, the aim of those exercises isn’t just health. Per Swami Sitaramananda, director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center of point of entry. “The fastest thanks to bring the mind into concentration is thru the eyes.”
Though it should seem fanciful, this correlation between eyes and mind contains a profound physiological basis. Vision occupies about 40 percent of the brain’s capacity; that’s why we close our eyes to relax and go to sleep. And 4 of our 12 cranial nerves are dedicated exclusively to vision, while two other nerves are vision-related. Contrast this with the cardiac and digestive functions, which require only one nerve to regulate both.
While insight could also be the last word purpose of eye asanas, vision improvement is additionally a crucial benefit. Surprisingly, it’s not the muscle stretching and contracting that seems to possess the best effect. Relaxation appears to be the only most vital element of eye health. In an experiment applying the relaxant curare to the eyes, patients experienced dramatic eyesight improvement.
How to get Started?
Start with some minutes of relaxation in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Then he asks students to sit down in an exceedingly comfortable posture, like Sukhasana (Easy Pose), as he guides them through Sivananda’s basic eye asanas. “These exercises set the correct tone for asana practice,” explains Srinivasan. “Our organs of sight are so sensitive and influential that the traditional, competitive approach we rouse exercise is softened through working with the eyes.”
The first exercise begins with the eyelids open, the top and neck still, and also the entire body relaxed. Picture a face ahead of you, and lift your eyeballs up to 12 o’clock. Hold them there for a second, then lower the eyeballs to 6 o’clock. Hold them there again. Continue moving the eyeballs up and down 10 times, without blinking if possible. Your gaze should be steady and relaxed. Once you finish these 10 movements, rub your palms together to come up with heat and gently cup them over your eyes, without pressing. Allow the eyes to relax in complete darkness. Think about your breathing, feel the nice and cozy prana emanating from your palms, and revel in the momentary stillness.
Follow this exercise with horizontal eye movements from nine o’clock to a five o’clock ending again by “palming” (cupping your hands over your eyes). Then do diagonal movements two o’clock to seven o’clock, and 11 o’clock to four o’clock again followed by palming. Conclude the routine with 10 full circles in each direction, as if you’re tracing the clock’s rim.
These eyeball movements provide balance for folks that work up close. Like students who spend lots of their time reading or performing at computers. In line with Robert Abel, author of the attention Care Revolution. These brief exercises “compensate for overdevelopment of the muscles we use to seem at near objects.”
You might be surprised to be told that the palming a part of this exercise provides over a pleasing respite. Per Abel, our photoreceptors break down and are reconstructed every minute. “The eye desperately needs darkness to endure the constant stress of sunshine,” he says. “And the only thanks to break eye stress is to require a deep breath, cover your eyes, and relax.”
Along with palming, yoga generally benefits the eyes by relieving tension. While the effect of yoga on the eyes has not been scientifically measured, studies have shown that a straightforward exercise like walking can lower pressure within the eyeball by 20 percent.
“These asanas bring circulation to the face, neck, and shoulders. Which require to be energized and relaxed for improved vision,” Bhat explains. So whether or not you have got not been doing asanas specifically for your eyes, your overall yoga practice helps your vision.
Intermediate Yoga for the Eyes: ‘Shifting Focus’ & the Training the sense organ
Once students have mastered the essential eyeball exercise, Srinivasan introduces an intermediate series of eye exercises which he calls “shifting focus. ”While sitting relaxed and still, pick a degree within the distance and specialise in it. Extend your arm and put your thumb right underneath the purpose of concentration. Now begin shifting your focus between the tip of your thumb and therefore the faraway point, alternating rhythmically between near and visual sense. Repeat the exercise 10 times, then relax your eyes with palming and deep breathing. As you practice this exercise, you’re training an organ called the tissue layer, which adjusts the lens of the attention. Habitual focus patterns degrade the ciliary body’s natural flexibility. Shifting focal points counteracts this stiffness by exercising the organ through its full range, very much like we work complementary muscle groups in asana practie.
The final eye asana taught within the Sivananda series stresses close-range focus. As within the shifting focus exercise, view your thumb together with your arm extended. this point move the thumb slowly toward the tip of your nose. Pause there for one second. Then reverse the sequence, following the thumb together with your eyes as you extend your arm again. As before, repeat the sequence 10 times, then relax with palming.
By training the eyes to target the ajna chakra (the “third eye,” located between and just above the eyebrows) a yogi trains his mind to show inward. On a more prosaic level, close-range focus exercises can forestall the requirement for reading glasses.
Yoga for the Eyes: An Eye-Cleansing Trataka Practice
Perhaps you’ve seen an image of a yogi observing a light. If so, you’ve seen trataka, an eye-cleansing exercise described within the Upanishads and mentioned in other yogic texts, including the yoga Pradipika. Trataka may be found within the texts of Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), where it’s recommended to stimulate the alochaka pitta, the energy center associated with sight. But as always with yoga, there’s a connection between physiology and therefore the more subtle aspects of spiritual practice. In step with Dr. Marc Halpern, founder and director of the California College of Ayurveda. The practice of trataka decreases mental lethargy and increases buddhi (intellect).
Although traditionally performed with a candle, trataka can use almost any external point of focus, sort of a dot on the wall. Concentrate your gaze on one object, without blinking, until your eyes begin to tear. Then close your eyes and take a look at to keep up a vivid image of that object for as long as possible. when you practice trataka, extend the time you maintain the after-image.
This exercise, traditionally believed to get rid of any disease from the eyes and to induce clairvoyance, also develops the skill of internal visualization. Yogis develop this skill to stay their minds fixed in meditation on a sacred image—and, by extension, on the divine experience related to that image. The intricate spiritual mandalas you will have see in Indian and Tibetan holy books are designed for this purpose. Highly skilled meditators can visualize even the foremost minute details of those elaborate cosmic representations. By perfectly aligning inner and outer focus, these yogis seek a realization like that of theologiser, a thirteenth-century Christian mystic who once declared, “The eye with which I see God is that the same eye with which God sees me.”
Conclusion: With benefits starting from better vision to increased concentration and spiritual insight, these eye asanas will enhance your yoga practice. together with a healthy diet and regular exercise, they’ll help protect your vision from the stresses of sunshine, tension, and environmental toxins. So as you get older, and hopefully wiser, you’ll direct a soft, insightful looked at the globe, learning to determine self and other collectively.
Also Read: Vegan Foods That Keeps Your Eyes Healthy.