In yoga we learn to focus our eyes with precision, directing our gaze purposefully. Our gaze (called drishti in Sanskrit) can help us direct the energy of a pose, helping us stay mentally clear. The late physician swami Sivananda considered sight the most abused of our five senses. He prescribes a series of eye exercises explaining that the fastest way to bring the mind into concentration is through the eyes. Here are 5 ways to help release tiredness from your eyes, often built up by long hours in front of the computer, watching TV and reading for extended periods of time.
Yoga Exercises for Eyes & Release Some Stress to Have a Clear Sight
Palming: Palming, which was originally invented by Tibetan yogis, is done in darkness with the palms cupping the eyes. The eye desperately needs darkness to recover from the constant stress of light and the simplest way to break eye stress is to take a deep breath, cover your eyes, and relax.
Massage: Rub your hands together to warm them and then rub the fingers up the bridge of the nose and across the eyebrows to the temples. Facial massage helps dissolve tension in the eyes, bringing them to a more relaxed state.
Blinking: Often our tendency is to fall into a kind of myopic stare, especially when under stress. This strains the eyes unnecessarily. Blinking helps keep the eyes moist and tension-free, and increases circulation in the eyes. Begin reprogramming yourself by opening and closing the eyes very softly and gently.
Shifting: The involves using the full range of motion of your eyeballs. Looking up and then down, right and left, diagonals and in a full extended circles both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Remember to keep the eyes relaxed and to breath deeply during these movements, it will soothe the optic nerves.
Focus: Fixing your gaze on one point is called trataka, an eye-cleansing exercise which stimulates your vision. Starring at a candle flame or a dot on the wall is known to decrease mental lethargy and increase intellectual capacities.
Our eyes are mostly overworked it is important to remember than when we slow things down and relax our body can dedicate the time to restoring itself. Our Stretch and Restore programs hopes to achieve that balance, by releasing built up tension around the body and leave us feeling more mentally charged. Ophthalmologist William Bates developed an extensive training program for the eyes. He argued that the eyes must be relaxed in order to see well. Vision occupies about 40 percent of the brain’s capacity; that’s why we close our eyes to relax and fall asleep. Relaxation appears to be the single most important element of overall health.