Preventing signs of aging goes well beyond your face. From supplements and tools for your whole body to embracing your inner child through the power of play to stimulate your mind and soul, we’re all for gracefully aging from the inside out. Today we’re adding to the list with eye yoga, a new anti-aging ritual gaining buzz in the wellness space.
To explain the benefits of practicing eye yoga for better vision, we tapped optometrist and founder of Ocushield, Dr. Dhruvin Patel, to share his expert eye insight. Ahead he shares how these daily rotations can help prevent declining vision. Read on to learn his 21-day eye yoga challenge.
“Eye yoga can strengthen eye muscles, which can limit the effects of aging eyes and help preserve sharper vision with just five to ten minutes of daily practice. All you need to do is two eye exercises during each session. The School of Ophthalmology and Optometry at Wenzhou Medical University in China conducted research following students across three years. They found that those who did eye yoga twice a day had fewer changes in their vision and a reduced need for stronger glasses.
The Department of Optometry at Sankara Eye Hospital in India also ran a study showing that yoga ocular exercises can help reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Typical eye yoga exercises involve palming, sideways viewing, diagonal viewing, rotational viewing, preliminary nose tip gazing, near and distant viewing, concentrated gazing, and even acupressure points on the palm. I have described two of my recommended exercises below.
First exercise: Palming
This exercise is done without any glasses or contact lenses. Palming helps to reduce stress around the eyes.
When you place your palms around your eyes, you are stimulating very powerful acupuncture points that help to calm the mind, relax the muscles surrounding the eyes, and bring increased circulation of blood flow to the eyes. With palming, you are giving your eyes a break from the constant effort of seeing, and you can just focus on relaxing your mind and eyes simultaneously. Even though we recommend that you do this for only three minutes, palming can be done for as little or as much as you like throughout the day as a way to relax your eyes and relieve the tensions of daily life.
How to: Place the palm of your left hand over your left eye with your fingers on your forehead, and the hollow of your palm directly over the eye, but not touching it. Be sure there is enough room to blink. The heel of your hand rests on the cheekbones. Do the same for your right hand.
Second exercise: Figure eights
This exercise increases the flexibility and strength of all seven ocular muscles around the eyes.
How to: You can either stand or sit with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. Do not cross your hands. If you’re standing, let your knees bend slightly. Imagine a horizontal figure eight (the shape of an infinity symbol) approximately 10 feet in front of you. Allow your eyes to trace along the figure eight without moving your head. First trace in one direction, then in the opposite direction. Always remember to continue to breathe and blink as your eyes move effortlessly along the figure eight. Be aware of any tension you might be holding in your jaw and let it release.
There are plenty more types of eye yoga you can do, but I suggest sticking to the above two, and you should be on your way to healthier eye strength. If you can do the above exercises 21 days in a row, you’ll be ready for more. Speak to your optometrist for a full lowdown on further eye exercises that can be done if interested.”