According to Ayurveda, our eyes are the seat of the PITTA dosha and they reveal much our overall health and wellbeing. Yet most of us do not pay attention to our eyes until an issue arises. When was the last time you focused on your eyes? Taking time to not only appreciate the gifts that they provide but also to relax them? In our modern world, our eyes are stressed, overstimulated and strained. We stare at computer screens for hours on end, we are bombarded by images and stimulus everywhere we go, and we rarely take time to breathe and truly relax. Even those who practice yoga and meditation often ignore the importance of focusing on releasing the tension from our overworked eyes.
As a child, I had a fear of losing my clear vision. I did not want to have to wear glasses. Growing up in India, I was fortunate to be immersed in the ways of Ayurveda and was shown a series of exercises to preserve my eye health. I have practiced these exercises since I was a child and have retained my clear vision.
Why do Eye Yoga?
People who practice eye yoga are often hoping to improve their vision, treat symptoms of dry eye, and decrease eyestrain. For centuries, eye exercises have been promoted as a “natural” solution to many age-related vision problems. Our eyes like other muscles in our body need to be strong yet flexible, lack of variation in movement and stretching leads to a gradual loss of flexibility and tone as we age. Our eyes get locked into habitual patterns and thus their ability to focus.
Eye exercises work in a similar way to other exercises we do for our body. They help to strengthen, tone, and relax the musculature of the eyes and thus promote strength, flexibility, and resilience, reducing eye strain and associated tension. These eye exercises, when practiced regularly, also have the potential to correct conditions like blurred vision, nearsightedness, or farsightedness.
Improve (or retain) your vision with “Eye Yoga”
Whether you have the good fortune of excellent vision, and do not want to lose it, or you have poor vision and want to improve it, these exercises are for you!
Evidence suggests that simple eye yoga exercises such the ones an Ayurvedic Doctor gave to me as a child, support eye health and improved vision.
Here are those exercises
2.Eyeball Clockwise and Anticlockwise slowly and gently, slowing down is the key 30 sec
3.Vision shifting from far goal to near goal. 30 sec
4.View Diagonally 30 sec
5.Flickering your Butterfly 30 sec
6.Widened eye- open yours eyes as wide as you can open then close. Repeat 3 times time 30 sec
Watch the video below as Neeta demonstrates each eye exercise
The eye is considered as one of the most vital organs of the body because as about 80% of the knowledge we gain is through our eyes. If exposed to heat, sun, pollution may lead to weaker eyesight, conjunctivitis, pre-mature macular degeneration and vision problems.
Apart from doing the exercises, it is important to include some basic lifestyle and habit adjustments to get full results.
Relaxation appears to be the single most important element of eye health.
1. Ghee: In Ayurveda it is recommended to experiment with applying the Ghee in the eyes (only one drop each eye). Ghee works to lubricate, relax and “cool” the eyes to reduce fatigue and strain. To learn more about how to use Ghee - Ask Neeta our Ayurveda coach how to practice this technique at home.
2. Wash your eyes: In Ayurveda it is recommended to wash the eyes with Triphala water. You can use a dropper or an eye cup; make sure the water is neither too hot nor too cold.
Cotton Ball Compress: You can also use a cotton ball soaked with Triphala water in addition to your eye wash. Soak cotton ball in liquid then place over closed eyes and relax for 15-20 minutes. This will not only improve vision but also help to get rid of dark circles and provide deep relaxation to the eyes.
Cotton ball compresses with Fresh goats milk or rose water are also wonderful options to soothe tired eyes.
What ever liquid you use make sure your ingredients are fresh, organic and chemical free.
Recommended use: Wash eyes with Triphala water a couple times per week.
(Triphala Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic supplement made from from 3 fruits - Amla, Haritaki and Bibhitika.
To make Triphala water
Add ½ tsp of Triphala powder to a cup. Boil water and fill cup to halfway mark.
Stir well. Then allow to completely cool. (it is recommended to do start this in the evening and allow to sit overnight so that all the sediment settles to bottom of cup)
Use a filter and strain water – try not to disturb the sediment and only strain water. You want to make sure that water is clear and free from small particles.
In addition to Triphala water fresh goats mil.A good way to soothe tired eyes is to place cotton soaked in fresh goat’s milk over them. You can also use Rose water as well make sure there is no chemicals in that.
3. Wash your eyes daily: wash eyes with splash of cold water every day as it eliminates tiredness from the eyes.
4. Massage your feet: Massage your feet (daily if possible) with focus on the reflex points connected to your eyes. These points are located on bottom of both feet, on the padded area just below the 2nd and 3rd toes. For added benefit use Neeta naturals Canna Beauty Relief this purpose. Massage on sole and toes and all over feet every night before you go to bed. It also promotes deep relaxation and improved sleep.
Dietary recommendations for eye health
Triphala powder, drink it with hot water.
Amla: Amla has one of the most important antioxidants vitamin C to help strengthens your eyesight. Amla Candy: Yes candy, even though candy does not sound healthy, adding Amla candy to your daily routine can help you to access its full benefits of tart without getting citrus allergies. In Ayurveda, Amla is popular herb for the eyes. Citrus fruits are also good.
Spinach: is one green leafy vegetable that is known to replenish the body with antioxidants and essential nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C along with iron and calcium.
Carrots: come packed with beta-carotene that gets converted into vitamin A, a nutrient that is good for eye health.
Almonds: Almonds contain Vitamin E that helps with the eye vision.