The latest trend in eye health: Eye yoga


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If you regularly suffer from blurred vision, headaches, increased sensitivity to bright light, tired eyes or difficulty sustaining attention, eye exercises may help. It is said that just a few minutes of exercises per day can make your eye muscles stronger and your vision can actually improve.

Examples of different types of eye exercises your doctor might prescribe, according to WebMD, include:

  • Changing focus of both eyes from near to far and back to near;
  • Switching as each distance becomes clear;
  • Covering one eye with one hand and looking at different objects continuously instead of staring at just one object;
  • Concentrating the eye on a solitary object; or
  • Having the eye follow a pattern in order to build vision muscles.


Want to try it out? There are apps for that like Eye Trainer, available for Andriod, which includes 12 eye exercises you can do anywhere.

Yoga for the eyes

Yogis have taken the idea of eye exercises one step further. Eye asanas (poses) are believed to help the mind concentrate during a yoga practice and throughout the day. "The fastest way to bring the mind into concentration is through the eyes," said Swami Sitaramananda, director of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center of San Francisco, as quoted in Yoga Journal.

The simplest exercise is “palming” — developed over 100 years ago by Dr. William Horatio Bates: Cover your closed eyes with your hands without any pressure on your eyeballs. The palms of your hands are slightly cupped over each eye (left over left and right over right), and the fingers are partly interlaced on your forehead.

There should be no light, or as little as possible, allowed to enter the eye. Once you are palming, open your eyes and look around to see if you can adjust your hands in such a way as to exclude as much light as possible. Close your eyes. Learn more about palming here.

"The eye desperately needs darkness to recover from the constant stress of light," says Robert Abel, author of The Eye Care Revolution in Yoga Journal. "And the simplest way to break eye stress is to take a deep breath, cover your eyes, and relax."

Check out a sample eye yoga practice by The Art of Living:

Exercise as a preventive measure

Two studies by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that people who exercise regularly were less likely to develop serious eye disease. In one study, people who engaged in moderate physical exercise were 25% less likely to develop glaucoma than people who were largely inactive. Another study showed that people who exercised three times a week were less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than people who didn't exercise.

If you already have an eye disease, you can manage it better with regular exercise. People with glaucoma can lower their intraocular pressure and improve blood flow to the retina and optic nerve with regular, moderate exercise.

Want another way to keep your peepers healthy? Eat these six foods.