Your eyes are very important. After all, they are what guides you around in the world, to be able to see the people you care about, to read, to avoid danger, without them life is tough. Especially now that nearly everyone is staring at a screen for multiple hours a day, it’s very hard to convince people to take care of their eyes.
But fortunately, the ancient practice of yoga, which offers many benefits including boosting your immunity, reducing migraines, enhancing your sex life, improving your sleep and much more, also provides benefits for your eyes. Claiming to improve eyesight and prevent degeneration, yoga could be the solution for preventing your prescription from getting thicker.
But how many people have vision problems anyways, is this really a problem? It certainly is. Roughly 1.3 million Americans aged 40 and older are legally blind, and 2.9 million aged 40 and older have low vision (defined as vision worse than 20/40). Over 4.2 million Americans aged 40 or older are visually impaired.
The stats get even larger when considering everyday problems that are corrected with glasses. More than 34 million Americans age 40 and older are myopic (nearsighted), and nearly 14.2 million are hyperopic (farsighted). Eyesight problems are so prevalent that there are over 150 million Americans who use corrective eyewear in some form or another.
5 Yoga Exercises For Your Eyes
Try these yoga exercises for your eyes and prevent them from degenerating and maybe even improve your vision.
1. Bhastrika Pranayam
Also known as the bellows breath, it is a refreshing physical and mental experience that enhances blood circulation to the head, improving vision and hearing. To do it simply sit in Padmasana (cross-legged with the feet on opposing thighs) concentrating on the Manipura Chakra (behind navel) fold your right hand in Pranayama Mudra (join thumb with little and ring fingers).
Take your thumb and use it to close your right nostril, then inhale and exhale quickly 20 times through your left nostril. Your stomach should be going in and out like a bellows. Repeat for the other nostril, then take a 30-second break. Repeat the process for about ten minutes.
2. Kapalbhati Pranayama
Not only does this exercise benefit the eyes, but it contributes to a flatter tummy and much more. Sit comfortably in Padmasana, sit against a wall if you choose. Put your hands in yoga mudra and close your eyes. Make a quick inhalation while focusing on your lower abdomen, then powerful and rapid exhalations. Roughly 8 to 10 per inhale-exhale cycle for 1 to 2 seconds.
3. Bahya Pranayam
Sit in Padmasana and inhale deeply, then empty your lungs without forcing it. Hold your breathing and lock your chin with the chest. This is called Jalandhar’s Bandha. Then pull your stomach in as much as possible so that it comes close to your spine. This is called Udhiyana Bandha. Then hold your groin muscles upwards while holding the Bandhas together for about 10 to 15 seconds. When you’re ready, release the Bandhas and take a deep breath.
4. Anuloma – Viloma Pranayama
Also known as the alternate breathing exercise, this is a very easy task. Sit in Padmasana and stretch out your hands, resting your palms on your knees in Yoga Mudra. Lift your right hand in Pranayama Mudra, then using the thumb, close the right nostril, take a deep inhalation with the left nostril, closing the left nostril allow for exhalation through the right nostril. Then inhale through the right nostril and let air through the left nostril. To start with, repeat 10 to 15 times, work your way up to 50 or 70 times.
5. Agnisara Kriya
With your legs apart, stand and take a deep nasal inhalation, and bend your knees slightly. Bend your head slightly downwards and exhale through your mouth. Making sure your back is straight, relax your abdominal muscles and pull your navel up and inwards so that it approaches your spine. Oscillate the stomach muscles back and forth after holding your breath for about 15 seconds. You should do around three rounds for maximum benefits.
One of the leading causes of poor eyesight is a mental strain, so being relaxed is critical. These exercises are meant to relax you and bring the tension in you eye muscles significantly down so that you can focus.