Yoga Eye Health:
for Eye Health
youre wondering what resolution to make for this new year,
then heres a tip: look no further than what youve already
been doing. According to a 2008 study from Yoga Journal, 6.9% of
U.S. adults or 15.8 million people practice yoga,
and that number has nearly doubled in the last five years.
I dont practice yoga! we hear you saying. Our response:
As a member of the Rebuild Your Vision program, youre aware
that regular performance of your eye exercises has myriad health
benefits, right? Well, it might interest you to know that eye exercises
have been an important component of yoga for as long as its
been practiced from around 3,000 B.C., to be exact.
to the website Holistic Online, yoga practitioners attach special
importance to eye exercises, for two reasons:
A lot of eye problems in later life are due to a loss of tone in
the eye muscles. [Eye] exercises tone the eye muscles up and keep
Any eye tension present will tend to produce a general feeling of
tension, due to the eye's connection to the brain via the optic
nerve. The eye exercises will reduce tension in the eye muscles,
as well as reduce general tension.
former Beatle Paul McCartney has gotten in on the fun; last year
he released his own eye yoga video, claiming the exercises have
helped him retain his 20/20 vision. McCartney says, When I
was in India there was a guy at one of the hotels who offered to
teach me eye yoga exercises. He told me eyes are muscles just like
any other, and they need exercise to keep them working properly.
Spending so much time at computers or the TV or reading books, we
are only using one set of muscles in our eyes. The yoga gives a
workout to the other ones. It is really good for your eyes and keeps
them in shape."
there are many eye asanas (as exercises are called in yogic practice),
several well-known asanas are close cousins of exercises you are
already familiar with from the Rebuild Your Vision program. Take
this one, for example, called palming:
on your mat, draw up your knees, keeping your feet on the floor
and slightly apart. Now briskly rub your palms to charge them with
electricity and place the cupped palms over your closed eyes. The
fingers of the right hand should be crossed over the fingers of
the left hand on the forehead. The elbows should rest on your raised
knees and the neck should be kept straight. Don't bend your head.
Do deep breathing while palming your eyes.
word yoga comes from the Sanskrit and means to
join or yoke together, as it brings the body and mind together
into one harmonious experience. Although many people think that
yoga is just stretching, yoga is really about creating balance in
the body, and its benefits go beyond increased flexibility, strength,
blood circulation, muscle tone, and serenity. Aetnas InteliHealth
website notes that:
has been shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, increase
lung capacity, increase the amount of time you can hold your breath,
improve muscle relaxation and body composition, cause weight loss
and increase overall physical endurance. Yoga may affect levels
of brain or blood chemicals, including monoamines, melatonin, dopamine,
stress hormones (cortisol) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Changes
in mental functions such as attention, cognition, processing of
sensory information and visual perception have been described in
some research studies in humans.
so much to be gained, we wont call it cheating
if you resolve to take your Rebuild
Your Vision practice to the next level this year. After all,
whats good enough for 15.8 million people (and Sir Paul McCartney)
is good enough for us.
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