We’re all well aware that exercise tones our body, helps improve blood circulation, prevents and relieves joint and muscle pain, and is very good for us overall. So, why is it that we only reserve all that extra attention for the body? Wouldn’t it be only logical to extend our exercise routine to our faces and eyes as well, in order to make our profiles look younger and become healthier as well?
This is exactly the idea behind the practice of eye yoga, which is a series of simple exercises that target the eye area and helps relieve eye strain, tension headaches, and improves the appearance of the eye area by strengthening the muscles surrounding the eyes. Ever since the pandemic hit and we all started relying on screens for both work, entertainment, and communication, many of us have been experiencing quite a lot of eye strain and tension headaches. Therefore, I think we could all benefit from a bit of exercise and relaxation in the eye area right now, especially since it’s so easy to incorporate into our daily routine!
The Benefits of Eye Yoga
Eye yoga has been scientifically proven to relieve eye strain and promote relaxation. In a study involving nursing students, for example, only 8 weeks of daily eye yoga practice reduced stress, fatigue, and tiredness. This is because we actually carry a lot more tension in our temples and around the eyes than you’d think, and by loosening and relaxing that tension, you may actually also feel less stressed and tired.
“It also helps puffiness in the eyes if you didn’t get sleep the night before,” said Koya Webb, a yoga teacher and health coach to the Insider. While there are many reasons why your eyes are puffy, some genetic, exercising your eyes may improve blood circulation and promote lymphatic drainage from the eye area, which may help you with those puffy under-eyes.
Lastly, eye yoga is beneficial for focus and may train your eye muscles to shift focus and identify objects you’re seeing much faster according to research. While it will most likely not make you see better or treat any eye conditions, eye exercises can help regain the sense of control in the eye area.
How to Do Eye Yoga
So, how does eye yoga work? It couldn’t be simpler, and it will only take 2 minutes of your time, no equipment or previous experience is required. Follow these steps:
1. First of all, close your eyes and inhale and exhale deeply a few times, paying attention to your eyes and how they may feel tired and heavy after a long day or just a few hours in front of the screen.
2. Start rubbing your palms against each other for a few seconds to warm them up, and then cover your eyes with your palms for 20-30 seconds, feeling the warmth of the hands and noticing how it starts to melt away the tension.
3. With your eyes still closed, start moving your eyes from left to right, and from the top to bottom, about 5 times in each direction. Then, start doing rolling circular motions with your eyes – this will massage your eye sockets, and you may even feel as if your nose is becoming decongested, as this last exercise is pretty good for lymphatic drainage.
That’s it! You can repeat this exercise as often as you wish, but yoga instructors recommend doing these exercises more often, about once every 30 minutes to an hour when you’re in front of a computer or even reading.