Fitness

Go easy on your eyes

Candle gazing soothes the mind REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar   | Photo Credit: NAVESH CHITRAKAR

My morning yoga practice helps me through the day – I feel energised, my eyes are relaxed from all the strain; my shoulders, which are often tight from tapping away at my computer, are totally relaxed. I feel wonderful and ready to face anything – for some time at least. On a rough day, all it takes is a few meetings, a couple of hours working on a presentation and I am back to feeling tense around my eyes, my shoulders and in my head.

So, I try to incorporate some simple yoga techniques into my daily liEfe so that I can re-capture that energetic feeling, that post-yoga high once again. I would like to share some of these techniques with you.

Let’s start with the eyes. We spend the whole day staring at screens; if it’s not our laptops, then it is our mobile phones. Releasing tension from the eyes can go a long way in controlling headaches, and in reviving energy in the body.

Be kind to your eyes – practise a simple eye technique referred to as ‘Trataka’ or candle gazing. Of course, it might not be possible to use a candle in the office, but similar benefits can be obtained from gazing at a glowing object, a beautiful image or a picture of a deity.

Method:

Place a candle in front of you. If you are seated on the floor, then it can be placed on the floor. If you are in the office, then place it on your desk.

Close your eyes for a few seconds. Try to relax all the muscles around your eyes.

Gently open your eyes with a few blinks and look at the floor. Do not look at the flame directly.

Slowly shift your vision towards the candle. Start somewhere on the desk/floor and then move your gaze to the base of the candle. Slowly, shift your look to the flame of the candle.

Now, start gazing at the whole flame without any effort. Do not blink.

There may be some irritating or burning sensation in the eyes, but use your will power and gaze in a relaxed way.

If tears appear, allow them to flow freely. This is a sign of good practice. Let the tears wash out the impurities from the eyes.

Learn to ignore the irritation and watering of the eyes.

Gaze at the flame for approximately 30 seconds.

Slowly close your eyes until the tears stop.

With your eyes closed, rub your palms against one another. Rub them vigorously, until you feel heat between your palms. Cup your hands over your eyes. This means that the hands don’t actually touch the eyes, but only the sides of the eyes, and the heat from the hands is transmitted to the eyes.

After completing five rounds, gently put your hands down.

Feel the cool sensation around the eyeballs.

Relax for a while. Do not open your eyes immediately.

Pointers to perfect the practice

The darker the room, the better.

Remove all rings from your fingers.

It doesn’t matter if you sit on the floor or in a chair, as long as the head, neck and spine are erect.

Always open your eyes with a few blinks.

During palming, don’t let the palms touch or press the eyeballs.

Breathe slowly and deeply, with awareness during palming.

The facial muscles, eyebrows and eyelids should remain totally relaxed.

Make sure the flame of the candle is as steady as possible.

Physical benefits

This practice will help to relax and strengthen the muscles around the eyes by relieving nervous tension.

The tears that are shed will clean the dirt and impurities from the eyes leaving them clear, bright and radiant.

It also cleanses the tear glands and purifies the optical system.

As strain from the eyes is released, you will find that a lot of anxiety and tension will be released from the mind.

It helps those suffering from insomnia.

The practice is a form of meditation, and if practised continuously, will help increase concentration and memory.

Avoid the practice if you have a headache or migraine. Those suffering from epileptic fits should also avoid the practice.


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Printable version | Oct 12, 2021 8:39:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/go-easy-on-your-eyes/article7188477.ece

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