We’ve just got our heads around yoga for our faces, even for our dogs (DOGA anyone?) but our eyeballs? Eye Yoga is a key fitness trend for 2021 and just what our Zoom-fatigued faces are in need of. Gymbox has even got a class dedicated to it. But first, what is eye yoga exactly and why should we be doing it?
What is Eye Yoga?
Eye yoga is the movement and release of tension of the small muscles that surround your eyes. Chatty Dobson, a yoga teacher and owner of Flex Chelsea fitness studio, says ‘our eyes are always on the go, though we never stretch out the muscles that do all the work as we would our quads after a squats or hamstrings after a run’. A recent article in Sunday Times about the eight (slightly bonkers) wellness trends to try in 2021, names eye yoga as the ticket for Zoom-fatigued faces.
Triyoga says ‘more information comes in through our eyes than any other sense organ. It is said that approximately 60% of the information that is taken in while listening to someone, comes from what we see. Through observation, the eyes take in most of the knowledge from the senses.’
Eye Yoga is an important practice for eye health, the Eye Care Institute stated that ‘about 70% of adults suffer from eye strain at one time or another. In most cases, the cause of the digital eye strain is the lit screens of our computers, as many people have jobs that require staring at the screen for many hours a day.’
How to practice it
Eye Yoga mainly includes these 5 exercises, they don’t take long and are a great mindfulness and tension release exercise to do in the morning, evening or between Zoom calls.
Rub your hands together for 10-15 seconds until they feel warm. Then gently place your hands over your eyes. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax. Envision the eyes absorbing the darkness like a sponge, while also welcoming healing warmth and energy from the hands. Invite the eyes to grow soft and spacious, and enjoy this break from visual stimulation. Continue this palming action as long as it feels soothing—for just a few seconds or up to five minutes. When you are ready to emerge, gently remove the hands from the face and slowly open the eyes.
Sit upright, soften your gaze, without moving your head, direct your gaze up toward the ceiling. Then slowly circle your eyes in a clockwise direction, tracing a large circle. Softly focus on the objects in your periphery as you do this and invite the movement to feel smooth and soft. Repeat three times, then close the eyes and relax. When you’re ready, perform the same eye-rolling movement three times in a counterclockwise direction.
Focus on a distant object for a few seconds, then move your focus to an object nearer to you, then an object ever closer. Then reverse this and follow your focus back to the distant object and repeat for 2 minutes.
Figure of 8:
Stick your thumb out and draw a figure of 8 in the air, with your eyes following the top of your thumb. After 30 seconds switch direction.
Look to your right then slowly roll your eyes up, then down to the left then down towards the floor. Change direction after each circle is completed.
This is a great article and video to show these 5 easy Eye Yoga exercises.
Yoga techniques help to alleviate various disorders related to defects in the eye muscles such as myopia and hypermetropia. Practicing these exercises regularly can go a long way in facilitating the normal functioning and relaxation of our eyes.
Eye Yoga at Gymbox
Gymbox has even dedicated a class to ‘Eye yoga’. The exclusive digital class on Out the Box, Gymbox’s digital platform, is available to all members. This class is designed to help gym goers who may be suffering from zoom or digital fatigue focus their eyes, relieve eye strain, increase concentration, and encourage a sense of calm in both their mind and body. Using specially designed head and neck movements combined with massage, candle gazing and isolated eye movements, this class is everything the avid screen user needs in their life!
Liked this article on eye yoga? If you’re struggling with desk fatigue check out our article on 5 ways Pilates can help fix a desk side slouch and why sitting all day is worse than smoking and what you can do about it.
Main image – Shuttershock
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