Henry David Thoreau said that the eye is the jewel of the body. Our anatomy seems to agree. A Yoga Journal article, Insight for Sore Eyes, points out the following:
Vision occupies about 40 percent of the brain’s capacity; that’s why we close our eyes to relax and fall asleep. And four of our 12 cranial nerves are dedicated exclusively to vision; two other nerves are vision-related. Contrast this with the cardiac and digestive functions, which require just one cranial nerve to control both.
Yoga provides a number of eye exercises, some ancient, that help relieve eye strain and improve eye comfort, vision, and our ability to focus. Years ago I learned some of these eye exercises to help release emotional pain and trauma.
Here are a few eye exercises that can relieve eye tension and strengthen the eye muscles:
Do Palming (an ancient Tibetan practice). Warm your hands and cover your closed eyes
Close your eyes to remoisten your eyeballs
Look from side to side and up and down over and over
Roll your eyes slowly clock and counterclockwise with eyes open and then closed
Look at a distance, then closer, then at your extended thumb then out again
Do these exercises when you wake up, several times throughout the day, and before bed.
This week we will integrate these and other eye yoga exercises with our yoga practice.
The eye is the jewel of the body. - Henry David Thoreau
Shut your eyes and see. - James Joyce
Relax. Breathe in deep. Hold it. Let it out. Loosen your shoulders. Smile. Close your eyes. You'll be surprised at how many voices you'll hear, whispering sweet encouragement into your ear. - Mike Dooley
Hope you can make it to Willow Street Yoga from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on this and every Wednesday. You can sign up in advance at https://willowstreetyoga.com/ or at the door.