"The fastest way to bring the mind into concentration is through the eyes"
It is said that “the face is the index of the mind and the eyes are the windows of the soul.” On a tangible level, eyes are our only windows to the world.
Human eyes need care and attention. As years go by, the muscles around the eyes lose their tone. Eyesight becomes weak after the muscles around the eyes lose their elasticity and become rigid,
thereby reducing the power to focus different distances. In addition, tension around the eyes affects the brain causing stress and anxiety.
Eyesight is dramatically improved when the muscles of the eyes are relaxed. There is a deep correlation between the eyes and the mind. It is said that vision occupies 40 percent of the brain's capacity. Therefore, when we close our eyes, relaxation is induced in the brain. Eye health corresponds to the level of relaxation it experiences.
Eye on yoga
Yoga plays a significant role in promoting eye health. A yoga routine replete with asanas, pranayama and meditation helps in achieving peace and tranquility. Yogic eye exercises strengthen the muscles of the eyes and thus help in curing many ailments of the eyes. Certain eye exercises are known to completely rectify eye problems. With yoga, people begin treating their eyes with care, which reflects in good eye health.
The renowned late William H. Bates, an ophthalmologist, claimed that vision could be improved with eye exercises like palming, eyeball rotations and gaze shifting. So, eye exercises are important to any individual and should be incorporated into the regular yoga routine. These exercises can be performed after the asanas.
Asana for the eyes
Shavasana or the corpse pose
Before beginning the eye exercises, it is important to assume the corpse pose to relax all the body parts.
1. To do this pose, one should lie motionless on the floor and close the eyes.
2. All the body parts from the toes to the head should be in a relaxed state.
3. In this relaxed posture, total calmness, and peace is felt when the whole body and mind have taken complete rest. Exercises for the eyes
- Sit erect with hands on your knees.
- Lift your eyes and find a point, which you can see without any strain.
- Then shift your gaze down to the floor and find a point where you can focus effortlessly. This shifting of gaze at a particular point, up and down is an excellent exercise for the eyes.
- Breathing should be even and regular.
The body must be relaxed and the head should not move when the eye exercises are performed. Except for the eyes, all parts of the body should be in a relaxed position.
This exercise is very good for the eyes and produces a calming effect on the nervous system. Palming is very useful to break the stress of the eyes because eyes need darkness to recover from the stress of light. So, when we cover the eyes and breathe deeply, we experience release from tension in the eye muscles. The nerves are enriched with blood supply.
1. Rub your palms till they are charged with heat and gently place the palms over the eyes.
2. While cupping the palm over the eyes, take care not to apply direct pressure on the eyes. The eyes should relax in the darkness and stillness.
The warm prana current flowing from the palms relieves the tension and strain around the eye muscles.
Horizontal eye movements
1. Move the eyes from left to right and again right to left and relax the eyes by cupping your hands over the eyes.
2. Then, move the eyes diagonally from left top to right bottom and right top to left bottom.
3. Then, rotate the eyes in full circles in clockwise direction and anti- clockwise direction 10 times.
1. Keep the eyes open.
2. Lift your eyes up and then lower them.
3. Continue to do this 10- 12 times without blinking. The movements of the eyes should be steady and relaxed.
This technique is capable of obliterating the diseases of the eye. This kriya also improves vision, aids in concentration and purifies the mind.
1. Sit on the floor in a comfortable position with the spine erect.
2. Keep the eyes open and fix your gaze on any object like a candle or a picture of 'Om'.
3. Without blinking, gaze steadily at the object till tears flow from the eyes. Do not strain the eyes and breathe deeply.
Pranayama and Meditation
After Trataka, one can try to concentrate on the tip of the nose or on the point between the eyebrows. The point between the eyebrows is called the third eye center or ajna chakra. According to yogis, concentrating on this chakra prepares the mind for meditation.
The period of meditation is preceded by pranayama
. This means simple breathing exercises that involve drawing in the breath to a count of 4, holding the breath to a count of 4 and releasing the breath to a count of 4, which marks as one practice; 4:4:4 is the ratio to be maintained for this breathing exercise.
Inhalation- 4 counts
Retention- 4 counts
, one can start to meditate on the divine within. Restless thoughts must be gently pushed away; concentration on the sound of 'Om' produces peace and tranquility in the mind
of the practitioner.
Submitted by : Mrs.Uma
Edited by : Mrs. Savitha