By Dmytro Spilka
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a seismic impact on how employees work, with more companies shifting to a hybrid way of working, combining office and home working. The result is that many workers now spend more time than ever staring at a computer screen without taking the natural breaks that office life tends to provide. In addition, the work environment at home is less likely to have the requisite protection from eye strain and fatigue than in the office.
One way to reduce the impact of eye strain and fatigue is eye yoga, a series of exercises you can practice at home or in the office. This article lists and explores five exercises and answers the question; can eye yoga improve your vision?
What is Eye Yoga?
Eye yoga is one of the newest wellness trends that involves a series of exercises designed to prevent damage to eye health and, in some cases, potentially improve your vision. These easy-to-follow exercises help give your eyes a break from staring interminably at digital screens all day, allowing your optic nerves and mind to rest well.
The benefits of practicing eye yoga include focus, vision, reduced fatigue, and eye strain, and, in some cases, eased long-term eye conditions such as short or long-sightedness and astigmatism. Although there is currently a lack of research definitively supporting or disproving these claims, some believe eye yoga can help relieve stress, treat hypertension, and reduce anxiety headaches.
Eye Yoga Exercises
Some specialist eye yoga practitioners can help you practice exercises to help ease the strain on your eyes. However, as with other forms of yoga, there are some exercises you can follow from home to help your eyes alongside other methods like 20-20-20. Here are five of the best.
Palming is a practice that causes your eyes to be shrouded by warmth and darkness, allowing your eyes and muscles to rest and recuperate. Palming also helps the mind to take a break from the ongoing stresses and strains of the day.
Rub your hands together for 10 seconds to create heat between the palms. Then gently place your palms over your eyes and slowly close them. Take deep inhalations and exhalations to relax and feel the warmth from your palms and darkness to soothe tension from the back of the eyes. Keep your eyes covered with your palms until the heat disappears.
Deliberate blinking is the most straightforward eye exercise, allowing your eyes to recover from overuse. In addition, blinking helps protect your eyes from dryness by keeping them moisturised.
Sit down or stand up straight, keeping your shoulders relaxed, neck straight, and looking straight ahead. Rapidly blink your eyes for approximately 10 to 15 seconds before allowing them to slowly close, soften, and settle.
Repeat this exercise at least once an hour to keep your eyes from drying out from overuse and help you maintain focus and concentration for extended periods.
Zooming is an excellent exercise for helping the eye to focus while strengthening eye muscles. This exercise could help improve vision by helping your optic muscles become more robust.
Sit comfortably and focus on an object in the distance, allowing your gaze to remain there for a few seconds. Move your focus onto a thing closer to you and gaze at it for a few seconds. Then shift your focus onto an object even closer to you, such as a finger, for a similar period. Reverse the gaze back to the middle object, then the far-away object, and repeat the exercise as many times as you can for 2 minutes.
4. Rolling Eyes
Eye rolling is one of the best eye exercises that can prove highly effective in helping to strengthen eye muscles when performed regularly.
Sit or stand straight with relaxed shoulders and an upright neck and look directly ahead. Look to your right and slowly roll your eyes upwards without moving your head to look towards the ceiling. Then shift your gaze to the left and down at the floor.
Perform this exercise in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction to gain the maximum benefit.
5. Figure Eight
Similar to the previous two exercises, the figure of eight helps strengthen eye muscles as well as helps the eye to focus at the same time.
Sit down and raise your thumb on one of your hands at eye level. Focus your eyes on your thumb and move your arm in a figure of eight. Ensure your arm remains straight and focus on your thumb as it traces the shape in the air before you. Perform the exercise for half a minute before switching directions.
Does Eye Yoga Improve Your Vision?
Further research is required to determine whether or not eye yoga can improve your vision. However, eye yoga can reduce your eyes’ stress, strain, and fatigue while potentially strengthening optic muscles. This combination could positively impact your vision when practiced over a long period.