Yoga Therapy for Eye disorders

Sep 21st, 2017
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Eyes are one of the most important organs, if not the most important organ of our body. The eyes give us a vision to see the beauty of nature. They help us to perform our daily chores. What we experience and enjoy comes to us through our eyes. We therefore need to cherish, maintain and protect our healthy sight.

With advanced technology, we spend more time watching TV, working on computer, playing video games, texting on smart phones etc. All these activities draw us close to the gadgets. We seldom look afar – bird watching, stars gazing, looking at the green or relaxing in nature. As our lifestyles change, our eyesight weakens. More children start wearing glasses at a young age.

We should take proper care of our eyes so we could keep healthy sight. Yogasana is a means of achieving this.

Anatomy of Eyes

The cognitive organs of the body is called Dnyanendriya, which includes ears, eyes, nose, tongue and skin. Dnyanendriya means “organ of perception”. Eyes are extremely complex sensory organs. About 85% of the total sensory input to our brains originates from our sense of sight, while the other 15% comes from the other four senses of hearing, smell, touch, and taste. The eyes are designed to optimise vision under conditions of varying light. The eyelid and the position of the eye within the bones of the orbital cavity are the major protective mechanisms for the eye.

The eyeball is generally described as a globe or sphere, is oval but not circular. It consists of a clear, transparent dome at the front called the cornea, which is surrounded by the white of the eyeball called the sclera. The iris of the eye is the circular, coloured portion within the eye, and behind the cornea, located the pupil is the central opening within the iris. Behind the iris and pupil is the eye’s lens.

The eyelid and the position of the eye within the bones of the orbital cavity are the major protective mechanisms for the eye. The inside of the back of the eye is lined by the retina, the thin, light-sensitive tissue that changes light images to electrical signals via a chemical reaction. These electrical signals generated by the retina are sent to the brain through the optic nerve. Our brain interprets what our eyes see.

Natural oil for the tears is produced by tiny glands located at the edges of the eyelids, providing additional lubrication for the eye. Their location, on the outside of the face, makes them more prone to trauma, environmental chemicals and particles, and infectious agents.

Common Eye Disorders

Eye problems/disorders include:

• Nearsightedness
• Farsightedness
• Cataracts
• Astigmatism
• Color blindness
• Night blindness
• Retinal detachment
• Macular degeneration
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Optic neuritis
• Migraine headaches

Yoga Therapy

Like other muscles, eye muscles need exercise if they are to stay healthy and strong.

Kriya – Tratak

When we practise any asana, we establish a gazing spot, “Dristhi”, for focus. Dristhi gives stability in the body and focus on the mind.

Of the six puri?cation practices, “kriyas”, “Trataka” is eyes puri?cation. By moving the eyes in every direction, without turning the head at all, the gazing of eyes will strengthen the muscles, and help to prevent eye strain and improve the eyesight. Breathe normally while practising them.

Tratak – Eye Movements

1. Look up and look down 5 times.

2. Look far right and look far left 5 times.
3. Look top right and bottom left 5 times.
4. Look top left and bottom right 5 times.
5. Circle the eye around clockwise, then anticlockwise 5 times.


6. Look at the thumb, then the wall, then bring the thumb near and far focusing (ie zoom in and out) 5 times.

Tratak with Candle

Tratak or steady gazing is an excellent concentration exercise. It involves alternately gazing at an object or point without blinking, then closing your eyes and visualising the object in your mind. The practice steadies the wandering mind and concentrates the attention, leading you to focus with pinpoint accuracy. Wherever the eyes go, the mind follows, so that when you ?x your gaze on a single point, the mind too becomes one pointed. Tratak improves the eyesight and stimulates the brain via optic nerve.

Tratak is most commonly performed with a candle.

Stage 1

1) Light a candle, three to four feet apart. Sit in front of it.
2) The ?ame should be at the level of the eyes so that it can be seen straight without being uncomfortable.
3) Begin with slow and deep breathing. Keep a steady gaze at the ?ame. Keep the spine erect. Keep your gaze ?xed at the ?ame without being distracted with the outer disturbances or thoughts.

Stage 2

4) Let the eyes close with ease.
5) Try to imagine the same ?ame with closed eyes as you were seeing it with open eyes.
6) If you are able to practice tratak without blinking your eye, it will be easy for you to see the ?ame with closed eyes

Eye Muscles Strengthening

1) Close the eyes as tight as possible for around 5 seconds.
2) Open them, and close them again.
3) Do this 5 times.
4) Shut your eyes and roll your eyeballs around for a minute.

 

 

 

Viparata Karani (Half Shoulder stand)

1) Lie ?at on the back on the mat. Keep the legs stretched straight.
2) Inhale, bend the knees, pressing the palms down, raise the hip up to the ceiling.
3) When the whole trunk is raised off the ground, bend the elbows and place the palms on the back of the pelvis. The weight of the body is on the palms and the upper arms.
4) Keep the legs straight and relaxed or slightly bend the knees. Stay for about 2-5 minutes with normal breaths.

This pose calms the mind and improves proper circulation of blood and prana to the entire body. It improves the eyesight and vitality. People with retina condition should not do this asana as it can increase the pressure on the pupils. Consult a doctor before practice.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

1) Lie ?at on the back like a corpse.
2) Keep the palms facing up and little away from the sides of the thigh; keep the legs apart.
3) Close the eyes, covering the eyes with wet cotton. This keeps the eyes cool and gives a nice rest for the vision.
4) Stay silent, clam down the breaths and concentrate on the rhythmic slow breathing for 10- 15mintues.
5) Body is resting and the mind is calm while the breath is slow.

 

Palming the Eyes

1) Rub the palms together.
2) Gently cup the palms over closed eyes for around a minute.

This is known as palming and is bene?cial for the eyes. The eyes need darkness to rejuvenate themselves and this is done best by performing palming. Palming should be done after every eye exercise to relax the eyes; and every now and then during the day.

 

 

 

Conclusion

Whatever the cause, vision changes should never be ignored. When vision deteriorates, it can signi?cantly impact the quality of our lives. Changes in vision, blurriness, blind spots, halos around lights, or dimness of vision may represent eye disease, aging, eye injury, or a condition like diabetes that affects many organs in our bodies. Seek professional help and get an eye checkup.

Liver controls the peripheral nervous system, which regulates muscular activity and tension. Liver energy also controls ligaments and tendons, which together with muscles regulate motor activity and determine physical coordination. Liver function is re?ected externally in the condition of ?nger nails and toenails and by the eyes and vision. Blurry vision is often a result of liver malfunction rather than an eye problem. Practice of forward bending and twisting asanas can keep the liver function properly.

Green vegetables and carrots provide good nutrition for the eyes.

Yoga can help one to take good care to protect and prevent eye problems.

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