7 Eye Yoga Exercises to Help Yours Get Their Mojo Back!

Do these yoga-inspired exercises anywhere to instantly boost your eye health, no mat required.

Feb 29, 2020

(puhhha / Shutterstock.com)

The saying goes that eyes are the window to the soul. But if long periods in front of smartphones and other digital screens leave your eyes more itchy and tired than expressive Betty Davis peepers, why not try some yoga-inspired eye exercises? These mini eye workouts are easy, discreet, and can be done anytime to improve focus and lower stress. They will help you reduce eye strain, restore moisture and relieve headaches. They will induce a calm feeling too, as yoga is a form of exercise designed to work on your health AND your consciousness. Eye yoga can offer relief from disorders related to defects in the eye muscles like myopia, and can also protect you from blurry vision in the future. So take a few moments to show love to your eyes with these eye yoga exercises. Your eyes will thank you!

Six muscles helping with eye movement connect the eye to the eye socket. When you read, drive or watch something over an extended period of time, this activity drains your eye muscles of flexibility and tires them. This condition is known as eye fatigue, and it’s only made worse by digital screens. Many age-related vision problems stem from a gradual loss of flexibility and tone in our eye muscles, which get locked into habitual patterns and lose their ability to focus at different distances.

If you think about it, we dedicate time to working out, our sleep patterns, and what we eat, but tending to our eyestrain isn’t on our priority list. Few know that yoga, now a fitness mantra for many due to its health benefits, includes beneficial exercises for your eyes as well. Many of these can be done at your desk or when you’re on the go, requiring just a few minutes out of your busy routine.

Here are seven simple eye yoga exercises that will help relax overused muscles, reduce tension in the whole face, and help your eyes focus.

1. Blink to restore moisture

Open your eyes wide and then blink rapidly about 10 times. Now, close your eyes for about 20 seconds and repeat this exercise four more times. The human eye should blink about 25 times in one minute. However, many of us don't, especially when we're using smartphones and computers.

Rapid blinking helps your eyes nourish themselves by creating moisture, and relaxes the eye muscles. This exercise is especially important since we often forget to blink enough when we’re focused on digital screens.

(ViDi Studio / Shutterstock.com)

2. Rotate your eyes

These eyeball movements are ideal for people like computer users who work up close and will want to stretch their eye muscles. Without moving your head, and keeping your eyes open, move your eyes slowly from side to side and then all the way around in a circle. If you find that difficult, then use your finger and move it in a circle, and let your eyes follow. Or pretend you’re looking at the numbers on a clock in front of you, and repeat looking from 9 to 3 and back before going round from 12  in a full circle. Make sure your neck doesn't move and repeat both those exercises about 20 times.

Fix your eyes in each position for the duration of a breath when doing these movements. Sitting in a peaceful place, rotating your eyes while breathing in a rhythmic pattern will restore balance in your eye muscles.

(Paopano / Shutterstock.com)

3. Trace a figure of eight

According to Robert Abel, author of The Eye Care Revolution, these short eye movement exercises "compensate for overdevelopment of the muscles we use to look at near objects."

Imagining a giant figure 8 on the floor and tracing it both clockwise and anti-clockwise
will strengthen your eye muscles and improve eye flexibility.

4. Go the distance

Accommodation is the scientific term for the process in which our eyes change optical power to maintain a clear image of something whether is nearby or a distance away.

To help with this process, from where you're sitting, choose an object in the distance and stare at it without blinking for 20 seconds. Place your thumb immediately below the point you’re concentrating on. Then begin shifting your focus between the object and the tip of your thumb. Repeat this several times. 

(REDPIXEL.PL / Shutterstock.com)

5. Stretch around the eyes

This exercise helps you target where most of the tension and cramps in achy eyes are stored.

After closing your eyes, use the pads of your fingers to  gently massage the areas below your eyes, the spot just between your eyebrows and eyelids, and your temples.

(Mark Nazh / Shutterstock.com)

6. Palming to restore calm

If you've ever been a part of yoga classes, you'll probably be familiar with this one.

Rub your palms together till they feel warm. Then place them on your eyes and hold the position for a few seconds. Concentrate on something, and then relax. This consoling exercise is another form of relaxation which is something your eyes could use, especially after a long day at work.

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Some days are for palming. It provides relief from migraines, eye strain, and stress. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Float your ribs above your hips and feel that your head is buoyant, your crown lifting towards the sky. Take a few deep, even breaths. Rub your hands together until they are really warm. Hover your palms over your closed eyelids; your fingers will hover over your forehead. Feel the dark, soothing warmth relax the muscles of your face, radiating to your eyelids and rippling out to your cheeks, forehead, nose, lips, and chin. Relax your jaw. Let your lips lightly part. Breathe deeply and evenly. Notice your palms starting to cool. Keep your eyes closed and repeat two more times. On the third and final round, slowly blink your eyes a few times while your palms are hovering over your eyes, feeling the dark warmth soothe your very eyeballs. Release your hands back to your lap. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Palming is also part of a larger set of yogic eye exercises that are said to improve eyesight when practiced consistently. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #palming #timein #yogicpractice #migrainerelief #stressrelief #thankyourishis

A post shared by Rubí Orozco Santos (@tradicionessanas) on

The energy created from rubbing your palms vigorously and placing them on your eyes
brings some much needed comfort to your tired eyes. This exercise is great for providing the darkness eyes need to recover from the constant stress of light. Regular practice will gradually
reduce your dark circles too.

7. Breathe and hum!

Bhramari Pranayama, also called the humble bee breath, is a really calming exercise that works to help melt away the unnecessary noise in your head, making you feel relaxed with just a few breaths. Sit comfortably. Then place your fingers over your eyes horizontally. Exhale and when you inhale make a bee like buzzing sound. Make sure you apply very little pressure on the eyeball and keep your lips sealed.

(fizkes / Shutterstock.com)

DAPHNE KASRIEL ALEXANDER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.