Dry, itchy eyes? An unpleasant feeling that your eyes are going to pop out? Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? If yes, then chances are you might be spending too much time in front of your computer (or mobile device), with our eyes glued to the screen. While we cannot always reduce the amount of time we work on a computer, there are several Yoga exercises specifically aimed to maintain vision in good health and relieve eye strain. I personally find the following few very helpful.
This is something that a friend who’s into Qi Gong recommended to me, it’s the ”palming technique” : the idea is to rub your hands together energetically to warm them up. Cup your face with both hands, covering your eyes, but without exerting a pressure on them. Fingers are tangled together to prevent light from peeking through. Ideally, your palms are at the eye level and the fingers on the forehead. Close your eyes and stay that way, while breathing calmly and profoundly, for 5 minutes. You can do this exercise several times a day.
Now here are two Yoga asanas I learned in class which are also really efficient. In a sitting position, with your back straight, stretch one arm in front of you and stare at the nail of your thumb. Continue doing so, without moving your head and slowly approach your thumb towards you and bring it back without stopping staring at it. Do this in 10-20 sets, while keeping up the same slow pace and remain focused.
Finally, to develop ocular mobility, a good exercise is to move your eyes while keeping your head straight. First, slowly look up (as high as you can) then look down (without moving your head), do this at least 5 times. Then close your eyes for 30 seconds. Now do the same exercise again, but instead of looking up and down, it’s right and left. Once you’re done, close your eyes again for 30 seconds. Finally, look up to your left, then down to your right, and look up to your right and down on your left. Do this over five times. Close your eyes again for 30 seconds. An important reminder is to avoid doing these exercises with haste, the point is to move your eyes slowly and gently to avoid any unnecessary pressure and effort.
This is not an exercise, but wearing a Lavender silk eye mask for 10-25 minutes during a computer break is actually quite soothing. The best, of course, is to spend some time away from the computer screen and get some fresh air.