Like physical exercise strengthens and de-stresses the body from fatigue, similarly a few simple exercises go a long way in strengthening eye muscles and provide relaxation. The following recommended exercises help counterbalance the effects of eyestrain. The key to doing these exercises is to completely relax and empty the mind as in meditation or yoga. These exercises are based on certain techniques followed by few ophthalmologists. They do not necessarily address the eye diseases or conditions but they do help you in nurturing healthier eyes.
Improve Visual Concentration
The first step is to strengthen visual concentration. Sit comfortably with your back and neck straight but not stiff. Start by holding each below mentioned posture for a few minutes and gradually increase the time.
Focus your gaze on the tip of your nose without blinking. Remain in this position for as long as you can. Then close your eyes and relax.
Focus on your “third eye” without blinking. This is the area between the eyebrows above your nose. Then close your eyes and relax. It may feel uncomfortable or hard to do at first, but do not give up. Keep your focus on that area and with time, you will find this posture easier to do.
Without turning your head, focus both eyes on your left shoulder. Remain in this position for as long as you can. Then close your eyes and relax. Repeat this sequence with the right shoulder.
After you are finished, place the palms of your hands on your closed eyes and rest for some time. This will help eye muscles relax.
Imagination for better eyesight
This is another exercise to improve visual concentration. First lie on your back facing up. Your palms should face the ceiling and your legs should be about shoulder-width apart. If you are doing this exercise in your office then sit comfortably in your chair.
Close your eyes. Breathe into your stomach. Feel it expand as it fills with air. Continue breathing in and out for a few minutes and then open your eyes. Pick a stationary object to look at. Close your eyes again and continue, “looking” at that object. This exercise helps to relax your eyes. It also balances mental focus with imagination.
De-stress your eyes
Like the previous exercise, lie on your back facing up with palms facing the ceiling and legs about shoulder-width apart. Sit comfortably in your chair if you are doing this exercise in office.
Close your eyes and place your palms over your closed eyes. Breathe into your stomach. Feel it expand as it fills with air. Continue breathing in and out for a few minutes and then open your eyes. Pick a stationary object to look at keeping your mind empty. Do not attach yourself to it or stare at it. This exercise teaches you how to focus without straining or depleting your eyes.
The above three exercises help in improving and strengthening visual concentration. However, these alone are not enough for effective eye strengthening. Eyes, as we all know, are subjected to so many ordeals that cause various forms of discomfort and sight problems the most common being headache. The following set exercises that form a part of yoga provide relief and strengthen eye muscles enabling better eyesight.
Sit at the edge of your chair with your back straight. Close your eyes and place the palm of each hand over an eye, so you feel your palms warming your eyes.
Remove your hands, keeping your eyes closed. Inhale deeply through your nose. Exhale and let your head drop forward than rotate it from side to side. Then shrug your shoulders, making circles with them forward and backward.
Close your eyes tightly and lift and tighten your shoulders as much as you can. Hold for a few seconds and then exhale, suddenly releasing your shoulders and opening your eyes. Repeat this several times.
Breathing naturally and focus on an object far away from you for about half a minute. Try to maintain your focus, blink rapidly several times. Then focus on a nearby object for about 15 seconds. Try to maintain your focus and blink rapidly several times.
Keep your head straight and look at the object ahead. Exhale and look from side to side without turning your head. Place your palms over your eyes to warm them. When you are ready, remove them and open your eyes.