Yoga For The Eyes, Part II

Eye Exercises

This is the continuation of the last month article about prevention of eye problems and the importance of taking care of the eyes. The concept of “Yoga for your Eyes “was developed by Dr. Meir Schneider. The exercises presented in this article are examples taken from the booklet with the same title written by Dr. Meir Schneider.

With the exercises you learn how to develop “soft eyes”. Soft eyes take in the whole room, the whole landscape, without straining for any particular visual impression. They absorb the world, rather than capturing it, and they rest while looking and not striving. There are many ways to work with your eyes. Some exercises concentrate on a particular aspect of visual function, others on the health of your eyes in general.

Eye exercises are absolutely safe and do not have any negative side effects. However here are some cautions to be mentioned:
Remove glasses, sunglasses or contact lenses while doing the exercises

If you have glaucoma, reduce the “palming” exercise to four minutes at a time. During the “sunning” exercise always keep your eyes gently closed. If you feel any discomfort stop the session. Never do “sunning” through any type of glass (including eyeglass lenses or windows). You may need a weaker prescription. It is important to do the exercises mindfully – this is body-mind-spirit work- how you look at the world altogether. Balancing the muscles around the eyes

Begin by moving both eyes simultaneously first in small circles, then from side to side and then up and down.

Check your forehead with your fingertips. The muscles above the eyes should not move. Try to relax them or make the circles smaller.

Now close your eyes and just visualize the eyes moving in circles, without any effort. Then open your eyes again and imagine rotating only the pupils. After that close your eyes and move them in rotation under the closed lids. This is more difficult because the movement is more limited.


This important exercise creates the most relaxation for the eyes.  Palm as often as you can during the day, from a few minutes up to 30 min.

Remove watches and jewelry from hands and wrists. If you can darken the room – do it. Sit at a table with a cushion on it. Warm your hands by rubbing them together. Drop your shoulders and relax them. Close your eyes. Gently rest the heels of your hands on your cheekbones and cover your eyes with the palm of your hands. They should not touch or put pressure on eyes or cheekbones.

Start to imagine an ever-deepening blackness. You will only be able to visualize blackness if your optic nerve is relaxed. Intend to see black/darkness, but fully accept whatever you get. Don’t try too hard; just relax like you were in a state of meditation. Feel your breathing, deep and slowly. Feel your whole body expanding as you inhale and shrink as you exhale like in a slow rhythmical movement.

Finish the exercise slowly and gently by imaging less darkness, then removing your hands from the eyes and starting to blink gently. If your eyes are watering that is a good sign, chronic eyestrain tends to cause dryness.

5 minute of palming is fine for resting your eyes when taking a break from your computer or reading. But it takes about 15 minutes for a full rest.


This is a primary exercise for training and strengthening your eyes to accept the light, an important capacity many of us have lost after spending most of their life indoors or wearing sunglasses.

Best time: Before 10 am or after 4 pm.

Sit or stand outside. Close your eyes! Facing the sun, move your head slowly and effortlessly from side to side (about 30 times) to the shoulders as much as you can. Relax your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly. Imagine that the sun is bathing your eyes, your head, your whole body and mind.

Now rub your hands together and turn your back to the sun and start palming for about ten slow deep breaths. Now turn to the sun and “sun” again. Repeat sunning and palming a few times. You will notice, that the eyes become more accustomed to the bright light, the color you see while sunning becomes brighter, and the color while palming becomes darker. These are signs that the irises become more flexible and the optic nerve more relaxed. Your eye muscles may resist the light at first, even with your eyes closed. If you see green, it means your eyes are straining. Discontinue sunning for a while and try some palming before returning to it.

Never do any of the exercises if you feel uncomfortable with it. Always begin gently and work up to the recommended full practice with patience and daily practice.

Eyes are among the hardest-worked and least nurtured organs in the body. Paying attention and taking care of them is part of taking care of yourself, taking responsibility and living mindfulness.

For more information please check Dr. Meir Schneider’s website: or send an email to:

Barbara Rotthaler, German licensed Holistic Practitioner and Naturopath can be reached at 01 376 766 1987, by email: or visit http://www.

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