As you age, your eyesight may deteriorate some. This can be a result of several factors from genetics, to environment and diet. Eyes, like the rest of our body requires exercise and a healthy diet to function properly. We rely on our eyes as our strongest sense, yet subject our eyes to conditions that may be harmful to them. From staring at computer screens for extended periods of time, poor indoor light, UV radiation from the sun,
Below is an excellent guide how to take care of your eyes so they can take care of you for a long time. Also you will find below some great exercises to try.
Load up on blueberries rich in anthocyanins and leafy greens, tomatoes, and guavas rich in carotenoids to prevent cataract. If you follow Ayurveda, have 1 tbsp triphala mixed with milk, twice daily. Walk 2 miles thrice a week to lower your risk for age-related macular degeneration by 70% and do simple eyeball rotation exercises.
Trataka is simple yet effective method that can help improve poor eyesight in as little as 5 minutes daily. Trataka is a method of meditation that involves fixed gazing at an object such as a candle flame. Our eyes are constantly moving in micro-bursts focusing as part of a fight or flight survival instinct, however if you can still your eyes, you still your mind, as well as relax the eye muscles.
Exercise to Try at Home
In a classic experiment you can try at home. Below are two images, the first one is grid with appearing blinking black dots, the second image appears to have rotating wheels. This happens when you view the whole image.
Try to focus on just a single dot until the blinking stops. Similarly try to still the moving wheels by focusing on a single point intensely.
If successful, you may have noticed that not only did you still your eyes, but you stilled your mind as well.
How to do Trataka
Step 1: External
Select an object set a few feet in front of you that has an element you can focus on. Popular objects include a candle flame, a black dot on a picture or white wall, the eye of a needle, you can even use your mirror image, moving water, the Moon, sunset/sunrise (careful not to stare directly into the sun).
Stare intensely on the object for 1 -3 minutes without moving your eyes, and without blinking.
Next close your eyes to rest them for a few minutes, but viewing the afterimage of that object in your mind.
Open your eyes and repeat
Step 2: Internal
This is the next level of Trataka where you maintain the view of the object in your mind’s eye, recreating the image with your eyes closed or you can visualize a ball of light in your mind. it may help to center your attention on your Third Eye area between your eyebrows.
Step 3: Void
Also referred to in Buddhism as Skygazing, You need a quiet place outside with an expansive view. Here you focus on nothing, allowing the clouds to flow past you, merging your consciousness with the air of the sky.
We are told that “the eyes are the windows of the soul”. If that is true, how can you make use of this fact to improve your meditation practice? In this article, I explore the relationship between the eyes and the brain from a scientific perspective, and then describe trataka and other gazing meditation techniques to achieve stillness of mind through the use of your eyes.
Trataka offers numerous benefits to those who practice the technique. It can be performed with the eyes open or closed, based on the method. It not only tremendously improves concentration, but also helps in treating depression, insomnia, allergy, anxiety, postural problems and memory.
Another great exercise for your eyes was developed by Tibetan Buddhist monks to strengthen the eye muscles.
How To Use The Tibetan Eye Chart
- Hang the chart on a wall with the center of the chart aligned with your nose. Then, touch the center spot of the chart with your nose;
- Without moving your head, allow your eyes to move in a clockwise motion following along the outer edges of each arm of the figure, including the dots;
- Once finished, blink and relax your eyes.
- Repeat the exercise counterclockwise.
- Blink and relax eyes.
- Repeat as many times as desired.
- Once finished, completely relax the body and slow the breath. Cup your palms around your eyes for a minimum of 30 seconds to relax your eyes;
- Recommended to practice for a few minutes every morning and night.