World Sight Day 2020: How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy with Yoga

·3-min read

Eye health is probably one of the most neglected sectors of healthcare; the World Health Organisation states that around 1 billion people in the world have an eyesight problem which can be prevented or treated efficiently. In order to draw attention towards blindness and vision impairment, the second Thursday of October is observed as World Sight Day annually. This year, it falls on the 8th of October 2020 and the theme is ‘Hope In Sight’. While noticing symptoms and getting a correct diagnosis is essential for eye health, we can all agree that prevention is better than cure. Other than eating well and reducing screen-time, you can also do a few exercises that can help keep your eyes healthy:

1. Palming

  • Sit on the floor with your eyes closed.
  • Rub the palms of your hands together vigorously until they become hot.
  • Place your palms over your eyelids and keep them there until the heat from the hands gets absorbed by the eyes. Make sure your palms, and not your fingers, cover your eyes
  • Lower your hands and then repeat the exercise 3 times.
  • 2. Sideways viewing

  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of your body.
  • Now raise both your arms sideways to shoulder level and while keeping them straight, point the thumbs upwards.
  • The thumbs should be placed at a spot where they can be seen in the peripheral vision (from the side of the eyes) while keeping the head faced forward. If they are not clearly visible, bring your hands slightly forward until they come into view.
  • Now, without moving your head, focus your eyes on the left thumb first and then shift focus to the area between the eyebrows (bhrumadhya). Repeat on the other side by focusing on the right thumb, followed by the area between the eyebrows.
  • You can repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times and then complete it by closing your eyes and palming them 3 to 4 times.
  • 3. Preliminary Nasikagra Drishti (preliminary nose tip gazing)

  • Sit with your legs straight in front you or in a cross-legged pose with your palms resting on your thighs.
  • Raise and straighten your right arm in front of you.
  • Bend your right art at the elbow and move it towards your torso so that the hand comes right in front of your nose. Make a fist with the right hand, while keeping the thumb pointing upward.
  • Focus on the tip of the thumb and slowly touch it to the tip of your nose by bending your arm further. Keep your eyes on the thumb while bringing it towards the nose.
  • Once your thumb touches the nose tip, let it stay there for a few seconds and then slowly straighten the arm, while continuously gazing at the tip of the thumb.
  • Repeat this exercise without the left hand and then the whole sequence twice more.
  • 4. Near and distant viewing

  • For this exercise, you will have to sit or stand outdoors or at an open window with your arms by your sides.
  • Focus your eyes on the tip of your nose (nasikagra drishti) for 5 seconds and then shift focus to a distant object for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat this for 10 to 20 times, following by 3 to 4 times of palming.
  • For more information, read our article on Eye disorders.

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