Yoga for the Eyes

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By Sarah Manwaring-Jones • October 24th, 2012 • 9568 Views

Yoga for the Eyes

Let Your Eyes Smile

"The eye is the jewel of the body." ~Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever explored the way that you use your eyes to control and surrender?  As the most dominant sensory organ, many of us are subconsciously using our eyes to solidify and harden the world around us.  Often our eyes are 10 steps in front of us as we walk down the street, practically jumping out of our heads.

The eyes are often considered, windows to the soul.  We might ponder a daily practice of resting and receiving the world through our eyes; looking at the world (or our computer screens) with the same softness that we might when we lay eyes on a newborn baby or a beautiful sunset. 

Below are some tips to explore in your daily practice of drishti (Sanskrit for gazing or how you see the world).  It is recommended to rest with your eyes softly closed between each one.  Also, all of the exercises are great to do as a break from a long day at the computer and as a great way to relieve stress.

1. Start by gently massaging the lower eyelids with your ring fingertips for one minute.  Pause.  Begin to slowly close the eyes.  Notice the soft tremble/vibration that exists in the upper eyelids just as the eyelids come together.  Do this a few times, letting the gaze soften and the act of closing the eyes becomes slower.  The eyelids begin to feel like lovers' hands meeting in a dark room, sliding together seamlessly.See if the upper eyelids begin to relax?  Tip: look softly into the distance as you close your eyes.

2. Explore shifting between focal gaze and peripheral gazing points.  The focal (narrow) gaze is associated with clarity and rational-thinking.   It is used when reading and typing and often people lean forward when they really get into seeing something perfectly clear.  Peripheral gaze is associated with blurriness, uncertainty and the intuitive mind.  It is a wider view of the world, usually associated with looking at a horizon line, a sunset or a landscape.  Pick a focal point and a two peripheral points (one to the left and one to the right) and oscillate between the two.   See if you can maintain a soft gaze on each peripheral point at the same time (almost like you have eyes on the sides of your...


Sarah Manwaring-Jones

Location:  Squamish, CA

Inspired by the life inside and the life outside of this body, Sarah’s exploration of yoga began with long canoe journeys across the Canadian shield as a child.  It was there that she learned first-hand the...