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Long working hours strain your eyes: 4 yoga workouts to try

Increased screen time can potentially take a toll on your eyes, along with other body parts.

Work from home during the quarantine period is making us work for longer than usual, straining our eyes. Here are some easy-to-practise eye workouts for you.

Work from home amidst the COVID-19 lockdown has increased our work hours, thanks to lack of house help, frequent power cuts and poor internet connection. Long working hours come with its own set of health challenges including stress, neck and back pain, weight gain and eye strain among others. Apart from work, we also spend a lot of time through the day looking at various screens, especially mobile phones. In the quarantine period, the total time spent on social media has also increased significantly, suggest some studies. Increased screen time can potentially take a toll on your eyes, along with other body parts. blurred vision, itchy and watery eyes, headaches, double vision, and other symptoms of eye strain. This is because, human eyes are not designed to work closely on anything for long.

Fortunately, you can relieve your eye strain with simple yoga exercises. Ophthalmologists and holistic healers also suggest eye workouts. They will allow your overworked eye muscles to rest, bring down tension in your facial muscles and strengthen the muscles that help in fixing focus. If you practise yoga workouts for eyes, their muscles will be more flexible and adaptable. Additionally, eye exercises will help you in creasing your attention span, making you calm. As your concentration increases, you will be better able to pay attention to the cues of your body.

Try these exercises when you find it difficult to stare at your screen. You can practise them individually or in a sequence.

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PALMING

Rub your eyes gently together for 10 to 15 seconds to make them feel warm and energized. Cover them with your hands making sure that your fingertips are on the forehead. Your palms should be upon your eyes and the heels of the hand need to rest on your cheeks. Form a hollow with your palms to avoid touching the eyeballs directly, creating a curtain of darkness in front of them. Now, shut your eyes, take a deep breath and relax. Allow your eyes to immerse in this darkness bask in the warmth of your hands while enjoying this break from visual stimulation. You can continue this for up to five minutes or as long as it feels soothing. Conclude the workout by removing your hands.

EYE ROLLING

Sit up with a straight spine, relax your breath. Loosen your eye and face muscles to soften your gaze and focus towards the ceiling without moving your head. Follow this up with a circular, clockwise motion of your eyes. Now, try to concentrate slowly on the objects in your periphery. Repeat this for three times, close your eyes and relax. Now, repeat this workout with an anticlockwise movement of the eyes.

DIATANCE GAZING

Fix your focus on a still, distant object. Rest your gaze on a distant object (if you're indoors, look out a window, if you can). Pay attention to the object with your eye and face muscles relaxed. Breathe in deeply and then shift your gaze to another distant object. Immerse your vision in everything around you like this and take pauses as you move your eyes from one thing to another.

FOCUS SHIFTING

The first step for this yoga workout is to ensure that your body is absolutely relaxed. Breathe comfortably while stretching one arm out in front of you. Loosen your fist and keep your thumb up. Now, focus your gaze on this finger and bring your thumb close to your nose, slowly. The distance between your thumb and the eyes should be such that you are unable to focus. Be in this position for a breath or two and then take your arm back to the previous pose as you keep your focus fixed on your thumb. Repeat for 10 times.

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