According to a survey by Highspeedinternet.com, the screen time of the average American has gone up by 57% during the lockdown. Studies show that increased screen time apart from giving you strained eyes and causing vision problems like CVS or computer vision syndrome also impairs cognitive function, wrecks your sleep cycle, puts you at greater cardiovascular risk, and increases mortality risks too. Additionally, during the lockdown, more schools, colleges, and offices are running remotely, which translates into far more screen time than we were used to. On this sixth International Yoga Day, here are a few quick simple Sukshma Yoga exercises and tips you can put to good use, to save your eyes, heart, and overall health. These exercises will reduce the strain on your eye muscles, clear your head, reduce fatigue, and the burning sensation in your eyes.
It is not just the screen time, but accumulated stress in the body and mind also affects the eye muscles, according to studies. But this can be handled very easily through Sukshma Yoga. An important thing to remember though is, make sure your hands are sufficiently sanitized before doing the exercises and ideally do not do these exercises in the public areas where you may be exposed to the coronavirus or in places where hygiene may have been compromised.
Strained Eyes? Try Palming
You can darken your room before doing this exercise. Palming has an incredibly soothing effect on your tensed optic nerve. To practice palming-
- Darken your room
- Place your elbows on the table
- Be seated comfortably
- Take four to five long deep fuller breaths in and out
- Rub your palms in a vigorous motion against each other.
- Close your eyes gently.
- Place your palms on your eyes
- Observe the warmth of your palm
- Repeat the exercise.
Blinking For Strained Eyes
You may have observed when you are absorbed in a task, particularly on your laptop or phone, you forget to blink. Staring constantly at the screen can tense up the eye muscles, and add to the strain to vision. So every now and then become aware of the fact that you are staring into the screens and gently blink your eyes. It regulates the moisture in your eyes, keeps the eye muscles relaxed. Here all that you do is blink your eyelids 10 times. Not too forcefully though. Then relax your eyes for a few seconds before repeating the exercise at least 5 more times.
Shifting involves moving the eyes quickly from one point to another point in the same alignment, like moving the eyes (and NOT your neck) side to side or up and down, or moving them in a circular motion. In reducing eye strain, shifting works on the center of the retina, distributing the focus, and stress from a particular point along the axis of the eye movement. This exercise also helps you to take in more information from an object of vision. A simple shifting exercise can be moving your eyes from one point on an object to another point gently and repeatedly but without using too much force. Here are some shifting exercises for you-
- Sit comfortably
- Place your fist straight in your line of vision in front of you.
- Move the fist from the center to all the way to your left. Bring it back to the center and then move it to your right.
- Keep looking at your fist as you move your fist.
- Keep your body straight. The emphasis is on the eye movement
b) Rotate your eyeballs
Here you simply rotate your eyeballs in circles first clockwise, five times and then anti-clockwise five times.
c) Open and shut
Open your eyes fully and squeeze them shut. Repeat this at least five times.
In between these exercises, make sure you relax your eyes for a few seconds. While you do that, pay attention to your breath. Take longer breaths if you can. At the end of the exercises, you will find that not just your eyes feel less strained, but your state of mind is calmer and more settled. And you are ready to jump into your assignments for the rest of your day.
4. Additional tips to help reduce fatigue, aging and under-eye bags.
Lack of sleep, tiredness, strained eyes and overworked nervous system can show up in the form of eye bags, and dark circles below the eyes. So pick your eye cream well. Pick one that is as free of harmful chemicals as possible since it is your eye region that you are dealing with. Make sure it has regenerative qualities and helps fight the tiredness and rapid aging of the skin cells around the eye region. Very often when the eyes are constantly exposed to screen or the sun outside without sufficient rest and care, they end up looking haggard and the skin around the eyes and over them appears aged and rough. A brand that comes highly recommended for it au-natural eye creams is Shankara’s Anti-age Eye Cream that helps you look younger with a significant reduction in the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. The calming cream gently nourishes the delicate skin around the eyes, restoring your youthful appearance. Rich with the goodness of antioxidants and ingredients like Rose distillate, raw shea butter, grapeseed oil, andiroba oil, rosehip seed oil, hazelnut oil, Jojoba oil, microalgae extract, castor oil, aspen bark extract, cucumber extract, squalane (Olive-derived), foraha oil, Carrot seed extract oil, pomegranate seed oil; borage oil, Kukui nut oil, and raspberry seed oil, protein and soy extract among others; nutrients and antioxidants, the cream has been found to be deeply hydrating and moisturizing.