Our eyes are one of our most powerful assets of attraction. They have been called the windows of the soul or, as the renowned beauty Audrey Hepburn put it:
“The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.” - Audrey Hepburn
Ayurveda teaches us that our eyes are one of the most vital sensory organs and the secondary collecting space for pitta dosha, specifically alochaka pitta, which governs vision. When the subtle energy of pitta dosha collects anywhere in your body you can expect excess heat, redness, irritation and even burning pain. This makes sense if we reflect on our experience with our eyes.
People will often say that their eyes look bloodshot, feel irritated or feel hot to the touch. We also experience other problems such as dryness (e.g. dry eye syndrome), dark circles, puffiness and the early appearance of those unwanted fine lines. This second group of afflictions are more closely linked to imbalances of the other doshas (vata and kapha). However, whether we are dealing with vata, pitta or kapha issues, all of our doshas are more prone to imbalance as we age, so it’s important to learn how to take care of our eyes before larger issues arise.
Let’s begin by looking at 5 key things that tend to strain our eyes and some simple solutions.
1) Screen-Time: Whether a TV, computer or handheld device, our eyes are simply not well designed for short focal distances and we should try to minimize the time we spend focused on screens. If you do work with computers, take a break every 30 minutes, like Apple and Google workers are encouraged to do, and try palming your eyes.
How-to: Refresh your eyes by palming
Rub both palms together quickly for 8-10 seconds or until you palms feel warm and charged with energy.
Next, close your eyes and gently place your left palm over your left eye and your right palm over your right eye.
Let both hands rest cupped over both eyes for one minute. Cupping your hands ensures that there will be no pressure on the eyeball.
Take some long, slow breathes then repeat the exercise 2-3 times.
2) Lighting: Never read or do any other work in poor lighting. Conversely, always wear good quality sunglasses when you are outside in bright sunlight.
3) Lack of sleep: One of the biggest enemies of the eyes is lack of sleep. Not only does this strain the eyes, it also is one of the key culprits for dark rings and puffiness. Try adopting the 10pm “Ayurvedic Bedtime” and see how your eyes feel.
4) Poor Hydration: Our eyes particularly suffer when we are dehydrated. Try and drink 6-8 cups of pure water each day and stay away form alcohol and caffeine as much as possible since both dehydrate the body.
5) Lack of Eye Exercise: Our eyes need exercise too!
How-to: Yoga for your Eyes
Look up and hold your gaze for two seconds.
Next, look downwards and stay for two seconds.
Close your eyes for two seconds.
Do the same looking up, down, and closing your eyes for 8 seconds.
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