I learned a new series of postures in my yoga class last week that I think every geek, gamer, and programmer needs to know about. We were just finishing up the session with a traditional pose, but before the class ended, we did five minutes of eye yoga. The exercises help relax the eyes, reduce eye strain, and are even supposed to help improve vision by strengthening your eye muscles. After doing these in class, my eyes definitely felt more relaxed. Bring on the all night gaming sessions!
If you're not into yoga, don't worry. There's no chanting involved, you don't need a mat, and there aren't any difficult Sanskrit names to memorize. Much like the carpal tunnel prevention exercises, you can do these at your desk or even in front of the TV while your video game is paused — all you need is a few minutes. Namaste!
To learn the poses, read more.
- To relax stressed eyes, close your eyes as much as you can. (If you're doing it correctly it should feel like you're scrunching your face together.) Hold the pose for a few seconds and quickly open your eyes. Blink and repeat five times.
- Ideally, you want to be lying on your back when doing this one, but sitting comfortably at your desk is fine too. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for about a minute. Open your eyes and focus on one object. Close your eyes again, breathing deeply, but visualize the object in your head. This exercise helps relax the eyes and improve concentration.
- To strengthen eye muscles, close your eyes and roll your eyeballs around for one minute.
- Keeping your eyes open, sit comfortably and look up as far as you can — using only your eyes, don't move your head. Hold this pose for a few seconds, and then move your eyes downward as if you are looking at the tip of your nose, holding for a few seconds. Blink a few times, then repeat the series five times.
- My favorite: rub your palms together until warm. With the fingers of your right hand positioned over your left, gently cup your palms around the eyes. If you can, sit on the floor with your knees raised to your chest. While your palms are over your eyes, rest your elbows on your knees and breathe deeply.