A Year of Staring at Screens Has Some People Turning to a Strange Practice Called ‘Eye Yoga’


The switch to digital has been a long-time coming, though it seems no one expected how abruptly our day to day tasks would transfer from real-life to cyberspace. With the past year and a half of COVID-19 related restrictions, more and more people have become accustomed to staring at their devices all day–from Zoom meetings and excel sheets, to late night binge-watching and scrolling, screens have become an even bigger reality in an already technologically dependent world.


As a result, many people have begun to worry about the strain this consistent screen time is putting on their eyes–and seemingly for good reason. According to a study published by Harvard Health Publishing, staring at a screen for too long and at too close of a proximity can lead to dry eyes and vision strain, both of which can lead to headaches and eye exhaustion.


To combat the consequences of too much screen time, some are turning to a somewhat strange wellness method called ‘Eye Yoga’–which is a practice that is about as straightforward as it’s name would suggest. Eye Yoga consists of a series of moves you can do each day to relieve and prevent the symptoms of eyestrain.


These moves can include palming, where you place your palms over your eyes, with your fingers brushing your forehead, and without applying pressure breathe into the move, allowing your eyes to close and relax; eye rolling, which is about as complex as the name suggests; and focus shifting, which has you place your thumb an arms length from your face, and slowly move your hand towards your nose, retaining focus on the thumb until you’re no longer able to.


These are just a few of the moves suggested by experts to keep your eyes in good condition while screens remain a consistency in our day to day. “By making the eyes more flexible and adaptable, you can keep eye problems from getting worse, and can even improve them,” says Dr. Marc Grossman, behavioural optometrist and author of five books on natural eye care.


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