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Insight for Sore Eyes

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日期:2005-10-04 来源:景天阁·健康资讯
内容提示:Manyage-relatedvisionproblemsstemFROMagraduallossofflexibilityandtoneintheeyemuscles。andsRuizYearsago,asanoviceattheSivanandaYogaVedantaCenterinNewYorkCity,Ilearnedaseriesofsimpleeyeexercises。ButsinceIcouldscrutinizeaflyFROM100yards,Ididn‘t...

Manyage-relatedvisionproblemsstemFROMagraduallossofflexibilityandtoneintheeyemuscles.Eyeasanascanhelp.

ByFernandopag?andsRuiz

Yearsago,asanoviceattheSivanandaYogaVedantaCenterinNewYorkCity,Ilearnedaseriesofsimpleeyeexercises.ButsinceIcouldscrutinizeaflyFROM100yards,Ididn'tneedvisiontraining梠rsoIthought.Twodecadeslater,asIstruggletoreadfreewaysignsbeforemissingmyexit,thewisdomofthoseeyeasanasisoneofthethingsIcanseemoreclearlyasIgrowolder.

Manyage-relatedvisionproblemsstemFROMagraduallossofflexibilityandtoneintheeyemuscles,whichgetlockedINTOhabitualpatternsandlosetheirabilitytofocusatdifferentdistances.Ifyouhavethegoodfortuneofexcellentvision,anddon'twanttoloseit梠r,likeme,youhopetoimproveyourfuzzyeyesight梕videncesuggeststhatyogamayhaveasolution.AnystudentoftheSivanandalineagewouldrecognizethecoreexercisestaughtby

thelatecelebratedophthalmologistWilliamH.Bates.Batesclaimedhecouldimprovevisualperceptionwithpalming,eyeballrotations,andvisionshifting梩hesameSivanandaexercisesIoncetreatedwithindifference.

EyeSavers

ThelatephysicianswamiSivanandaconsideredsightthemostabusedofourfivesenses.Thefirstchapterinhistreatise,YogaAsanas(TheineLifeSociety,1993),describesanextensiveseriesofeyeexercises.Aswithanyyogicpractice,thepurposeoftheseexercisesisn'tjusthealth.AccordingtoSwamiSitaramananda,directoroftheSivanandaYogaVedantaCenterofSanFrancisco,"ThefastestwaytobringthemindINTOconcentrationisthroughtheeyes."

Thoughitmayseemfanciful,thiscorrelationbetweeneyesandmindhasaprofoundphysiologicalbasis.Visionoccupiesabout40percentofthebrain'scapacity;that'swhywecloseoureyestorelaxandfallasleep.Andfourofour12cranialnervesarededicatedexclusivelytovision,whiletwoothernervesarevision-related.Contrastthiswiththecardiacanddigestivefunctions,whichrequirejustonecranialnervetocontrolboth.

Whileinsightmaybetheultimatepurposeofeyeasanas,visionimprovementisalsoanimportantbenefit.Surprisingly,it'snotthemusclestretchingandcontractingthatseemstohavethegreatesteffect.Relaxationappearstobethesinglemostimportantelementofeyehealth.Inanexperimentapplyingthemusclerelaxantcuraretotheeyes,patientsexperienceddramaticeyesightimprovement.

WhenSwamiSrinivasan,directoroftheSivanandaAshramYogaRanchintheCatskills,teachesabeginnersyogaclass,heinstructsthestudentstobeginwithafewminutesofrelaxationinSavasana(Corpsepose).Thenheasksstudentstositinacomfortableposture,suchasSukhasana(Easypose),asheguidesthemthroughSivananda'sbasiceyeasanas."Theseexercisessettherighttoneforasanapractice,"explainsSrinivasan."Ourorgansofsightaresosensitiveandinfluentialthatthenormal,competitiveapproachwebringtoexercisecanbesoftenedthroughworkingwiththeeyes."

Thefirstexercisebeginswiththeeyelidsopen,theheadandneckstill,andtheentirebodyrelaxed.pictureaclockfaceinfrontofyou,andraiseyoureyeballsupto12o'clock.Holdthemthereforasecond,thenlowertheeyeballstosixo'clock.Holdthemthereagain.Continuemovingtheeyeballsupanddown10times,withoutblinkingifpossible.Yourgazeshouldbesteadyandrelaxed.Onceyoufinishthese10movements,rubyourpalmstogethertogenerateheatandgentlycupthemoveryoureyes,withoutpressing.Allowtheeyestorelaxincompletedarkness.Concentrateonyourbreathing,feelthewarmpranaemanatingFROMyourpalms,andenjoythemomentarystillness.

Followthisexercisewithhorizontaleyemovements梖romnineo'clocktothreeo'clock梕ndingagainby"palming"(cuppingyourhandsoveryoureyes).Thendodiagonalmovements梩woo'clocktoseveno'clock,and11o'clocktofouro'clock梐gainfollowedbypalming.Concludetheroutinewith10fullcirclesineachdirection,asthoughyouaretracingtheclock'srim.

Theseeyeballmovementsprovidebalanceforpeoplewhodoworkupclose,likestudentswhospendalotoftheirtimereadingorworkingatcomputers.AccordingtoRobertAbel,authorofTheEyeCareRevolution(KensingtonBooks,1999),thesebriefexercises"compensateforoverdevelopmentofthemusclesweusetolookatnearobjects."

Youmightbesurprisedtolearnthatthepalmingpartofthisexerciseprovidesmorethanapleasantrespite.AccordingtoAbel,ourphotoreceptorsbreakdownandarereconstructedeveryminute."TheeyedesperatelyneedsdarknesstorecoverFROMtheconstantstressoflight,"hesays."Andthesimplestwaytobreakeyestressistotakeadeepbreath,coveryoureyes,andrelax."

Alongwithpalming,yogaingeneralbenefitstheeyesbyrelievingtension.Whiletheeffectofyogaontheeyeshasnotbeenscientificallymeasured,studieshaveshownthatasimpleexerciselikewalkingcanlowerpressureintheeyeballby20percent.

VasanthiBhat,ayogateacherintheSivanandatradition,includesasanaslikeAdhoMukhaSvanasana(Downward-FacingDog),inhervideo,YogaforEyes."Theseasanasbringcirculationtotheface,neck,andshoulders,whichneedtobeenergizedandrelaxedforimprovedvision,"Bhatexplains.Soevenifyouhavenotbeendoingasanasspecificallyforyoureyes,youroverallyogapracticeishelpingyourvision.

LookingHigh,LookingLow

Oncestudentshavemasteredthebasiceyeballexercise,Srinivasanintroducesanintermediateseriesofeyeexerciseswhichhecalls"shiftingfocus."

Whilesittingrelaxedandstill,pickapointinthedistanceandfocusonit.Extendyourarmandputyourthumbrightunderneaththepointofconcentration.Nowbeginshiftingyourfocusbetweenthetipofyourthumbandthefarawaypoint,alternatingrhythmicallybetweennearanddistancevision.Repeattheexercise10times,thenrelaxyoureyeswithpalminganddeepbreathing.Asyoupracticethisexercise,youaretraininganorgancalledtheciliarybody,whichadjuststhelensoftheeye.Habitualfocuspatternsdegradetheciliarybody'snaturalflexibility.Shiftingfocalpointscounteractsthisstiffnessbyexercisingtheorganthroughitsfullrange,muchasweworkcomplementarymusclegroupsinasanapractice.

ThefinaleyeasanataughtintheSivanandaseriesstressesclose-rangefocus.Asintheshiftingfocusexercise,gazeatyourthumbwithyourarmextended.Thistimemovethethumbslowlytowardthetipofyournose.pausethereforonesecond.Thenreversethesequence,followingthethumbwithyoureyesasyouextendyourarmagain.Asbefore,repeatthesequence10t

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