Ayurveda is unique in its approach to taking care of one of our most important sense organs. Rather than simply treating the eye itself, Ayurveda believes that the images we take in on the visual plane can affect the health of our eyes. This is why it is important to see beautiful things on a daily basis—a bronze sunset, a bird’s yellow breast, steam coming off the surface of an earthen hot spring… What is more, the skin around our eyes is also prone to imbalance, as it is one of the most delicate tissues of the skin. Vata imbalances in eyes lead to early eye-wrinkling (crow’s feet), dryness and nervous eye ticks. Pitta imbalances related to anything hot, itchy or red around the eyes. Kapha imbalances bring about eye mucous, swelling, unclear vision and general puffiness in the eye area.
Do trataka—A simple and powerful practice for eye health, this ancient technique not only burns the impurities of the eyes, but also awakens intuition and inner vision. Try doing trataka at night, as it will calm the mind before bed. This is also an excellent practice for people who spend a lot of time staring at screens. Stop and practice this for a few minutes before returning to your work.
Here’s how to do it:
- Light a candle and put in on the floor, a small low meditation table, or a stack of books in front of you at about an arm’s length. The goal is to have the candle as close to eye height as possible. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
- Begin with your eyes closed, allowing your awareness to relax and follow the movement of some deep breaths.
- When you feel a deeper stillness in the mind/body, allow your eyes to open and let the gaze rest at the tip of the candle’s wick. Keep your eyes open and focused. Try not to blink or move the eyes.
- Hold this gaze for as long as possible. After a few minutes, your eyes will begin to water. The healing process has begun. Keep the gaze for a minute more, allowing the eyes to water.
After a minute or two, or when your eyes tire, you can close your eyes and rest. Work up to doing 2-4 rounds of this practice.
Ditch the chemicals—Mascara, eyeliner, eye shadows, and chemical makeup removers are really hard on the eyes. Make sure to only use a mineral-based makeup. To remove makeup, use a natural organic cream or sunflower oil.
Wash your eyes in the morning with an eyecup and rinse—You can buy one at any pharmacy. Use cool water, or organic rose water in the eye cup.
Give your eyes a ghee bath—As we age, our eyes become more and more strained. Computers screens speed up the ageing process of the eyes. Giving your eyes a ghee-soak helps to reduce eye strain and strengthen the vision. Soak 4 cotton balls in some melted ghee until fully saturated. Place 2 over each of your closed eyes, lay back and relax for at least 15 minutes, allowing the ghee to slowly seep into the eyes.
Cucumbers to the rescue—Cucumbers are a natural astringent, meaning that they help pull excess water and puffiness from the tissues. They also have a hydrating effect on the skin, meaning that it can pull out the old and bring in new, clean water. They are also cooling for the sensitive skin of the eyes, and help reduce excessive mental heat. Crush up a small piece of peeled cucumber and place the pulp around the eyes. You can also juice a cucumber, soak a few cotton balls in the liquid and rest on your eyes for 15-20 minutes.
Read more in Healthy, Happy, Sexy!