A senior Yoga student discovers how simple eye exercises could save her life by improving her peripheral vision.
As I entered the room to teach my weekly Yoga class at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, one of my students caught my attention.
“I’m sorry I missed class last week,” she explained. “I got hit by a car.”
I held my breath as I waited for details. It turned out she had been hit by a gypsy cab who took a turn too fast. Other than a bruise on her knee, C.G., 81, was fine, if shaken. She didn’t even go to the emergency room. Then came a sigh of relief knowing everything turned out so well.
Coincidentally, I had planned to teach Yogic eye exercises this class and, after we did them, I asked the group what benefits they had observed. One student found the exercises improved coordination, one noticed that the work between her two eyes felt more balanced, another said his vision felt brighter.
But C.G., who’d been hit by the gypsy cab, gave another, very important benefit. “If I do these exercises, maybe I’ll see the cab coming next time,” she said.
These movements are based on the Pawanmuktasana (energy-freeing) series by Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga in India. Remove your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Perform these exercises slowly, incorporating the breath, and stop immediately if the eyes feel strained. Begin with only 1 or 2 repetitions, then gradually build up to 3 to 5.