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Yoga and Glaucoma

Francesca Silva

Our treadmill arrived last week, and Hubby and I have now settled into a routine. It’s working out very well so far but I still miss my yoga, so I decided to do some research to see if there are any types of yoga I could do that would not adversely affect my eyes.

Really, if I’d taken a bit of time to think about it, the solution would have been obvious. Glaucoma is caused by a dangerous escalation in the internal eye pressure that can often result in blindness if not treated. Research has shown that stress can play a significant part in increasing eye pressure, so it makes absolute sense that any form of exercise that helps to reduce and manage stress is the ideal solution.

More research uncovered information on how pranayama (voluntary regulation of breathing), tratakas (visual focusing exercises) and meditation have been proven to reduce the fluid pressure in the eye and improve visual perception.

So why did I ever stop practising my restorative yoga? I bought a wonderful DVD on yoga for stress relief ages ago – Barbara Benagh’s “Yoga for Stress Relief (With the Dalai Lama)” – and I used to practice it faithfully because I found it helpful in easing tension and stress. Then I gave it up because I wanted to attend a more challenging yoga class.

Isn’t it funny how I never connected the dots? It now seems like such an obvious conclusion – a regular practice of restorative yoga helps to ease stress, which in turn can significantly reduce the fluid build-up in the eye. Duh.

So I’ve added that to my health routine now – a workout on the treadmill in the mornings and a regular practice of stress relief yoga in the evenings. I’ve only just started on the latter but I’m already feeling the benefits of releasing the tension and stress from my body. Time will tell whether this will help to improve my eyesight, but I’m hopeful.

I’m now looking around to see if I can find some classes on pranayama, tratakas and meditation – that really would be the icing on the cake!

[tags]pranayama, tratakas, meditation, glaucoma, fluid pressure in the eye, visual perception, Yoga for Stress Relief, Dalai Lama, Barbara Benagh[/tags]

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