World Glaucoma Day: 5 yoga poses for relief from increased eye pressure

Published on: 12 March 2022, 09:00 am IST

On World Glaucoma Day, find out about the most suitable yoga poses for eye pressure. These can be performed safely without any worry!

eye pressure
Try yoga to get respite from eye pressure. Image courtesy: Shutterrstock

It’s World Glaucoma Day today, and here’s a gentle reminder that eye health is as important as taking care of other parts of the body! In fact, eye pressure or intraocular pressure is an important factor that we often ignore. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, 12 to 22 mm Hg is considered normal intraocular pressure (IOP). An IOP reading higher than 22 mm Hg can result in ocular hypertension. In that case, there are a few yoga poses for eye pressure that MUST be avoided, while some that can be performed safely.
That’s because high eye pressure significantly increases the risk of damage to the optic nerve, which can lead to glaucoma and even permanent vision loss. So, you need to keep it in check!

Can excess intraocular lead to glaucoma?

Excessive aqueous production or hindrance of its outflow is the reason for a rise in IOP that can possibly lead to glaucoma. In most types of glaucoma, elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is linked with damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye.

eye pressure
Glaucoma can hamper vision. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Should you avoid yoga for eye pressure?

NO! While it is still beneficial for you to practice yoga on a regular basis, there are specific postures and breathing techniques that you must avoid. Plan your yoga flow keeping in mind that any pressure towards the eye area can aggravate the condition.

These are some yoga poses for eye pressure that can be performed safely:

1. Naukasana (boat pose)

Formation of the posture:

* Lie down on your back.
* Lift your upper body 45° off the floor.
* Lift your legs up also at 45° off the floor trying to align toes with your eyes
* Balance on your tailbone and keep back straight
* Arms can be parallel to the ground
* Engage your abdominal muscles.

2. Sukhasana (happy pose)

Formation of the posture:

* Sit in an upright position
* Both legs stretched out in dandasana
* Fold the left leg and tuck it inside the right thigh
* Fold the right leg and tuck it inside the left thigh
* Place your palms on the knees
* Sit erect with spine straight

3. Vajrasana (diamond pose)

Formation of the posture:

* Gently drop your knees down
* Keep your heels close to each other
* Don’t place toes on top of each other; instead, the right and left toe must be next to each other
* Place your palms on your knees facing upward
* Straighten your back and look forward

Also Read: Keep your eyes in the best shape with these simple and effective eye care tips

sukhasana
Sukhasana. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

4. Anulom vilom (alternate nostril breathing)

Formation of the posture:

* Sit in any of these positions: sukhasana, ardha padmasana, vajrasana or poorna padmasana
* Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed
* Close your eyes
* Focus on your breath.
* Place your palms on your knees facing upward (in prapthi mudra)
* Gently close your right nostril with your thumb
* Inhale into your left nostril and close it; let the breath out through the right nostril
* Inhale through your right nostril, closing it to exhale only through your left nostril. This makes one cycle.

5. Udgeeth pranayama

Formation of the posture:

* Sit in any comfortable pose (sukhasana, ardhapadmasana, or padmasana)
* Straighten your back
* Close your eyes
* Place your palms on your knees facing up (in prapthi mudra)
* Inhale deeply and fill your lungs with air
* While exhaling, chant “Om”

Also Read: Glaucoma might just be connected to the nerve cells in your eyes, according to this study

naukasana
Try naukasana. Image courtesy: Grand Master Akshar

What else should you keep in mind?

Any kind of inversions like headstand, handstand, and shoulder stand must be avoided. Also, do not hold any poses for a long time that can cause an increase in pressure in the upper body or towards the head. Padahastasana, dhanurasana and chakrasana, and other such poses must be completely avoided. Instead, you can include gentle postures like dandasana, savitriasana, anandasana, etc.

You can consume carrots in the form of juice or salad, two to three times a week for good eye health. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet, along with the regular practice of yoga.

Himalayan Siddha Akshar Himalayan Siddha Akshar

Himalayan Siddha Akshar is an internationally acclaimed Spiritual yogic master. He is the founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga and president of World Yoga Organisation. He is also the President of the International Siddha Foundation.

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