Anyone who practices yoga will have experienced how releasing stress and increasing flexibility benefits the body’s health. But a part of the body which is often forgotten or ignored is the eyes, and many people are unaware of what can be done to improve vision.
Sixty-four per cent of Australians wear glasses, and with more and more people spending longer periods of time looking at computer screens this figure is likely to increase. The two most common disorders are myopia, which is also known as near-sightedness and usually first occurs during a child’s school years, and presbyopia, which is far-sightedness, when people in their mid-40s find they can no longer decipher the small print in the newspaper, or read in low light.
People are likely to be told by their optometrist that their vision will get worse as they get older and nothing can be done to prevent this, but an extensive study done by the American Optometry Association in 1986 found that eye exercises can improve the vision.
The pioneer in natural vision improvement was New York ophthalmologist, William H Bates (1860-1931). In the years he worked as assistant surgeon at the New York Eye Infirmary Dr Bates examined thousands of eyes, and discovered not only that eyesight changes all the time, but contrary to the conventional belief, which still prevails today, that it was the muscles around the eye which are instrumental to focusing rather than the lens inside the eye.
Bates began by curing his own presbyopia, and then began to help other people. He discovered a method for lessening the number of school children developing myopia, and this was introduced into the New York school system in 1912, and reduced incidents of near-sightedness from 6% to 1%.
Although Dr Bates’ ideas were not accepted by the scientific community and he was expelled from the New York Post-Graduate Medical School where he taught ophthalmology, when he taught medical students how to improve their near-sightedness, he continued to develop his theory and also a method of vision training. In 1920 his book, Better Eyesight Without Glasses, was published, which is still in print today.
In the 1930s Indian ophthalmologist, Dr RS Agarwal, became interested in Dr Bates’ work and founded the School for Perfect Eyesight at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.
Leo Angart, author if Improve Your Eyesight Naturally, wore glasses for 25 years before restoring his vision from -5.5 (severe myopia) to 20/20 vision in a period of only three months. For the last twelve years he has helped thousands of people around the world improve their sight.
On the road to improving his own vision Leo came across research done in connection with people who have multiple personality disorders which showed that different personalities can have different vision. Chris Sizemore, the subject of the book and film, Three Faces of Eve, had one personality with far-sightedness, another with astigmatism and a third who was colour-blind. Those findings led Leo Angart to conclude that vision problems are not solely physical, but to a great extent to do with the mind.
‘The muscles in the eye,’ Leo Angart says, ‘are used to focus, but the focusing is due to intention. Your intention starts and your eye follows. Vision is 90% in the mind.’
Angart says that what is most important is to believe that it is possible to have better eyesight, and also to understand that natural clear vision is effortless. When Leo Angart cured his own vision he searched for a method which would give him quick results. He believes that vision improvement is the combination of four elements:
Belief work – resolving any limiting beliefs related to what you, at one point in your life, did not want to see or because of your beliefs must not be seen.
Physical exercises – if you wear correcting lenses your eye muscles do not get used as much as they normally would, so they must be regenerated by exercise.
Energy work – pranic healing and acupuncture exercises can help remove eyestrain and give energy to the eyes.
Visualisation – imagery and memory are important parts of healthy vision.
A common vision problem which responds well to vision training is astigmatism. Astigmatism is caused by an unequal tension held in the four recti muscles around the eyes. If you look at the Astigmatism Test Chart and some of the lines appear thicker, darker than others, or differently spaced, then you have an astigmatism. It can occur at some distances and not others, so hold the chart close to your eyes and further away.
[INSERT ASTIGMATISM TEST CHART HERE]
To release the tension causing astigmatism use the Tibetan Wheel
Hold the Tibetan Wheel 3cm from your nose, with the tip of your nose at the white circle in the centre. It does not matter if you can not see the chart clearly.
Inhale and move your eyes up the left hand side of the spoke at the top of the page until you reach the black ball at the top of it. Exhale and move your eyes down the right hand side of the spoke. Inhale and move your eyes to the top of the needle like spoke at one o’clock, and exhale as you move your eyes back to the centre.
Continue around the chart in a clockwise direction. Then close your eyes, rub your hands together and cover your eyes with the palms of your hands for one minute (this is called palming).
Repeat the Tibetan Wheel exercise in an anticlockwise direction and palm again.
Do this exercise four times a day with at least two hours of rest in between. The eye muscles should regain their flexibility between a few days and a few weeks. Check your progress using the Astigmatism Test Chart.
[INSERT TIBETAN WHEEL HERE – GIVE IT ONE FULL A4 PAGE]
Also known as near-sightedness myopia is the most common vision problem. It usually starts using school years and the first signs are that objects in the distance start to appear blurred.
Myopia can be due to too much near work, such as writing, reading and computing. Another cause is emotionally linked when a child sees something that troubles them, but over which they have no control. Leo Angart says that studies of myopia show that 98% of all 5-6 year-olds have perfect vision, but by the time they are 15 years old 20-25% of them have myopia.
To overcome myopia you need to train the eyes to see clearly at a greater distance.
One of the consequences of myopia, unless it is very mild, is lack of energy in the eyes. The following Energy Exercise is what Leo Angart used to heal his eyesight, and is based on the Pranic Healing tradition developed by Master Choa Kok Sui.
Activate your hands by lightly touching the centre of your palms and the tip of each finger, finally shake the hands. [INSERT ENERGY 1 NEXT TO THIS TEXT AND CALL IT 1)]
Close the four fingers of one hand to form an imaginary arrow. Close your eyes and imagine apple green energy flowing from the centre of your palm down through your folded fingers to create a beam of green energy. Hold your hand so the finger tips are 10cm away from the Ajna Chakra, the third eye. Breathe in and out seven times as you imagine apple green energy flowing in an endless stream from your fingertips to the point between the eyebrows and filling your eyes with cleansing green energy. The green energy works like soap. Then energise the Ajna Chakra with yellow energy for two breathing cycles. Yellow energy has a sticky effect that binds the loosened energy together, so it is easier to remove. [INSERT ENERGY 2 NEXT TO THIS TEXT AND CALL IT 2)]
Now imagine you are wearing a glove of transparent green or violet energy, which extends about 10cm from your fingertips. Use your extended energy fingers to scoop away tired and old stress from your eyes. Clean the eyes all the way to the back of the eyeball. This clears the tension and tiredness in the eyes.
Next energise the Ajna Chakra with violet energy for seven breathing cycles. This strengthens the eyes.
Find the energy point at the back of the head at the same level as the eyes and for seven breathing cycles visualize white energy flowing from your fingertips through the head and into the eyeballs. [INSERT ENERGY 3 NEXT TO THIS TEXT AND CALL IT 5)]
Imagine your hand is a paint roller dipped in blue sky energy. With a couple of sweeps paint a layer of blue around the energy you have projected into your eyes. Blue stablises the energy. [INSERT ENERGY 4 NEXT TO THIS TEXT AND CALL IT 6)]
Finally, rub your palms together until they are warm, and finish with about 30 seconds of palming. You may see colours when you do this, and it is the energy being absorbed into the system, but don’t be concerned if you do not see colours. [INSERT ENERGY 5 NEXT TO THIS TEXT AND CALL IT 7)]
For maximum benefit do this exercise every two hours, because it restores energy to the eyes. Leo Angart has had myopic participants who have improved their eyesight by as much as 8 diopters just by doing this exercise.
Also known as far-sightedness presbyopia is the need for reading glasses, which affects many people in about their mid 40s. You may have difficulty reading in low light, or reading small print initially. It helps when you hold the text further away, but soon your arms are just not long enough.
According to Leo Angart presbyopia is due to stress and lack of flexibility of the eye muscles. So you need to relax and strengthen the eye muscles, so they can stretch and contract to their full ability.
Tromboneing for Better Eyesight
The following are exercises to help presbyopia and myopia.
Look at a paragraph of text and move it away from your eyes until you can see it very clearly.
Move the text a fraction closer, so it begins to blur. Then move the text back and forth like a trombone player. You will notice that your eyes begin to focus closer.
Once you can read the paragraph clearly at 15cm from the eyes find some smaller print and repeat the exercise.
Then move the text from an arm’s length away to within 15cm of your eyes in order to develop range.
Finally practice reading small print in different kinds of light.
This tromboneing for reading can be done frequently. It builds up flexibility in your muscles just like when you do asanas.
Take an object like a ball pen with some clear print on it more than 2mm high.
Cover the left eye with one hand.
Holding the pen with the other hand slowly move it away from you.
Find the furthest point your right eye can see the print on the pen clearly.
Slowly move the pen backwards and forwards past your point of clear vision. As you do so your eyes attempt to focus on it and this extends your vision.
Repeat for the left eye.
The movement is similar to the action of a trombone player so is called tromboneing. The more tromboneing is done the better.
Is natural vision improvement safe?
Doing eye exercises increases their flexibility and strength. However, you must be careful not to strain the eyes.
Will I have to do eye exercises all my life?
After Leo Angart’s vision returned to 20/20 he did no exercises of any kind for the next five years and his sight remained good. So you should not have to do eye exercises all your life.
For more information
Leo Angart gives Vision Training workshops in Australia two to three times a year. For more information go to www.vision-training.com or telephone 1300 135277.