Yogic eye exercises, also known as eye yoga, have become increasingly popular as a natural and noninvasive method to improve eye health in recent years. However, no scientific evidence supports its use.

These exercises involve movements and techniques designed to strengthen and condition the muscles in the eyes, reduce eyestrain, and alleviate symptoms of dry eyes.

This article discusses whether the science backs these claims, what causes dry eyes, and how to take care of the eyes.

A person practicing eye yoga for dry eyes.Share on Pinterest
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Eye yoga practitioners believe these exercises can help improve people’s vision and reduce dependence on corrective lenses. However, no scientific evidence supports the claim that eye yoga can correct eye conditions.

While some people may experience temporary improvements in their vision after practicing eye yoga, research has not revealed an exercise that can definitively improve or correct vision.

People experience dry eyes when the eyes do not produce enough tears or tears evaporate too quickly. This can result in irritation, discomfort, and even vision problems.

Some common causes include:

  • Age: As people age, the tear glands may produce fewer tears.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy and menopause, can affect tear production.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to dry or windy environments, air conditioning or heating systems, and smoke can cause dry eyes.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, and antidepressants, can cause dry eyes as a side effect.
  • Medical conditions: Conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes can cause dry eyes.
  • Contact lens wear: Wearing contact lenses for extended periods or not cleaning them properly can cause dry eyes.
  • Eye surgery: Some eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can cause dry eyes temporarily.
  • Screen time: Staring at a computer or digital screen for extended periods can cause dry eyes due to decreased blinking.
  • Nutritional deficiencies: A diet lacking omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin A can contribute to dry eyes.

Learn more about dry eyes here.

Despite lacking scientific evidence for its efficacy, many people still find eye yoga helpful and relaxing. Here are some yoga exercises to try:


Palming is a yogic eye exercise that aims to help improve focus. It may relax muscles around the eye and reduce eye fatigue.

  1. Rub both hands together to warm them.
  2. Place a hand over each eye, with the palms resting on the cheekbones and fingers cupped over the eyes.
  3. Take slow deep breaths with open eyes.
  4. Try to clear the mind and focus on the darkness of the palms.
  5. Continue taking deep, focused breaths for 5 minutes.


The eyes may become dry, sand-like, gritty, and worn out, especially with prolonged digital device use. Practicing blinking can help lubricate the eyes.

  1. Sit up straight.
  2. Blink rapidly 10–15 times.
  3. With closed eyes, take slow and deep breaths.
  4. Continue this for 20–30 seconds.
  5. Repeat the steps five times.

Figure eight

People may increase flexibility and eye strength by performing figure eight eye movements.

  1. Pick a point on the floor roughly 10 feet away.
  2. Try to picture a large eight on the floor.
  3. Starting clockwise, slowly trace the eight with the eyes.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds.
  5. Switch directions and trace the eight anticlockwise.
  6. Continue with that movement for 30 seconds.
  7. Repeat the steps a few times.

Near and far focus

Alternating between near and far focus may help train the eyes to focus correctly.

  1. Hold a thumb or another object around 10 inches from the face and focus on it for 15 seconds.
  2. After 15 seconds, shift the gaze to an object around 20 feet away, and hold this focus for 15 seconds.
  3. Switch the focus back to the object close to the face.
  4. Try to inhale during close viewing and exhale during distant viewing.
  5. Repeat this 10–20 times.
  6. Close and relax the eyes.

Eye rolling

Regular eye-rolling may help relieve eyestrain.

  1. Sit up straight and take a deep breath.
  2. Keeping the head still, slowly look up toward the sky.
  3. Roll the eyes to the right, focusing on an object directly to the right.
  4. Roll the eyes down and focus on the floor.
  5. Roll the eyes to the left, focusing on an object directly to the left.
  6. Roll the eyes back upward and focus straight ahead.
  7. Repeat these steps several times, switching between the directions.


To help improve focus, try the following.

  1. Sit up straight and extend one arm out in front.
  2. Position one hand in a thumbs-up position.
  3. Look straight ahead to focus the eyes on the thumb.
  4. Slowly move the hand toward the face.
  5. Keep the head still and follow the thumb with the eyes until the eyes lose focus.
  6. Repeat 5–10 times.

Focus shifting

This exercise may help reduce eyestrain and sharpen focus.

  1. Sit up straight and extend the left arm out in front.
  2. Position one hand in a thumbs-up position.
  3. Look straight ahead to focus the eyes on the thumb.
  4. Slowly move the arm as far right as possible.
  5. Keep the head still and follow the thumb with the eyes until the focus is lost.
  6. Slowly move the arm back to the left, letting the eyes follow the thumb.
  7. Repeat multiple times.

Find more eye exercises here.

Caring for the eyes is crucial for maintaining good vision and overall eye health. Below are some ways to care for the eyes.

Have regular eye exams

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people with diabetes have a yearly dilated eye exam. It suggests the following groups have them every 2 years:

  • African Americans aged 40 years and over
  • adults older than 60 years, especially Mexican Americans
  • people with a family history of glaucoma

Wear sunglasses

To protect the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, wearing sunglasses with UV protection outdoors, particularly during peak sunlight hours, is important. This can help prevent cataracts and other eye conditions caused by UV radiation.

Reduce eyestrain

To reduce eyestrain and fatigue caused by prolonged screen time, it is best to take breaks when using computers or other screens and follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stop and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Quit smoking, if applicable

Smoking is a significant risk factor for many eye problems, including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and optic nerve damage. There are many smoking cessation strategies people can try if needed. Health insurance will likely cover the treatment costs.

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in vitamins A, C, and E, can help protect the eyes from free radical damage known to cause AMD. Regular consumption of fish, nuts, and other foods loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can improve the quality of the tear film and relieve dry eye discomfort.

Learn about 10 foods for healthy eyes here.

Eye yoga exercises aim to improve eye health by strengthening and conditioning the eye muscles. Some people who practice eye yoga believe it can improve vision, treat dry eye symptoms, and reduce eyestrain.

While these exercises can help promote relaxation and reduce tension, no scientific evidence supports the claim that eye yoga can correct vision or treat eye conditions, such as dry eyes.

Many people find eye yoga helpful and relaxing. Incorporating yoga exercises into an eye care routine that includes regular eye exams, a healthy diet, and good eye hygiene may help maintain healthy eyes and reduce the risk of eye problems.