Yoga can incorporate many different tools during a session, including things like foam rollers and eye pillows. Eye pillows are a simple tool that has been used in yoga for years, but what are they actually used for?
Eye pillows provide relief and comfort, both before and after your yoga session. They can be useful to:
- Help reduce headaches and relax the body
- Prevent sleepless nights
- Use as a hot or cold compress to relieve aches and pains
- Relieve stress
- Prevent eye strain
- Open the chakras
Eye pillows are often used by those who practice yoga and there is a multitude of ways to use them, so everyone can benefit! Finding an eye pillow and learning how it works can help you experience stress relief and aid in relaxation in all areas of your life. We’ll discuss all of this and more below.
What Are Eye Pillows?
An eye pillow is a prop that can be used to help aid in relaxation while lowering your blood pressure levels as well. Many practitioners of yoga will choose to give these to their clients after a session to help them enter a complete state of relaxation and prevent any additional stress.
They are usually made from a bag of muslin cloth filled with flaxseed, and you can simply take it and lay it gently along with your eyes. They’re very simple, but they provide a wide range of health and wellbeing benefits!
These eye pillows are a simple product to use, and you can even make one yourself! At first glance, you may think the eye pillow looks like an elongated bean bag—and you’d be right.
To make your own, follow these steps:
- Find a piece of muslin (or another comfortable piece of material) and cut it into a long rectangle about double the length of the eye pillow
- Fold the cloth over and so the sides together, leaving the top seam open
- Find some flaxseed or rice and fill it up. You can add as much as you would like as long as there is room enough to sew up the hole you left behind.
- Finish sewing the top seam and your eye pillow is ready!
The Benefits of Eye Pillows
There are many ways you can use eye pillows in your yoga routine or even in your daily life. We’ll cover some of the most common uses and their benefits below.
Put the Eye Pillow Over Your Eyes
You can warm up the eye pillow and gently lay it across your eyes as you lay down in deep relaxation. Some of the benefits of doing this include:
- Lowering your blood pressure by helping you relax
- Promoting good digestion through the body
- Reducing your levels of stress
- Relaxing the whole body.
If you do choose to heat the eye pillow, make sure to not use the microwave on high heat. This can catch the material on fire and may cause some damage to the microwave and the material.
Prevent Sleepless Nights
Many people find that insomnia is a problem that plagues them all the time. They struggle to fall asleep at night and feel miserable for the rest of the day. The eye pillow may be able to assist with this and can make it easier to fall asleep.
Adding the eye pillow on your eyes right when you go to bed can provide you with the relaxation that you need.You can choose to heat it or cool it down based on what helps you fall asleep.
Can Open the Chakras
Many people believe that Chakras are essentially the “energy centers” of the body. It is an ancient idea that is often explored in meditation and yoga. When one of these energy centers gets clogged up, it can result in problems in your physical world.
Laying the eye pillow on top of the clogged chakra can help to open up the area and give you relief. This restores balance and harmony throughout the body. Apply the eye pillow to different areas of the body for different soothing effects:
- At the base of the throat to help open up the throat chakra. This can help balance out your communication centers and help you feel more open to expressing yourself.
- To your heart to help balance the fourth chakra. This is your center of love and it can be over or underactive. Balancing it can help you to love others and yourself in balance.
- To your stomach, right on the belly button. When this one is balanced, you have more confidence and more of your power.
There are seven main chakras that all have important meanings across the body. Adding some meditation and working with the chakras as part of your yoga routine can make a big difference in your life and help you calm down even further.
Fight Against Eye Strain
If you spend a lot of your time sitting at a desk looking at a computer, or you watch a lot of TV or do other things with a screen all day, then you may get some relief with an eye pillow. Simply apply it to the eyes while lying on the floor and taking some deep breaths. This break, and the pressure from the eye pillow, can help reduce the strain.
Use Essential Oils to Enhance the Eye Pillow
Some yoga practitioners like to add essential oils into their routine. This helps them to get even more benefits to promote good healing and to help them feel energized or relax after a stressful day. Some of the best essential oils to use include:
- Use a citrus oil like lemon or orange to help add more energy into your day
- Use lavender to help you to relax and feel better while reducing stress
- Use sandalwood to help calm down the nerves
- Use rose to improve your mood and reduce any anxiety you have
- Use peppermint to boost your energy and see improvement in your digestion
Use to Prevent Aches and Pains
Yoga eye pillows can also be used to help prevent some of the normal aches and pains that we feel on the body. While eye pillows are often reserved to use on the eyes, it is fine to use on other parts of the body as well.
For example, you can add your eye pillow to the freezer and then use it as a cold compress to avoid aches on the back or other parts of the body. You can also heat it up—it’s really effective as a hot compress on your eyes or forehead to help treat headaches and migraines.
Play Around a Little
Sometimes the most relaxing thing you can do is learn to play, and an eye pillow can be a neat little toy to use for this. There are several ways to play with the eye pillow while relieving stress including:
- Roll it back and forth between your hands
- Throw it to someone else in the room
- Try juggling or balancing it on different parts of your body
The goal here is to distract yourself from the stress and anxiety a bit. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, playing with the eye pillow can provide you with that relief.
Using Eye Pillows to Promote Good Health
While eye pillows may not be widely known, they are one of the best ways to promote good health without needing to turn to medications unnecessarily.
Eye pillows help by:
- Reducing the stress and anxiety you have in your life
- Promoting healing through the body
- Opening up the chakras and allowing essential oils to do their work
- Helping you to avoid eye strain and get to sleep better.
With all the great healing properties that eye pillows provide, it will soon become your first choice to handle many of the daily aches and pains that may bother you.