You may have seen Eye Pillows at your last Yoga class and wondered ‘Why would I need one of those? Can’t I just close my eyes at the end of class?’
Eye Pillows may have the reputation of being a little bit unnecessary and pricey – but did you know they could be one of the most powerful healing tools, especially when it comes to stress, that you could buy.
Light pressure on the eyeballs has been shown to lower the heart rate by bringing about what is called ‘oculocardiac reflex’.
This can also stimulate the vagus nerve (one of 12 cranial nerves that starts in the brain, travels down the back into the heart and chest, then moving on down to the abdomen and digestive system). If you’ve never heard of the vagus nerve, it’s work is quite extensive!! It regulates heart rate, digestion and even mood and acts as the main way to communicate with our rest-and-digest system, which helps us to relax more deeply.
It also brings out our ‘tend-and-befriend’ system, allowing us to reach and connect with others – vital in long-term stress resilience and happiness.
The quick way to stimulate the vagus nerve is through light pressure on the eyeballs – hence the eye pillow.
When to use an eye pillow:
– place over your eyes or forehead when you go to sleep. It can help you fall asleep more quickly – and even help you to stay asleep during the night
– use at the end of your yoga class in savasana for amazing relaxation
– anytime you feel in need of de-stressing and relaxation. Find a quiet corner at home to take 5minutes for yourself.
Handmade eye pillows are available for purchase at the studio – and you’ll only find 2 or 3 of each design. So, why not purchase one for your next yoga class (or even our Monthly Yoga Nidra sessions)