"Eyeball Yoga" is a great way to help kids wind down and get ready to relax in yoga or go to sleep at home. It's also a fun way to give their eyes a rest after screen time. Here are a few techniques I love using in my classes:
- Up and Down- Have kids keep their heads and necks still, but move their eyeballs to look up at the ceiling and then down to the floor.
-Left and Right, Side to Side- Keeping head and neck still again, have kids look to the left and to the right. If they don't know their left from their right, say things like "Left to the Door, Right to the Window" to give them clues about which way is which. If you are facing the class, don't forget that your right is their left, so you have to "mirror" your directions.
-Circles- Keep the head and neck still, and move your eyeballs clockwise from the top to the side, to the bottom, to the opposite side, and back up to the top. Try counterclockwise, too. If kids don't know these terms, use spatial clues in the room again to help (Look at the ceiling, look at the window, look at the floor, look at the door, look at ceiling again.)
-Have kids close their eyes and gently tap their fingertips on their eyes. If you are teaching to girls with long fingernails, remind them to use the pads of their fingers, not their nails.
Palming the Eyes
-Have kids rub the palms of their hands together quickly to build heat. When their palms feel warm, ask them to place their hands over their eyes, take a deep breath, and say "Ahhhhhhhh....". This is like Savasana for the Eyeballs...
Try using Eyeball Yoga when transitioning from a high energy activity to slower poses and notice how the energy of the room shifts! If you are using these exercises at home, notice if your child seems to fall asleep faster by helping the eyes relax.
Have more Eyeball Yoga ideas? I'd love to hear about them!