Suffering from glaucoma? Stop performing these 7 Yoga asanas | Health

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that is caused by the increased fluid pressure within the eye that can damage the optic nerve which transmits images to the brain. It is known as the “silent thief of sight” and is a symptomless disease which health experts believe is not curable but the progress of glaucoma can be stopped and total blindness can be prevented if it is detected early.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Institutions, Himalaya Yoga Ashrama and World Yoga Organisation, shared, “In patients suffering with glaucoma, increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP) is a common known risk factor. The optic nerve can get damaged when the fluid pressure rises inside the eye. Stress can trigger an attack of acute angle-closure glaucoma. Hence, the practice of Yoga asanas which are relaxing, help in balancing, rejuvenating and revitalising your mind, body and spirit are helpful however, some Yoga postures may lead to increase in fluid pressure therefore, should be avoided.”

Asserting that certain Yoga asana poses like head-down postures may be dangerous as it can cause an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), he listed the asanas that should be avoided by those suffering from glaucoma:

1. Adho Mukha Svanasa (Downward Dog),

2. Padahastasana (Standing forward bend),

3. Sirsasana (headstand),

4. Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand),

5. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall),

6. Dhanurasana (Wheel pose),

7. Matsyasana (Fish pose)

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar said, “Glaucoma patients need to be extra careful not to do many inversions or hold them for long periods of time (not more than 30 seconds) or just eliminate inversions completely if the diagnosis is severe. They need to avert from doing any activity where the head is below the heart as it increases the intraocular pressure. People suffering from glaucoma need to be encouraged to live an active and a healthy lifestyle. Yoga asanas and exercise that involve strenuous effort like push ups and weight lifting should be avoided completely.”

He concluded, “Yoga practitioners with glaucoma or optic nerve damages of different causes should take care when choosing their Yoga exercises. Along with avoiding certain Yoga asanas, performing yogic pranayama, diaphragm breathing techniques and following the medications very sincerely is important.”