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Paul McCartney says eye yoga stops him needing glasses – here’s the reality about ocular exercises

Paul McCartney recently told The Times that he does eye yoga to avoid needing glasses. In the interview, he revealed that he was introduced to the eye exercises in India some years ago and has practised them ever since.

He believes that by exercising your eye muscles, you can reduce the need for glasses. Macca has demonstrated some of these techniques on YouTube.

So what is eye yoga and can exercising your eyes really prevent the need for glasses?

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Different types of eye yoga have been practised for thousands of years. One example, tratak kriya, originating in India, is part of a yoga meditation practised in the belief that it develops higher states of consciousness and spiritual awakening. The Sanskrit word “tratak” means “fix your gaze” and involves staring at an object, such as a candle flame without blinking, until tears flow.

More recently, in the late 19th century, Dr William Bates, a New York ophthalmologist, published The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses, in which he made the case that eye exercises could avert the need for glasses.

He believed that any glasses correction can be overcome by exercises involving eye movement and visualisation techniques, such as looking at an eye chart, focusing on letter contours, blinking frequently, closing the eyes to visualise the letter and imagining it blacker and sharper. The Bates eye exercises website still promotes his work today.

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