The fun thing about not getting certified to teach right away is that I get to explore and experience classes just for the fun of it.
This week I went to a new location, had a new teacher, tried a new type (flow yoga - is it Ashtanga yoga? Not sure but will find out one day) and used a new prop. It is the new prop that I want to explore. An eye pillow.
I've seen these bean bag looking eye pillows hanging around studios I have attended but never had I inquired about them or used them before. Isn't it funny how we get into a set mode and stay there. My yoga equipment = One sticky mat, one cozy blanket, and two foam blocks and occasionally a strap. This is all I need for my practice - and not to be confused with the wooden blocks! Now I didn't have a choice, really with the eye pillow. The teacher handed me a Kleenex and eye pillow at the end of class so I just HAD to try it!
I placed the Kleenex over my eyes and then placed the pillow on top. The weight of the pillow was the most obvious sensation. It is not a normal occurrence to have something with this sort of weight over the eyes. The second sensation was that it was sort of cooling over the eyes. As I relaxed into savasana, this added prop was beginning to add a new dimension to my relaxation.
Eye pillows are yoga props that are small bags filled with flax seed or Golden linseed. Some pillows also have the essential oil, lavender, infused into them. They are primarily used during restorative poses such as corpse pose (savasana) and have been purported to help with migraine and headache pain as well.
I went a googling and found some other interesting tidbits about eye pillows.
1. The eye pillow shapes the contours of the face, blocks out light and calms the active muscles around the eyes.
2. In balancing poses, an eye pillow on top of the head helps keep head and body steady and in proper alignment. The weight of the pillow provides a slight resistance to extend into (better then balancing a textbook on your head!)
3. When lying down, placing an eye pillow on a particular part of the body helps bring awareness and breath to that area.
4. Easily transportable, eye pillows are perfect for the office (brief break from the visual overload of computer screens) and for travel (when flying or using in a hotel room when sleeping).
5. It aids in the initiation of meditation.
Pretty handy little prop! And I think it is so handy, I am in the process of making my own! Here is the instructions to do it yourself.
I'm a crafty gal but don't sew very often so I'll keep you posted how it goes!
Other useful website links to check out about yoga eye pillows:
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.