Eye Pillows: The Simplest, Most Effective Prop for Deep Relaxation
What is an Eye Pillow?
An Eye Pillow is typically a small bag filled with flax seeds and/or aromatic herbs that is placed over your eyes when you lie on your back. But this seemingly simple mediation prop, is one of the most powerful and accessible healing tools at our disposal. Eye pillows are known for their balancing effects on the nervous system, thereby inducing a deep relaxation, better quality of sleep and tranquillity.
Physiological Benefits of Eye Pillows:
The flax seeds apply a gentle pressure on the eyeballs and contour perfectly to one’s face shape. This light pressure is known to lower heart rate, a phenomenon called the oculocardiac reflex. It also stimulates the vagus nerve. The name "vagus" comes from the Latin term for "wandering." This is because the vagus nerve wanders from the brain into organs in the neck, chest, and abdomen. The vagus nerve has a long list of responsibilities: regulates heart rate, regulates digestion, and it’s the primary medium through which our belly brain regulates mood. It’s the main communicator to our rest-and-digest system, which helps us to relax more deeply. It also elicits our tend-and-befriend system, enabling us to reach out, socialize, and build connections with others. This is a critical factor in long-term stress resilience and, research shows, in happiness. Using eye pillows is a quick way to stimulate the vagus nerve.
In addition, eye pillows offer several other benefits:
- Gentle pressure applied by flaxseeds not only relaxes tired eyes, but the aromatic effect of essential oils and herbs infused in the flax seeds calms the mind too
- Flaxseeds allow the eye pillow to perfectly fit the shape of your face
- Research shows that inhaling certain essential oils such as lavender may influence brain chemicals involved in controlling sleep
- Relieves irritated, itchy and burning eyes caused by over exposure to television, phones and computer screens
- Eye pillows can be heated in the zip pouch for deeper relaxation and can be refrigerated for rejuvenation and revitalisation
When to use an eye pillow:
- Sleep: Place the eye pillow over your eyes when you lay down to sleep. It will help you fall asleep quickly and have an undisturbed sleep through the night
- Yoga: Use an eye pillow at the end of your yoga practice during Savasana or Yoga Nidra. It can also be used in restorative yoga for an enhanced experience
- Moods: Anytime you feel anxious, depressed, or stressed, an eye pillow is a quick pick-me-up for more grounding
Shop for Kosha Yoga Co.’s lavender infused flaxseed, organic cotton eye pillows here