Most people believe that dwindling eyesight is just a fact of life that we all have to deal with as we age. But at 78, Paul McCartney doesn’t have to worry about putting on a pair of glasses to read a book or wave to a fan in the crowd at one of his concerts (when we’re able to have those again). The beloved musician recently shared that simple eye yoga exercises keep his peepers strong and healthy.
Yes, you read that right: eye yoga! The former Beatle spoke about it while joining one of his daughters, Mary McCartney, on the latest episode of the podcast Table Manners. McCartney said he learned about the eye exercises from a yogi during a trip he took to India in the late 2000s. “[The yogi] explained that your eyes are muscles whereas your ears aren’t, so you can’t exercise your ears. But your eyes, you can.”
He went on to describe his technique: “So, head still, and then you look up as far as you can, one, two, three, go back to the middle, then down, one, two, three, then back to the middle. You do three lots of that, then go to the left and the right. Now you’ve got a cross, up and down, and sideways, now you do the diagonals.”
McCartney admitted he isn’t a hundred percent sure the exercises are what’s keeping his eyes in such good shape, but it certainly hasn’t hurt. “I don’t know if it means that’s why I don’t need glasses when I’m reading a newspaper,” he said. “It makes sense, you know? It’s a good idea.”
We’re sure he’d be happy to learn there’s at least one study that backs him up, which was published just last year in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Participants were split into groups: One that did eye yoga exercises for 30 minutes five days a week and one that didn’t do them at all. Those who did eye yoga were found to have a significant reduction in eye fatigue symptoms and better use of the muscles around their eyes.
There’s no need to do eye yoga quite as often as the participants in the study, though. Doing it for about 10 minutes a few times a week, or just every now and then when your eyes feel like they’re getting extra drained by screens, should be plenty.
And as much as we appreciate McCartney’s description of his own eye yoga technique, we wanted to find something with a little more guidance. Take a look at the video below to give it a try:
We love that there’s no need to change out of your regular clothes for this type of yoga. And once you get the hang of it, you can listen to your favorite Beatles album while boosting your eye health!