Author Topic: Trataka  (Read 3285 times)

Offline NickGrouwen

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Trataka
« on: September 20, 2014, 02:05:54 PM »
I'd like to talk about Trataka, something I've talked before a while ago on another vision improvement board. It's something to do with yoga.

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Trāṭaka (Sanskrit n. त्राटक trāṭaka, tratak, trataka: "to look, or to gaze") is the practice of staring at some external object. This fixed gazing is a method of meditation which involves concentrating on a single point such as a small object, black dot or candle flame. It is used in yoga as a way of developing concentration, strengthening the eyes, and stimulating the ājňā chakra.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C4%81%E1%B9%ADaka

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Looking intently with an unwavering gaze at a small point until tears are shed, is known as trataka by the acharyas.
("Hatha Yoga Pradipika" 2:31)

Basically I've noticed that what I do right now is very similar to trataka. I have tried out trataka once a while ago with a candle but I don't know why I stopped. I've noticed that I use exactly the same technique today, with better results than usual. The key is to focus while keeping the eyes open as long as possible without blinking. Alex_Myopic has observed that blinking less than usual aids in active focusing, so have I and many others and so have to people that practice trataka. I have finally taken a look at the blur clearing thread and it is mentioned there also. So it seems we're all gravitating towards the same thing. I've never really placed much emphasis on keeping blinking to a minimum until now, and today I've realized that it is KEY to do this. What I did today was blinkless gazing.

Here is all the information on trataka (blinkless gazing) you need to know, for those interested:
http://www.jaisiyaram.com/yoga-poses/trataka.html

And here is an actual clinical study in which is concluded that trataka is effective in eyesight improvement:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665208/

So,  basically in a nutshell, here's what I'm right now with excellent results:
Focus on a small, distant and blurry objects (doesn't have to be a candle flame like in the original trataka exercise), with all your mental resources try to see it clear, and keep your eyes open as long as possible, preferably untl tears start showing up. Blink as much as possible afterwards or close your eyes or wet them. They have to be lubricated obiviously.

Try it and be blown away!
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 04:52:41 PM by NickGrouwen »

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Trataka
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 02:32:36 AM »
I have tried these methods, although not scientifically proved but traditional. In some Bates method books it is advised not to practice them because are against Bates' principles of shifting, blinking and not staring at a steady spot (until tears com!).
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 02:34:50 AM by Alex_Myopic »

Offline mailliam

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Re: Trataka
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 01:15:39 AM »
This is a great find Nick. Thanks for sharing. I've actually just come back from a 10 day vipassana meditation course so this seems right up my valley at the moment.

Are you able to hold clear vision for an entire non-blinking session? I'm finding I begin with very high clarity, and as I keep my eyes open the black dot starts to blur or it moves around. I suppose the practice is to be able to hold the clarity throughout. I'm wondering if you use that as a metric to see if you are doing the exercise correctly or not.


Liam

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Trataka
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 06:15:29 AM »
Hi,
Long-time lurker, first post here.

I've been reading the posts about Trataka with interest.  I'm more from the "active foucs" (Frauenfeld) school which involves blinking, but when I reached a plateau, I started adding to my repertoire of techniques.  Deep-blur staing was one of them, though I concentrate on edges of buildings for the most part.   To aid in this effort, I sometimes put on plus lenses, even though I'm still in the minus-lens category for distance.   

I can't honesty say I can do anything near what Nick does simply because it sounds too boring (!) and I don't have enough patience.  But I have no doubt that it works.

As a side note, I note that I still have a little bit of astigmatism and so am starting to use the deep-blur staring on left-leaning diaganoals, since that is where I need the extra effort.
To be honest it is rather boring, which is contrary to what I always tell people about going out there and making their practice sessions fun, but it is extremely effective in vision improvement.

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Trataka
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 06:18:35 AM »
This is a great find Nick. Thanks for sharing. I've actually just come back from a 10 day vipassana meditation course so this seems right up my valley at the moment.

Are you able to hold clear vision for an entire non-blinking session? I'm finding I begin with very high clarity, and as I keep my eyes open the black dot starts to blur or it moves around. I suppose the practice is to be able to hold the clarity throughout. I'm wondering if you use that as a metric to see if you are doing the exercise correctly or not.


Liam
Hi, no it's actually normal for your vision to fade and blur while doing a practice session. Tihis is normal. Sometime after the session, your eyes will relax, vision will re-adjust and you will noticed the vision gains you've gotten from the practice session. In the beginning these gains are temporary but as you keep it up and practice every day, the longer the better, and keep your distance from reading material, you are on your way to permanently improved vision.