What is an Eye Pillow?
These small but mighty yoga tools are exactly what the name implies: a tiny pillow for your eyes! Not to be confused with an eye mask for sleeping, eye pillows typically do not have straps and are designed to rest freely on the face so as to not create excess pressure or discomfort.
Each DharmaCrafts yoga eye pillow is individually handmade in the USA by our team of talented craftspeople. We use the same fabrics to craft our eye cushions that we use for the rest of our meditation cushion collections, so you can mix and match your new eye pillows with other DharmaCrafts meditation pillows.
Our eye pillows are filled with 100% natural flax seed to create a beanbag-like filling that is free from chemicals, dyes, and plastics. We also offer the option to add dried lavender flower buds to your pillow to transform it into an aromatherapy eye pillow.
Pictured: Eye pillow filling
How Do Eye Pillows Work?
The purpose of an eye pillow is to promote relaxation and recovery - usually at the end of a yoga session during shavasana (corpse pose yoga), or cool down. Laying one of these little pillows across your eyes creates a gentle pressure against your eyelids and facial nerves. This gentle stimulation primarily targets the vagus nerve, which plays a role in transmitting information from the brain to the heart and digestive system, and tells the body that it’s time to relax. Eye pillows also help to block out light and keep the eyes closed, creating a welcome pause in sensory processing by our hardworking eyes.
Ways to Use an Eye Pillow
Using a weighted eye pillow is an effortless and effective way to enhance any meditation or yoga experience.
Savasana (also known as “shavasana" or “corpse pose”) is one of the best- known and simple yoga poses (asanas) to physically do, since it simply consists of lying flat on your back with your legs spread slightly apart and arms down, away from your torso.
Many yoga instructors and yogis claim, though, that this seemingly “easy” yoga pose is actually one of the hardest to master because it is so simple. After a rewarding session of yoga, practicing multiple poses and feeling your mind and body sync as you hold each one, simply lying down and doing nothing often allows the mind to easily wonder.
Incorporating our flax eye pillow into your savasana cool down helps to deepen the experience of this asana by combining physical shavasana benefits with the sensory stimulation of facial pressure.
Similarly to corpse pose yoga, supine meditation (meditation performed while lying on the back) can also be equally difficult to retain a level of focus and ease without becoming distracted. Use a meditation eye pillow to encourage your body and mind to release itself into a meditative state. We also offer a variety of guided meditation scripts for different purposes that you can use to aid in your meditation practice.
Whether you’re someone who meditates every day right after a rigorous yoga routine, or only dabbles in each on occasion, feeling stressed and overwhelmed are emotions we’re all familiar with.
A lavender eye pillow can serve as an excellent tool for natural stress and anxiety relief. When life starts to get too hectic or feelings of anxiety begin to creep in, simply place your eye cushion on your eyes or forehead to block out the world. Even if just for a few moments, this bit of respite will help you recollect and ground yourself. Keep an eye pillow at your desk, at work, or in your bag for on-the-go relief.
According to SleepFoundation.org, approximately 15% to 20% of Americans struggle with some sort of sleep disorder, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. With so many people having trouble sleeping, natural sleep solutions have consequently grown in popularity.
While a simple scented eye pillow may not fully resolve a severe sleep disorder, the gentle nerve stimulation and blackout effect of an eye pillow combined with the proven effectiveness of lavender for sleep may offer some relief.
Tip: Warm up your eye pillow by placing it on a radiator for a few minutes, or cool it down by placing it in the fridge/ freezer before you use it!
Adding an eye pillow to your yoga or meditation routine may not seem as directly impactful as something like a zafu zabuton set or yoga mat, but these little pillows still carry a number of benefits that can be utilized by novices and experts alike.