A prop not that well-known in yoga must be the eye pillow. And it’s such a shame because this little thing you use to cover your eyes, is such an amazing addition to your yoga practice. Let me explain it a little bit better for you.
Why should you use an eye pillow ?
Fair enough, using the word should maybe isn’t the best one to have chosen, but I’m just such a big fan of them! There are actually a couple of reasons why the usage of an eye pillow might be wise during your yoga practice. But before we continue I do have to add that these eye pillow can only be used during Savasana or other poses when you are on your back, with little movement. I would never advise using these masks during other positions.
#1 Massage for the eyes
The first reason to look at is the fact that these pillows put a little bit of pressure on your eyes. Normally they have a filling of buckwheat or rice (or other grain). Making them heavy enough to feel it, but not so that it bothers you.
Therefore, these masks put pressure on the eyes, which sends signals to the vagus nerve. And this nerve makes sure that you go into relaxation mode!
#2 Prevents your eyes from opening
At the beginning of my meditation practice, I had this quite often. I couldn’t keep my eyes closed. It was a real struggle and it prevented me from going deeper. Of course, this isn’t a thing anymore and now I find it hard to open my eyes after my yoga practice.
But I’ve heard from many people that it’s quite hard to keep your eyes closed at the beginning of your yoga life. Therefore, it can be solved really easy, you can just put on an eye pillow and it will be a lot easier to surrender yourself to calmness and relaxation.
#3 Combine with essential oils
Many eye pillows have been filled with some lavender. This is because it holds its fragrance for a very long time. And this is great. I also love the smell of it. And on top of that, it also induces relaxation. Can you imagine, a scent that calms your mind?!
Of course, not all pillows have this scent, and even after a long time, the aroma of the lavender will fade. Don’t worry, you can still experiment with it! Instead of rushing yourself to buy a new pillow, you can just use essential oils. Just make sure that you put the oil on the side away from your eyes. Just to make sure it’s not too overwhelming, or that the oil doesn’t burn your eyes.
And voila, you’ve got your own anti-stress eye pillow!
Taking care of your eye pillow
As many things do, your eye pillow also could do with some maintenance. Don’t worry, this isn’t anything too bad. And as you probably only use it at the end of your yoga, you might not need to do it often either.
These pillows are quite organic as they have grains inside of them like buckwheat, rice, linseed, and more. This on its own doesn’t need anything. but the outer case is probably made of fabric as cotton. And then it would be advisable that you clean it every once in a while.
Even if you only put it on your eyes, there’s still a chance that it will catch dust and bacteria if you don’t clean it. Therefore, take out the filling, normally they put this in a separate bag. After that you can wash the casing on a low heat.
If your pillow didn’t come with this separate casing, you have to be a bit more careful. Don’t put it in the machine to start with. You’ll lose the scent, but you’ll also hydrate the grains, making them puff up and maybe even destroy your eye pillow.
Cleaning the mask is easy though. Take a damp cloth to take off the dust. If you want to do a more thorough cleaning, you can put a bit of water in a spray bottle with some Tea Tree Oil and spray on it. If you want to clean even deeper, you can put the pillow into a bag, close it and put it in your freezer. This will make sure that your pillow doesn’t get too humid, and the low temperature will kill a lot of stuff.
Making your own eye pillow
Malking your own eye pillow isn’t hard. If you know a little bit about sewing, you’ll nail it. However, the latter ain’t me. But I’ve found a couple of good website where you’ll be able to make one yourself:
Although if you don’t have sewing fingers, then maybe you have someone in your environment that has. One of my friends for example is really great with a sewing machine. She makes her own clothing! If you can do that, well, then it’s fairly easy to make a little pillow as well.
And it might even cut costs because they might see it as a friendly service and they might even have some leftover fabric they can’t get rid of.
But in any way, an eye pillow isn’t going to break your bank. You can find them for as little as 10 dollars already.