Week 31: My Seeing Eyes

From a page out of my art journal.

From a page out of my art journal.

Those things that nature denied to human sight, she revealed to the eyes of the soul.
— Ovid


About ten years ago, I wore a contact lens in my right eye for distance and my left eye stayed bare, for reading. Monovision worked well for me. When I began having trouble reading street signs, I went back to my optometrist and discovered that my distance vision had improved and I needed weaker lens. "It happens when you get older. Your eyesight may improve, and then you get cataracts," the doctor intoned, backed-up by decades of experience.

No Lens.

The same thing happened over the next few years until we agreed that I didn't need any corrective lens to drive.  My eye doc was amazed and questioned me about my diet and supplements, looking for some kind of an explanation for my aging, yet improving, eyes. He finally settled on my practice of yoga, "That must be it."


As much as I continue to praise the benefits of yoga, I’m not sure that I can point to a specific pose or set of poses that would guarantee  improvement of eyesight; 20/200 to 20/40, in my case. Have other people who've practiced yoga for many years had similar experiences? Also, my 65 year old pair of eyes need a tiny bit of help with reading and they’ve developed a murky, white ring around my dark brown irises. Changes have occurred.

Last week, I had my eyes examined again, this time by a different optometrist to avoid a 2 hour roundtrip drive.  The vision in my right eye is now 20/30 and I need less than 1.0 lens to read. Images taken of my eyes show healthy optic nerves, maculae, arteries and veins. No sign of cataracts.

We decided to try the monovision prescription again, only this time a lens in my left eye for reading. Bingo! No more searching for a pair of reading glasses.

Photo of a clear marble taken  with an iPhone 5S.

Photo of a clear marble taken  with an iPhone 5S.


I don’t know for certain, what it is that I’m doing to keep my eyes healthy, although, my story for the last ten years has been, My Eyes Keep Improving. Is that all it takes, retelling  the results of my last visit?  If so, I certainly don't want to stick to a story of  anything but health and healing. 

It happens when you get older.


The Secret Message

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.
— Robert Schuller

Fourteen years ago, I had that Schuller quote made into a wall decal for the yoga studio I was about to open. I peeled off the backing and pasted it up high to face our classes, right above the position where I thought instructors would sit. After I came off the ladder and stepped back a few feet, I realized that my color choice was too light and the words practically blended into the wall. Harrumph!

I didn't want the quote to be a distraction as I easily imagined people squinting to read the writing on the wall.  Luckily, before the first class, I was given an Indonesian-style wood carving that completely obscured the sentence and no one knew of the hidden message.

A few days ago, I came across that quote again and recalled the hopes I had had for my studio and the people it would serve. I had meant for it to motivate folks to look past their physical discomforts (the studio also offered massage and acupuncture) and focus on their hopes of well-being. No one saw the quote but it was always, the underlying intention.

So much has changed in the fourteen years since I carefully positioned, then hastily covered those words.  What astounds me, is that much of what I hoped for during those years that I sat or moved under that sentence, I now have in my life. It's as though, what I intended for others to do, so I did. Curious thought.

This much I do know, when you focus on what you want, not on what you don't want, the journey and the destination are just what you hoped for, maybe even more. Please, may I never forget that.

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.


Image: A page from my art journal.


Hold That Pose


Sporadically, I join in on a photo-a-day challenge and when the prompt calls for it, I need to photograph an action. I use a gorilla-pod for my iPhone and Slow Shutter Cam, to capture the fleeting movement.

Not just the beginning of a yoga spin, but the movement during my clockwise rotation. Not just the end of it, which looks deceivingly like the beginning.


I pay a lot of attention to the end of a pose so the jump from a downward dog to Uttanasana is often a blur. It's a treat to be able to technically freeze the action and see that it's clearly not as graceful as I imagined.

The time spent shooting and editing each picture, posting it to Instagram, and receiving a flurry of responses all take place in less than a day. We're all on to the next action and the next photo, all 300 million of us. Snap, shot, post and done.

I wouldn't do it if it weren't so easy.

My actual relationship with yoga is quite the opposite. The beginning and the end are a blur to me. I don't know when I actually started and I certainly have no idea when it will end. This middle period though, feels like one long practice session. There are phases of inactivity and activity but always, the passion remains. I've spent a lot of time with yoga and I'm going to hold on to as many poses as I can.

I wouldn't do it if were too easy.