Shifting is an eye exercise that helps restore movement, central fixation, and visual curiosity of the world.
All to often, when we have poor vision and poor vision habits, there is a tendency not to look. We keep our vision in places where it is not discouraged and fail to allow our vision to move both near and far. Our visual curiosity of the world becomes stunted and we reinforce our poor vision habits.
When done properly, this exercise allows us to engage with our visual world once again--but now with proper visual habits. Habits that produce clear vision and a sense of well-being to our minds.
As with all of the exercises, get off to a positive start by taking some time to palm, swing, and sun.
Allow your eyes and mind to get to a deep state of relaxation before you set aside the intentional time for this exercise.
Find a quiet place to practice without disrupting distractions.
For this exercise, you want to have before you a visual scene that is slightly blurry. You can use an eye chart hanging on the wall, a pleasant scene from your window, or even the printed word from a book, magazine, or newspaper. It really can be anything as long as you are able to be at a distance that is slightly blurry.
If all distances are really blurry, don't worry. Go with what feels the most comfortable and encouraging.
I am going to use the example of looking out of the window into a pleasant scene in nature for the purpose of explaining how to do the exercise. But remember you can use whatever best suits your needs.
A nature scene can work great for someone with myopia, and for someone with presbyopia, maybe the printed word would be better. Do what is most helpful for you.
Imagine that your eyes are directly connected to your curiosity of an object.
Affirm to yourself that no effort is required to see or to perform this exercise.
Pick an object that is outside through the window. Let's say that out of the window is a beautiful, mature apple tree that is full of apples.
For a moment, let your curiosity be with the apple tree.
Directly point your nose at the bottom of the apple tree, right where the trunk meets the ground.
Now shift your attention, which moves your eyes and the center of your vision, to the top of the tree. Point your nose to the uppermost leaf and notice the spot where the tree meets the sky. If you do not notice the spot where the tree meets the sky, imagine the spot in your mind's eye!
Next, point your nose to one of the lower branches on the tree, affirming to yourself that you see that branch clearer than the spot that you shifted from.
Now point your nose to a branch on the other side of the tree. Tic.
Point your nose to the left top of the tree. Toc
Move your attention to the right top of the tree. Tic
To the middle of the trunk. Toc. To the right side of the trunk. Tic. To the left side of the trunk. Toc. You get the idea, now pick one leaf on the tree. Tic. Another leaf. Toc.
As you get the rhythm of easy, steady shifting, allow the distance moved to become smaller and smaller.
For example, after moving your attention across the tree from top to bottom and side to side, point your nose from one branch to the next.
Then from one side of the trunk to the other side. Next, pick one apple and then move to another apple.
Now from one side of an apple to the other side of the same apple!
With the same apple, shift from the top of the apple to the bottom of the apple.
Now point your nose at the top of the apple stem and move it to the bottom of the apple stem! From the left side of the apple stem to the right side of the apple stem.
Now work your rhythmic nose pointing from the small shifts back out to slightly larger movements.
Slowly make the movements larger and larger until you are once again pointing with your nose from the top of the tree to the bottom of the tree.
After shifting over the apple tree with large and small movements, its time to change our attention from the apple tree to the fence post and repeat.
Now from the fence post to the lilac bush. From the lilac bush to the robin that landed in the yard, and on and on.
Now stop and palm. Breathe deep and relax. Remember that setting aside time to practice this exercise allows shifting to once again become an unconscious habit that produces clear eyesight!
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