Glasses on or off? That’s the big question posed by Durga Yoga teacher, Christine Dunworth, a life-long wearer of glasses.
I’ve worn glasses since I was nine years old and unfortunately they were not as fashionable as they are now. In fact, they were the complete opposite!
My first pair of glasses were pink plastic frames with thick lenses and my new name in school quickly became specky four eyes! For this reason, amongst others, I have quite negative associations with my facial frames.
So it was no surprise that at the young age of 16 I started wearing contact lenses and I have continued to do so on an almost daily basis until recently…
At my most recent eye check I was told I would have to majorly cut back on my contacts addiction and revert to the healthier option of the specs due to a condition in my eyes caused by lack of oxygen.
I agreed that I would cut back, but I didn’t and now I’ve got another infection, so the time has arrived that I bite the bullet and go to yoga with my glasses on.
Here’s what I have found: (all very negative but hang on, I have solutions!!)
1. They Keep Falling Off!!
My fashionable spectables are fantastic for driving, reading and going for a walk, but not so much in a down dog or headstand! They keep falling off and I’m a bit worried they'll get damaged.
2. I keep smudging them
Ok so everyone perspires! Especially me during the ashtanga primary series. After the first five sun salutations there is sweat running down my face and making my glasses slip, so I fix them, with my sweaty hand, and hey presto they're smudged, grrr.
3. Steamy Windows Baby!
You know how the windows get steamy mid way into class? Well so do glasses! Its like a sauna in the studio and the mats are only inches apart, the energy in the room is high, as is the temperature. Coupled together with my earlier sweating complaint I now find myself in a hot house of condensation and can’t see a thing!
4. I can’t see!
So due to the last few points, I take off the offending occular obstacles. And now I am practically blind. I can literally see two inches in front of me and nothing else. I’m left confused – “what did the teacher say? Uttannasana or Uttakanasana? Aaagghh…I’m in the wrong pose!!!
So now for the solutions…I told you there would be a positive outcome to this frame fiasco!
4 ways to practise yoga with glasses
1. Get a lightweight, well-fitting frame and lightweight glass
Most opticians will advise you on the best frames to go for if you exercise whilst wearing your specs. There are so many nice frames in the shops now, the choice is endless. If you have quite a high prescription like me, you can get the glass thinned out to make it more lightweight for an additional cost. Look for adjustable glasses so that you can tighten them to our face if you need to and this will hopefully stop them moving about.
2. Get a strap
No, not a yoga strap…a glasses strap! This is a tiny elasticised device that loops around the legs of your glasses and holds your glasses on while you are exercising. These available from all good opticians and are very cheap online. They are well worth it. They come in loads of colours and styles, so you can find one (or a few!) to match your yoga leggings. ; )
3. Just take them off!
Ok so now you cant see…but it means that you can block out any visual distractions in the room and begin to bring your focus inwards to find the place on your mat where you are truly in a moving meditation. Concentrate on the connection of your breath with your body and let go of any inhibitions and insecurities.
You can’t see, but you can listen. Use this as an opportunity to really hear what your teacher is saying and tune into their voice to guide you through your practice.
4. Start a spectacle movement!
Embrace your glasses. Try to focus on the positives. How many yoga pictures do you see on social media of people wearing glasses? I found two, and they were advertisements for glasses!
Lets start a new trend of wearing our glasses to yoga.
We are “Spec-tacular’ Yogis!