During my float the other night I found myself playing with my eyes, looking around to see what kind of light my mind would create, when I remembered eye yoga. I immediately jumped into it, and had a very interesting time.
In BodyTalk we use eye movement as part of an Active Memory Synthesis technique, to stir up dormant memories to be released.
We arrive, through the intuition-guided protocol of The BodyTalk System, at a saying to be repeated or a scene to be imagined while moving the eyes in certain ways. This is similar to the more well-known Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Technique, and both have been shown to be effective in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), amongst other undesirable psychological tendencies. Eye movement therapy goes back much further than both of these modern modalities however, into the timeless wisdom of yoga. Eye asanas (asana essentially meaning posture, or practice) have been used traditionally to clear disease from the eyes and to tonify one's clairvoyance and concentration. My personal experience with eye asanas has been that they are strangely hard to do -- kinda like picking up things with my toes -- and leave me feeling especially awesome in my headspace.
When I practiced the movements in the tank, it was a whole new world. In the float tank the slightest tensions are made pretty plain to "see." In addition to some phantom light specks, I noticed all kinds of bodily tension when moving my eyes to extremes. And not just locally around my head and neck. My whole body became tense in strange waves, and it was hard to breathe while doing the movements. Again, like picking up odd things with my toes. But my eyes aren't nearly so distal as my toes, they are perhaps the most central and paid-attention-to parts of me. How could they be inflexible and out of shape? Could this mean I am inflexible and out of shape other, more subtle and essential ways?? If I know a thing about being human, there's an implication there at least.
Robert Abel, author of The Eyecare Revolution, is quoted in the above eye yoga link saying "The eye desperately needs darkness to recover from the constant stress of light. And the simplest way to break eye stress is to take a deep breath, cover your eyes, and relax." There's no need to cover one's eyes in the float tank (besides being redundant you'd get salt in your eyes), and it is quintessentially relaxing in there, I say floating is the perfect time to practice eye yoga.
When I come out of a float tank I usually feel superb no matter what I did in there. Since picking up my eye yoga practice in the tank I have also noticed some slight shifts in my perceptions, gross and subtle. I'll just say I've been enjoying it.
If you're intrigued by eye yoga I encourage you to give it a try, in or out of the tank.