Why not have a go at making this eye pillow and including it in your yoga bag? The halls I teach in (Preston Village Hall in Rutland and Ryhall Village just outside Stamford, Lincolnshire) offer variable lighting so I always adjust it when we come to relax. However, an eye pillow – particularly with a fragrance – can add another dimension and aid your relaxation even further.
You can recycle an old t-shirt into a this useful item or use some soft fabric you have available – remember to use double thickness. This is ideal for your yoga practice or keep it under your pillow and use as general sleeping aid.
This eye pillow is very simple to make and uses stuff that you are most likely to have around the home.
Using an eye pillow has a very calming effect on the nervous system – just the weight over the eye lids and forehead can work wonders. If you add a soothing aroma such as lavender or chamomile you will also be tapping into the benefits of aromatherapy. Be sure not to use essential oils or other perfume as this may affect your skin and eyes – I used dried lavender flowers from my garden but you can use the leaves from a chamomile tea bag if you don’t have any.
Perhaps you can dry some of your favourite flowers this summer and save them for making a pillow??? You do need to make new eye pillows regularly as they can harbour dirt and grime and the eye area is delicate so never share or use dirty eye pillows.
First find a t-shirt that you no longer want. If it has been washed lots of times, that’s great, it will be nice and soft.
Cut the t-shirt horizontally across just under the sleeves.
Fold the double layers over and measure 9cm up from the fold. Pin a line 20cm parallel to the fold. Sew your oblong shape now, either by hand with small, tight, stitches or by machine. Up one side (9cm) – turn, along the long edge (20cm) – turn and then half way down the other side (about 5cm).
Cut around the oblong stitching leaving a seam of 0.5cm
Turn the oblong inside out through the gap you left down one side.
Prepare your filling – I used some lavender that I dried last year – you just need the flower heads not the stalks. You can buy dried flowers – chamomile might be nice – or you can use the contents of a tea bag. I mixed the lavender with pearl barley otherwise it would have been too strong. You only need to fill it up a bit – it’s not like a stuffed toy – just so that there is some weight over your eyes and forehead which helps to calm the mind.
Now take a rolled up piece of paper to make funnel and insert it into your sewn oblong shape.
When full to your own liking, turn in the seam allowance and sew up by hand with tiny, tight stitches.
Hey presto – a useful item out of stuff you would probably throw away.
The life of an eye pillow is fairly short. I would suggest making a new one every 6 months or so. Your eyes are delicate and the pillow, like it or not, will collect germs and bacteria. It can’t be washed so – do yourself a favour and put it on the compost bin after 6 months and make yourself a fresh one.