Trataka – Thumb Gazing to Benefit Memory and Vision

Author: Randeep Singh / go to all Techniques of Yoga articles

Gazing on the thumb’s nail,

is one of the very effective ways of practicing

Trataka. Rather since the thumb can be

moved to various other points,

(explained elsewhere – left shoulder, right Shoulder,

between the eyebrows, tip of the nose considered good for gazing,

it can be used for creating a sequence wherein

one can gaze on all these points one after the other. All this combined falls under the technique of thumb gazing trataka.


  1. Sit in any comfortable meditative posture, keep the body relaxed and the spine erect 
  2. Hold the right hand directly a two-hand spans distance in front of the nose, at nose level, the elbow slightly bent
  3. Make a fist of this hand with the thumb positioned vertically upward
  4. Fix the gaze on the tip of this thumb, try not to blink the eyes.
  5.  ove the thumb and bring is to the tip  of the nose, constantly gazing at the tip of  the thumb
  6. Stay here for a while, now move the thumb back to the starting position
  7. Keeping the head steady, only the eyes will follow the tip of the thumb, start to slide the thumb towards the far end of the left shoulder keeping it at the nose level, go until one gets the double vision of the tip of this thumb, stay here for a while.
  8. Slide it back to the starting position, throughout maintaining the eye contact with the tip of the thumb.
  9. Now turn the thumb upside down ( thumb of the other hand can also be employed            here) and bring it to the center of the eyebrows, Stay here for the same duration as          earlier after which bring it back to the starting point in front of the nose.
  10. Release the hand and close the eyes for a while until they are completely relaxed.
  11. Slowly open the eyes.
  12. Likewise, repeat the same sequence with the left hand towards the right shoulder

This is one round.

Concentrating on the thumb gazing Trataka

Essential Considerations and Precautions: Trataka – Thumb Gazing

  • Cupping of the eyes is not mandatory, will depend on the outside temperature
  • Though cupping is very beneficial after doing Trataka
  • Do not be in any hurry, blink excessively then shut the eyes for a minute in order to calm down the Mind before beginning this practice
  • Be gentle with the eyes, do not go too fast or too slow with the thumb movements
  • consider watering of the eyes as normal
  • In case any pain is experienced in the eyes at any stage, terminate the process and close the eyes
  • Make sure that the eyes are continuously focused on the tip of the thumb
  • There is no time limit for completing one round, practice a maximum of two rounds in a single sitting, and a maximum of twice in a day
  • It can also be done while sitting in a chair
  • Children only aged 5 and above should do Trataka
  • Tears, burning sensation and involuntary blinking can be experienced after the Trataka has been done
  • A strain on the forehead or a mild headache may also be experienced as an after effect
  • onsciously keep breathing as there is a fear of getting into a suspension of breath, breathing comes naturally if the Trataka is practiced regularly

When to avoid doing Trataka ( Contraindications )

Persons suffering from conditions as mentioned below should not do Trataka:

  • Retinal disease
  • Myopia
  • Cataract
  • Vertigo

Avoid doing Trataka while wearing lenses or spectacles 

Advantages: Benefits of Doing Trataka – Thumb Gazing

  • It improves the quality of concentration
  • All the six major muscles surrounding each eye get strengthened
  • Vision improves in both, individuals with any vision issues or no prior vision issues
  • The best it improves the peripheral vision to a great extent
  • The memory receives a boost
  •  A large number of brain centers remain inactive, dormant for normal individuals, practicing Trataka activates them up. A study has explored the positive impact of trataka on the cognitive functions in elderly. 
  •  The thought process and reasoning ability get more clear and sorted
  • The consciousness of the Mind gets boosted

 Breathing Pattern, Duration, and Repetitions: Trataka

Practice two rounds of Trataka (Thumb gazing) in a single sitting, not more than twice a day. Inhale while moving the thumb towards the nose or the center of the eyebrows, and exhale while moving it towards either shoulder.