How Contact Lenses Helped my Teaching!

Teaching yoga has been one of the most amazing things I have had the opportunity to do in my life. But I haven’t always been on this path. Between school and university, I worked for 9 months at a big corporate firm, and while I knew I definitely didn’t want to stay working in the department I was in, I quite enjoyed the routine of work, the friends that I made and the financial stability of it all. It seemed like the obvious next step for me to take and no one ever really offered me the opportunity to think any differently. But one thing I remember struggling with was tired eyes, sitting at a desk all day. I found it hard to stay awake after lunch (partly food intolerances and partly my eyes) and eventually I realised I needed glasses.

My prescription was small but the impact of wearing glasses wasn’t. It really, really helped. I made less mistakes, and I was able to go about my day without struggling to stay awake! But the trouble was, I absolutely hated my glasses. I felt as though they made me look old and boring at a time where I was doing a job in an environment that, over time, made me feel old and boring and so eventually I decided to go for contact lenses. As a teenager I had bought colour contact lenses over the counter from a local shop (don’t ask) many times but the ordeal to get them into and out of my eyes had been enough to put me off for life. Obviously, this time was different. I actually saw an optician at Specsavers who helped me check the lenses suited me and showed me how to put them in and take them out so meticulously that I wasn’t allowed to take any home until I had proved my capabilities multiple times! So there I was, a contact wearing teenager in a desk job actually able to stay awake because my eyes weren’t tired. I even lasted the whole way through movies without conking out. Great success.

After leaving the job I went travelling for a bit and decided against taking contacts with me for fear of eye infections etc. So I guess I just got out of the habit and in fact I rarely wore my glasses for several years, which may well be part of the reason why I struggled so much to follow during lectures at university. Oops. 

A few months ago the tired eyes were coming back, despite not being on screens as much. As a yoga teacher my days are often long with early starts and late finishes and as a writer, well I am often back on my screens. So I realised that it might be time to book an appointment again to get my eyes tested. The first thing that I realised is that good glasses are excellent at giving definition to the face, just like eyebrows. This is really good news for someone who doesn’t wear much make up, but likes to have a defined face…(what does that mean? I’m not sure, but I liked my new glasses).  But, what they make up for in eyebrow enhancement they luck in practicality when it comes to actually teaching a class. I did try, a few times, but it was a losing battle and until I am persuaded to wear one of those sports bands round my head to secure my glasses, I realised how useful it could be to go back to contacts. 

When practicing yoga itself, we don’t need to see what’s going on around us. I know you will want to see what the teacher is doing or check out the label on the leggings of the yogi in front, but really we try to actively withdraw the mind from looking around so sharp vision is surplus to requirement. As a teacher, or an active person in general who engages in various activities, that vision can be a game changer. Facial recognition has never been a strong skill of mine, and I can often confuse two people. I never put it down to the lack of clarity in my sight! So not only have contacts been a fuss free solution but also they have made a big difference to my tired eyes as well as helping me get to know my students better.

And at the end of the day when the contacts are out, I’m really into my eyebrow enhancing, face defining glasses too. So a successful trip to Specsavers for sure!

This post was sponsored by Specsavers but I only ever work with brands or talk about topics that I have genuinely experienced. I will never work with brands that I do not agree with at the time and will always be honest in my reviews. You can book your appointment with Specsavers here.

Annie Clarke