Many of us today deal with premature wrinkles or acne due to hormonal issues, stress, and unhealthy habits. With our busy lives, it can be tough to maintain our skin and restore its natural glow. However, there is an affordable, chemical-free solution to maintaining healthy skin: yoga.
Yoga is designed to give you a healthy mind and body, and that inner peace offers multiple benefits for your complexion and skin tone. Essentially, yoga helps the body eliminate toxins and manages anxiety and stress, preventing breakouts and encouraging naturally glowing skin. Here are 7 ways yoga can help you attain younger-looking, beautiful skin.
Practicing Facial Exercises
Facial exercises are a branch of yoga that focuses specifically on tightening the muscles of the face. Doing a few poses over a twenty minute period daily will produce quick results.
Facial Exercise Techniques
The most common pose is the “Kiss-and-Smile” technique. First, you push your lips outward like you’re about to kiss a baby, then you retreat and smile broadly, pushing those muscles as far you can. This pose will assure that your cheeks and mouth remain taut.
You can also try gently massaging the areas around your jaw and eyebrows. Not only is it relaxing, but it strengthens those areas of the face.
If you tend to indulge with caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes, the toxins that these vices leave behind in your body can result in nasty breakouts. That is why you should consider high-paced yoga exercises, heated yoga, or a quick round of sun salutation sequences. These are designed to raise your body temperature, causing you to perspire, open your pores, and naturally release toxins from your skin.
In order for the detoxification to work, you will need to immediately shower after you finish with your poses. If you are on break from work and don’t have time for a quick shower, stores like YUNI Beauty have yoga-inspired cleansing products to help you quickly freshen up on-the-go.
Another practice found in yoga that promotes glowing skin is Kapal Bhati. Literally translated as “glowing forehead,” Kapal Bhati is an effective detoxifying technique achieved through forceful exhalation. It has been known to work wonders on skin.
Many of us experience acne breakouts in the summer. This is because we perspire more, which gives the pores more of a chance to clog. If you already have oily skin, the added heat can make things worse.
Yoga offers several breathing exercises like sheetkari, or the “hissing breath,” and sheetali, that can cool the body and curtail excess perspiration. Just place your tongue at the back of your palette, and, with your lips open, inhale through your teeth and exhale through your nose.
There are also cooling pranayamas, such as the Jal Neti technique. Once they are mastered, practicing these asanas will promote physical and emotional cleansing.
Aiding in Digestion
There are several asanas and practices that improve and promote digestion. There is the Vajrasana, or Kneeling Pose, the Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose, the Nadi Shodhan Pranayama, or Alternate Nostril Breathing, and the Pavanamuktasana, or Wind-relieving Posture.
Performing any of these on an empty stomach aids in digestion and allows the body to process food easier. Eliminating toxins and processing healthy foods in a more efficient manner will benefit your skin and provide you with a glowing complexion.
Nearly any asana that works to increase blood circulation to the head and face will brighten up your skin. There are many to choose from, including:
- Shoulder Stand
- Child Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Fish Pose
- Plow Pose
- Cobra Pose.
These postures, called chest openers, are designed to increase oxygenation in the body.
Forward bends and inverted postures, like the Forward Fold and the Downward-facing Dog, work to get your heart over your head. These asanas allow blood to saturate the skin of your face by increasing the head’s blood supply. This increased blood flow provides your face with a healthy, even-toned glow.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Stress can lead to many detrimental reactions within the body. It can trigger your natural “fight or flight” response, releasing high amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is released to help the body fight off an attacker or run to safety. The hormone is notorious for significantly contributing to the buildup of debris in your pores, which can lead to major breakouts.
Yoga helps because, at its core, the practice is all about letting go of anxiety and stress. Connecting your breath and movement provides you with a deep sense of calm, which relaxes stressed skin. Therefore, stress-preventing, restorative poses, such as the Spinal Twist or the Supported Bridge, can also help to prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging by allowing the facial muscles to relax.
Cutting Down on Inflammation
There are many forms of inflammation in the body, and acne is considered to be one of the primary forms directly at the skin. Stress, environment, and food can add to the frequency of acne breakouts, so changing lifestyle habits can definitely help, but there are yoga asanas, such as sun salutations, that can reduce the body’s overall inflammation. They work to make the body stronger and increase overall immune system effectiveness.
Yoga Helps Skin Glow
Facial skin is one of the first things that people notice about you, and you need to care for it accordingly in order for it to appear smooth, youthful, and healthy. With proper stress management and good food choices, you are sure to be headed in the right direction, but regular yoga practice will get you one step closer to the glowing skin that you want.
Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer and yoga instructor from Seal Beach, California. With over 10 years of experience practicing yoga and helping her clients, she has enjoyed a healthy lifestyle and luminous, youthful skin. When she is not busy exercising and staying fit, she enjoys using products from YUNI Beauty and writing.