Get That Glow: Here's How You Can Have a Healthy Skin Through Yoga
07 July 2017
First impressions encompass several factors. Appropriately styled hair, neat and stylish outfit, and a friendly smile can all create a positive impact.
But do you know another factor that can greatly affect people’s initial perception of you? Your skin, the largest organ in the human body.
Clear and glowing skin is commonly associated with good health. Smooth and supple skin sends a strong message that you take good care of yourself. Not everyone is gifted with great skin so you eat right, live an active lifestyle, and even arrange regular trips to the dermatologist.
If those don’t work, or if you want to supplement your skincare regimen with naturally proven methods to achieve radiance, do yourself a favor and try yoga.
Effects of Yoga on the Skin
Aside from its widely accepted benefits such as helping weight loss, increasing flexibility, strengthening and toning muscles, and enhancing athletic performance, yoga has awesome effects on the skin as well.
1. Better Blood Circulation
Certain asanas, or yoga poses, increase the blood flow to the nerves and reduce toxins in the system. This process facilitates cell renewal to reveal healthier looking skin.
2. Improved Digestion
One of the causes of skin impurities is the accumulation of toxins from all the bad food that we eat. Yoga massages your digestive organs, therefore regulating bowel movement. Aside from decreasing that annoying bloated feeling, your cleansed system will reflect on your skin.
3. Reduced Stress Levels
Stress is a major contributor to breakouts, premature wrinkling, and other skin problems. Yoga counters this by relaxing the mind and the body for lower stress levels. The result? Healthier skin and a happier you!
4. Balanced Hormones
Hormonal imbalances can result in acne and weight gain, two things that we don’t welcome at all. A messed up endocrine system can also cause headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and mood problems. Certain yoga poses help keep hormones in check by targeting specific organs and glands.
How to Get That Glow
The following asanas, or poses, can help you achieve beautiful and glowing skin.
Also known as the “plow pose”, the Halasana helps in digestion by massaging the organs involved in the process. For this reason, it is considered as one of the best asanas for attaining naturally beautiful skin.
To perform the Halasana, lie on your back and place your arms beside your body, with your palms facing downward. Using your abdominal muscles, slowly lift your feet so that your upper body and your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Using your hands, lift your hips upwards and bring your toes over your head. Focus on your breathing and stay in the position for about a minute before slowly bringing down your legs.
The Sarvangasana or the “shoulder stand” is one of my favorites. And why not? Said to be the oldest pose, it is also considered the most effective because it delivers amazing benefits to the entire body, including stress relief, improved digestion, and regulation of metabolism - all of which are helpful for healthy, glowing skin. In addition, it combats wrinkles and dullness by boosting blood circulation towards the face.
Begin by lying on your back, with your legs together and arms placed at your side. Raise your legs and bring them all the way up, allowing the body to rest on your shoulders. Use your hands to support the back and your elbows to support the lower body. Never use your neck or head as support. Point your toes and hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds. Release and get back to your starting position.
The skin benefits most from inverted or forward bending asanas. As the body reverses the effect of gravity, skin damage is also overturned by the nutrients and oxygen that flow freely to the face.
To begin, stand straight with your feet together. Raise your arms towards your head and bend forward. Touch the ground but remember to keep your legs straight. Stay in the position for a minute before slowly standing back up.
4. Adho Mukha Svanasana
This is another downward facing asana that you can do achieve that much desired glow. Because the head is positioned lower than the heart, blood circulates better. In addition, the digestive organs are compressed, leading to better digestion and detoxification.
To perform the Adho Mukha Svanasana, stand on all fours, resembling a table. Then, lift your hips so that your elbows and knees are straightened. The aim is for the body to form an inverted letter “V”. Your arms should stay in line with your shoulders. Similarly, keep your feet and your hips aligned. Push your knees backwards while you push the floor away using your hands. Stay in the position for a few seconds, and then gradually return to the table position.
Caring for the Skin Naturally
Yoga is just one of the many ways to nourish your skin. If going natural is your preferred route, here are some skin care practices that will complement yoga.
Hydrate - Drink lots of water to flush out toxins from your system. Lemon juice and honey in lukewarm water is a magic potion for detoxification so make sure to take in as much as possible.
- Eat Wisely - Your diet should consist of more fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose foods rich in vitamins over those that are packed with preservatives.
- Revitalize - No matter how busy you are, dedicate sufficient amount for rest. Try to sleep for at least 6 hours daily to give your body enough time to recover from the day’s battle. It’s not easy, but you’ll feel so much better looking at yourself in the morning upon waking up!
- Exercise - While yoga is an excellent fitness practice, having other exercise options is recommended.
- Simplify - It’s easy to be drawn to skin care products that promise to deliver unbelievable results in no time. Avoid applying creams and cosmetics that are full of chemicals that may harm your skin. Opt for natural products instead and you won’t regret it.
- Meditate - Meditation is the vitamin of the soul. As you clear your mind and spirit, your skin’s glow will be revealed effortlessly.
Yoga, the age-old wellness practice, is a fantastic way to keep us in tune with ourselves and with nature. There is so much going on around us and we often go for what is current or what is popular. We often forget that sticking to the basics may just be what we need.
This applies to caring for our skin. There are a lot of scientifically advanced products or procedures that are truly promising, but if you will incorporate yoga into your daily routine, you might find no use for those after all!