Do you enjoy that flush of glow and calm of mind after finishing with your Yoga practice? Turns out, yoga can help fulfill your pursuit for luminous skin better than a potent Vitamin C serum. And some yoga poses can particularly help you achieve glowing skin faster. Here are 5 of them to add to your daily routine:
‘Prana’ is the breath or the vital energy in the body and ‘ayama’ means control. Pranayama basically means regulating the smooth flow of energy through the body’s channels called nadis and energy centers called chakras. The smooth, steady flow of prana through the body makes one calm, energetic, positive, while also clarifying your skin from within and giving it a smooth, radiant sheen.
Pranayama practice also activates the body’s lymphatic drainage system that helps in the removal of waste. With proper eliminative systems in place, the skin restoration happens automatically, lending a healthy, youthful glow that lingers on.
While there are many techniques to practice a pranayama technique – from beginners to advanced. Here is a basic one you can start with before moving on to the next level:
Alternate Nostril Breathing:
- Sit in a comfortable position with spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
- Soften the ribcage and bring your awareness to your breath.
- You will use the ring finger and thumb of your right hand for this asana.
- Place the ring finger on your left nostril and breathe deeply with the right nostril.
- Hold for a few seconds, seal the right nostril with your thumb and exhale with only the left nostril.
- Now, breathe in with your left nostril, cover it and release it from another. That’s one round. Do at least 20 to experience the benefits.
#2 Downward Dog Pose:
The downward-facing dog has become a customary practice in contemporary yoga. It’s used in the beginner sessions, as well as in the advanced. The reason why it’s so popular is that it can be a warm-up position and a cool-down position, both being pillars to a great yoga session. But why we’re favoring it a bit more today is because of its skin-clearing and glowing benefits.
Downward dog is an inversion pose and pumps fresh oxygenated blood to delicate facial skin while stimulating overall blood circulation. So, you’ll see a rosy glow on your face instantly and a permanent one if you continue to practice. The asana also stimulates the lymphatic drainage system and clears the body of toxins. The presence of toxins in the body leads to acne and premature wrinkles, and both can be fought with a simple practice of downward-facing dog daily.
How to practice:
- Come down on all fours on a flat surface.
- Spread awareness to all four corners of your body as you curl your toes and gradually straighten your legs while firmly pressing your hands on the floor.
- Let your head hang loose and move your shoulder blades away.
- Stay in this position for a minute before relaxing.
#3 Upward Facing Dog
The Upward Facing Dog stretches the upper portion of the body, mainly the spine, chest, and neck. All of them are deeply connected to the facial muscles, and as you stretch and hold, your facial muscles get a gentle toning too. The effect, as described by many yoga practitioners, is as good as a mild facial massage on the skin.
The asana also stimulates the abdominal muscles of the body, stimulating digestion and boosting gut health. Research has shown how many skin diseases like acne rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis can be directly related to gut health. There’s one more link though. Gut health directly affects the skin’s lipid profile and thus, has a direct route to hydrated, healthy, and glowing skin.
How to practice:
- Lie down on your belly with a bit of distance between your toes, hands near the lower ribs, and fingers pointing towards the top of the yoga mat.
- Inhale as you slowly use your arms to push your torso from the floor while slowly curling your neck.
- Exhale and stay in the position for around 30 seconds before releasing.
#4 Camel Pose:
Camel pose deeply stretches the spine, hip flexors, and neck. The pose also opens up the rib cage and strengthens your lungs. Asanas like camel have many holistic benefits that directly work to better your skin health. The notable ones among them are boosting blood circulation, relieving stress, balancing hormones, and detoxifying the whole body.
Additionally, the camel pose improves the flexibility of the neck, back, and shoulders, the places where most people carry tension. Releasing them opens your muscles in these areas, and as a result, on your face, diminishing any premature lines and wrinkles with time.
How to practice:
- Start in a kneeling position and gain stability.
- Bring your hands back so they grasp your heels as you bend slowly.
- Steadily lean backwards, stretch your chest and curl your neck only till the point it’s comfortable.
- Stay in the position for around 20 seconds and repeat 3-4 times.
#5 Forward Bend:
One of the most recommended poses for glowing skin is a forward bend. The exercise stretches your calves, hamstrings, and hips to release the stagnant blood flow from there to other parts of the body. As you practice, fresh oxygen and blood supply reach your skin and head. This stimulates the skin cells and leads to skin rejuvenation.
Apart from skin, forward bend also helps hair growth. It’s recommended for anyone who is suffering from hair fall and wishes for longer, healthier hair (which is all of us). The asana’s deep stretching benefits also work to shape your body and promote a healthy weight.
How to Practice:
- Stand with your feet erect and arms overhead, raised in the air.
- Slowly bring your arms downwards while coming into a forward fold.
- Make sure your back and legs are straight. If you don’t reach all the way down, use blocks under your hands.
- Stay in this position for a minute before releasing.