Have you ever noticed how yoginis and yogis have a special glow or aura about them? In addition to the internal benefits of yoga to the body, mind and spirit, yoga also benefits how you look on the outside – namely, your skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body (yes, the skin is an organ!) Like other organs, it needs special considerations and nourishment in order to be its healthiest. Your yoga practice can be part of an effective skin care regimen. The benefits of yoga to your skin’s health and appearance are due to the following:
Detoxifying. Yoga poses and transitions help to trigger the flow of prana, or life force energy throughout the body. The blood and lymph systems are stimulated and circulation is improved. This increase in circulation helps to move toxins and stale energy out of the body, keeping the skin clean, clear and radiant.
Oxygenating. The organs and skin are also oxygenated by yoga asanas and movements, further promoting deep purification and overall health.
Nourishing. The circulation promoted by yoga poses and movements helps to move important nutrients throughout the body. This further enhances the skin’s health and appearance. A dull look is naturally replaced by a more youthful glow.
Promotes toning and elasticity. The graceful, gentle movements and poses of yoga also help to keep the skin supple and strong. Collagen production is promoted and the skin retains a smooth, healthy and more youthful look.
Positive energy. Yoga also promotes a more positive mood and state of mind. This in turn promotes a healthy glow from the inside out.
Are you interested in cultivating these benefits to skin health as well as overall health? The following yoga poses are particularly beneficial to a healthy, glowing complexion:
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
One of the most foundational yoga poses, Downward Facing Dog flushes toxins from the body and improves circulation to the face, head, neck and torso.
Starting on hands and knees, lift the body upward, tucking the neck and head parallel to the upper arms. Bend knees slightly, flex hamstrings outward slightly and open the shoulder blades. Feel fresh prana coursing through the upper body as the skin of the face and neck is tonified.
This bowing pose works the entire body and enhances circulation, detoxifying the body from the abdomen outward. It reduces stress levels while invigorating the complexion.
Lie on your stomach with arms at sides, feet apart. Bend legs at the knees and hold on to the ankles. Inhale, lift up, and pull the legs upward. You should be supported by your abdomen. Look straight ahead and smile, relaxing the jaw and facial muscles. Breathe deeply and mindfully, keeping the body as stable as possible for 15 to 20 seconds. Release. Repeat if desired.
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This is a restorative pose that is gentler than the others, but still promotes that wonderful feeling of prana circulation that's foundational to healthy skin.
Laying adjacent to a wall on your back, swing both legs upward until your legs are straight up against the wall and you are facing it, torso perpendicular to it. You may also position a bolster or small pillow beneath your pelvis if you wish. Extend the arms outward flat on the floor comfortably.
Feel the flow of chi, blood and nourishing energies down your legs and throughout your body. Circulation is stimulated and the skin’s tone and overall texture will be enhanced.
Final Relaxation Pose (Savasana)
When your session feels complete, slide your legs gently back down the wall until you are in a laying position on your back, arms at sides. Lay for a minute or two in Savasana, or Final Relaxation Pose, and allow the health-restoring benefits of your yoga session to course through your body.
Those who practice yoga regularly tend to have healthier, more youthful-looking skin that glows – and with good reason. Yoga has a range of skin-enhancing benefits, including improved circulation, the release of toxins, more enriching oxygen in the blood, and improved cellular nourishment throughout the body’s cells and systems.
If you’re looking to “get glowing” with yoga, these asanas can help you to get started. A regular yoga practice enhances health from the inside out, reducing stress levels, boosting mood-enhancing brain and body chemistry, and promoting a greater sense of inner peace and equanimity. All of these yoga benefits can add up to healthier skin that radiates from the inside out.
What are some of your favorite poses that help you GLOW? Comment Below...