Published on November 3rd, 2017
Looking for another reason to practice yoga? How about youthful, glowing skin?
Yes, yoga can do that to your skin, on top of ensuring overall wellness. This should be reason enough to convince you to take out your mat and get started with yoga for beginners.
If you have been a yogi who stopped for one reason or another, you should refresh your knowledge on yoga asanas the soonest time possible. This is especially true if your skin has been looking sallow lately.
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How does the skin benefit from yoga?
Increases blood circulation and flow to the nerves located underneath the face, resulting in a rosy glow. It also aids in the renewal of skin cells, rejuvenating a dull and tired complexion.
Best Poses: Cobra pose, child pose, fish pose, plow pose, shoulder stand, and triangle pose
Reduces toxins by raising your body temperature, causing you to sweat out. Because toxin buildup causes breakouts and dull skin, yoga is especially cleansing for your skin and body.
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Best Poses: Sun salutations, fish pose, and shoulder stand
Purifies and increases oxygen that helps deliver health nutrients to the surface of your skin. It also opens up your chest, heart, and lungs.
Best Poses: Camel pose, triangle pose, and pranayamas (breathing exercises)
Lowers stress levels and promotes a restful sleep, both of which prevent breakouts and tired appearance and stave off the loss of elasticity and premature wrinkling.
Best Poses: Restorative yoga (e.g. child’s pose, half-pigeon pose, and reclining bound angel pose) and Soothing yoga before bedtime, such as winding down twist, upside-down relaxation, and rock-a-bye roll
Improves the digestive tract’s ability to absorb nutrients that are good for the skin, protecting it from breakouts, dull complexion, and other skin conditions. This results in a vibrant and clear skin tone.
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Best Poses: Bharadvaja’s twist, half lord of the fishes, and revolved triangle pose
Regulates hormones to keep breakouts and acne at bay. Yoga also restores harmony in the body that prevents weight gain, fatigue, and other ailments. There are asanas that stimulate glands that promote hormones.
Best Poses: Camel pose, cobra pose, and rabbit pose
Cleanses negative and stuffy emotions that will manifest in your face and skin as acne and pigmentation. By releasing such emotions and replacing them with feeling energised, happier, and lighter, your appearance will improve.
Best Poses: Warrior II, low lunge, happy baby, pigeon pose, malsana (low yogi squat)
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Want to focus mainly on your face?
There is now a variety of facial exercises you can do that will prevent or, as some would say, reverse sagging and wrinkling.
A few minutes of facial yoga will tone and tighten the skin on your face, so there’s really no need to inject Botox. Face muscles are also strengthened and elevated with a few facial exercises that increase blood flow.
The methods below vary, depending on the creator. In this case, they are a combination of poses from an author and New York yoga instructor, Annelise Hagen, and from the creator of the Face Yoga Method, Fumiko Takatsu.
Smooth the Forehead
Widen your eyes as much as possible and hold that pose until you feel your eyes start to water.
Hagen says the pose will exercise the muscles on your forehead and those surrounding your eyes, effectively eliminating the negative effects of scowling
Firm up your cheeks
Puff up your cheeks real big by taking a big breath through your mouth and then release. Doing so will prevent cheek muscles from thinning and strengthens them instead.
Give your face a lift
- Place both palms on your temples and lift the sides of your face by pushing your hands up and then back to their original position.
- Open up your mouth until you make the shape of an “O” and then drop your jaw to lengthen your face as long as possible. Hold the pose for 5 seconds.
- Repeat all steps twice.
These exercises will lift the eyes and cheeks and smooth the smile lines (nasolabial fold lines).
Give your neck a lift
- Pucker your lips to the side as much as possible or until you feel your cheek stretching.
- Turn your head to one side and lift to about a 45-degree angle or until you feel your neck stretch. Hold the pose for seconds and then repeat.
- Do the same on the other side.
Doing this pose will help prevent sagging because it tightens the jawline and neck. It also firms up double chins.
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Reset your face
- Close your eyes and imagine Buddha’s face superimposed over your own.
- Smile slightly while visualising the point between your eyebrows.
- Don’t forget to say your “oms”.
This exercise is the easiest to do and can reset whatever facial habits you may not even notice that you are doing, such as scowling.
Whether it’s full body yoga or facial yoga that you do, there is no doubt of its benefit on your skin. Combine it with other healthy habits and lifestyle and you can live a longer, healthier life.