Ever wonder why yogis seem to have a natural glow about them? Their skin radiates as if they regularly bathe in dew drops and slumber on rose petals. Learn how yoga can improve your skin — drops and petals excluded.
- Yoga purges toxins from the body.
Yoga is a system of exercise where the body moves through a series of postures that are held for specified periods of time, known as asanas. Advanced asanas can be quite strenuous. Asanas increase blood flow and circulation to skin cells, helping to purge the body of toxins and impurities.
And circulation is key to a radiant complexion: Dermatologist David Goldberg, M.D., tells WebMD, “The better your circulation, which is something aerobic exercise can improve, the more effectively toxins are removed. The better and healthier your skin will not only be, but also look.”
Working up a sweat also helps drive out impurities — and yoga can get quite demanding, contrary to popular belief. Many view yoga as a sedentary exercise, where one sits around cross-legged, chanting with the eyes closed. However, anyone who has ever taken a class knows that yoga is serious exercise and far from easy. As you move through these difficult postures, the sweat will pour. Sweating is an excellent detoxifier, ridding skin of dirt, oil, pollution and grime.
After your yoga session, hit the shower ASAP to wash away the sweat and odor-causing bacteria. This yucky grime can clog your pores, resulting in body blemishes. Check out Ole Henriksen Clarifying Body Wash, loaded with natural extracts to cleanse and purify the skin.
- Yoga delivers beneficial nutrients.
Different breathing techniques, such as Breath of Fire, fill the body with oxygen and blood flow. This technique focuses on inhalation followed by a sharp exhalation, moving the solar plexus towards the spine. The rhythm of breathing is key — exhalations expel toxins from the body and skin, while inhalations flood your system with fresh oxygen.
Exercise, in general, can even boost collagen. Dermatologist Audrey Kunin, M.D., tells WebMD that because exercise “infuses the skin cells with oxygen and other nutrients,” it sets up “the ideal conditions for collagen production,” according to the article.
- Yoga diminishes stress.
The phone is ringing, the kids are screaming, the dry cleaning needs to be picked up…the list goes on and on. Stress is a major part of our everyday lives and it can have a negative effect on our skin, writes Valerie Latona in Shape. Increased stress means higher levels of androgens and cortisol hormones. This can lead to oily skin and acne. Stress can also affect blood flow to the skin, prompting rosacea and sensitivity.
Fortunately, with its asana poses and deep breathing techniques, yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress, silencing your stress hormones and thereby improving the skin.
When practicing yoga at home, enhance your experience with scented candles to promote relaxation. “Scent”sational options include L’Occitane Green Tea With Jasmine Floating Perfumed Candles and Philosophy Amazing Grace Candle.
By practicing yoga, your body, mind and spirit will reap a multitude of benefits. Stop by your local neighborhood studio and try a class. Skin enlightenment is just an asana away!
Other ways to get that glow
In addition to yoga, make sure you’re maintaining a regular skincare routine, which is crucial for a healthy, luminous complexion.
- Dirt, oil and makeup can clog pores and lead to breakouts. To keep skin clean, use a gentle purifying cleanser twice a day to wash away these offenders. Try Philosophy Purity Made Simple.
- Dead skin cells create a dry, flaky, dull complexion. To slough off dead skin and maintain a smooth, fresh complexion, make sure to exfoliate regularly. A great exfoliating option is Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish.
- Use a moisturizer with sunscreen, like Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, to hydrate and protect skin from harmful UV rays. UV exposure can result in dry skin, wrinkles and sun spots.
Learn everything you need to know about natural skincare in our Natural Beauty Handbook.