Yoga For Glowing Skin : 15 Powerful Asanas
Here I was, flipping through the pages of a glossy magazine with pictures of women with amazing skin and hair, wondering who doesn’t want to look like the ‘woman in the magazine’?! Every second person I ever meet complains of not having a good skin.
Why even bother for a glowing skin?
Some have issues with their complexion (I will never understand the obsession with the “fair” skin type), too oily, too dry, some struggling with acne and scars, some with pigmentation and some with dark circles. Well, not to forget tanning and patchy skin, sagging skin, lack of glow and wrinkles. Oh my god, talk about wrinkles!
Everybody wants to look smarter forever, and yes, this has been an eternal quest for humans! Since time immemorial, we have been searching and researching for ways to look smart and more beautiful. Be it thousands of creams, gels or treatments, we have tried everything, haven’t we?
Have you tried yoga for skin?
You may have heard about yoga asanas for weight loss. But have you tried any form of yoga to bring glow at your skin? Yoga really helps in keeping your skin healthy and happy. And happy skin means happy you!
No matter how much these commercials fool you about having a selfie-ready face, they harm you and environment in so many ways. All those facials and creams may bring an artificial glow on your skin but mind you, the impression a naturally glowing skin will bring to you have no match, no matter your skin colour and type.
Natural glow is healthy, long lasting, more appealing and can be achieved with yoga. Let’s dive into how you can get a glowing skin with these asanas. We will be understanding the reason for the effectiveness of these yoga later in the article.
15 Yoga Asanas for glowing skin
These are the Asanas and Pranayamas that can be practised daily for a healthy skin along with stress management, diet and exercise that are mentioned below:
#1. SARVANGASANA (SHOULDER STAND)
This is considered to be the best asana for skin and hair. It is anti-ageing, maintains the facial radiance, reduces wrinkles and makes you look younger. This pose needs to be practised with utmost care and under guidance from a certified yoga teacher. People suffering from back and neck issues, pregnant women and people with high blood pressure must avoid this pose.
#2. HALASANA (PLOUGH POSE)
This pose boosts the blood circulation all over the body and provides vital nourishment to the organs. This pose helps in insomnia, restless sleep and anxiety. This pose needs to be done under the guidance and people with high BP, chronic back and spinal issues, pregnant women and people prone to vertigo must avoid this pose.
#3. CHAKRASANA (WHEEL POSE)
This is a backbend and needs proper practice before one attempts the pose. This pose opens up your chest and lungs ensuring good oxygen supply. It stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands helping in balancing the hormones, it relieves stress, reduces depression and makes one feel full of life. People with back, neck problems, carpal tunnel syndrome and high BP must avoid this.
#4. SIRSASANA (HEAD STAND)
This is a complex pose and takes a lot of disciplined practice to master it. It must be learnt from a trained professional. It calms the mind, provides good blood supply to the head, reduces hair fall, gives a glow and natural colour to the skin and improves digestion and sleep.
#5. UTTANASANA (STANDING FORWARD BEND)
This pose gives a deep stretch to the muscles of the legs. Keeps the spine strong, calms the mind, reduces stress, anxiety and depression and increases blood supply to the head and face.
#6. MATSYASANA (FISH POSE)
This pose opens up the chest and lungs, making breathing deeper and more effective. It stretches the neck, toning and smoothening up the neck muscles and reduces wrinkles on the face. It relieves fatigue, stimulates and stabilizes the functions of the parathyroid, pineal, pituitary and adrenal glands, aids proper digestion and helps in de-stressing and detoxification. Thus, reflecting on the skin.
#7. TRIKONASANA (TRIANGLE POSE)
This pose opens up the chest and lungs making way for unrestricted airflow. It improves digestion by stimulating abdominal organs, reduces stress and anxiety and promotes blood circulation throughout the body.
#8. BHUJANGASANA (COBRA POSE)
This pose too opens up the chest, promoting good airflow and oxygen supply to the lungs. It helps in releasing tension and fatigue from the body, detoxifies it, aids in the rejuvenation of new skin cells and tones the facial and neck muscles.
#9. USTRASANA(CAMEL POSE)
This pose is an intense backbend, opening up the rib cage, providing oxygen to the head and face helping in the restoration of skin and hair.
#10. PAWANMUKTASANA (WIND RELEASING POSE)
This pose stimulates the digestive system, helps in flushing out toxins, clear skin acne and pigmentation. Yoga and Ayurveda have forever been emphasising on the importance of a healthy digestive system for overall health. This pose is the best for the same.
#11. ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (DOWNWARD DOG POSE)
This pose strengthens the chest muscles and improves lung capacity, improves blood circulation to the head and brain, aids digestion, improves sleep and is a relaxing asana.
#12. DHANURASANA (BOW POSE)
This pose stretches and opens up the chest cavity, improves blood circulation, is a fatigue and stress buster, tones up the face and neck muscles and improves digestion.
#13. SURYA NAMASKARA (SUN SALUTATIONS)
This set of 12 asanas, is an excellent practice for overall health and detoxification of the body. This is an intense cardio, which makes one sweat quite a bit. And sweating is a great way to remove toxins, which translates to an ever-radiant, glowing skin.
#14. FACIAL YOGA
There is a new form of yoga called the facial yoga, which has become a trend of sorts. The exercises in this help in toning and relaxing the facial and neck muscles. Exercises include puffing up cheeks, sticking out tongue, looking up at the ceiling, making an ‘O’ with the mouth, Fish face and kiss and smile to name a few. In this technique, all the face and neck muscles are involved and worked.
#15. PRANAYAMA (BREATHING TECHNIQUES)
Inhalation and exhalation is something we all do 24 hours, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. But what is so different with Pranayama is the rhythmic and deep breathing techniques designed to keep the mind calm, remove energy blocks and purify blood.
Pranayama helps in improving lung capacity, leading to a better oxygen supply, which means better skin. Deep breathing leads to detoxifying the body, making way for rejuvenation of skin cells, leading to glowing, soft, supple skin. Taking an example, people of pitta Prakriti are prone to acne and other skin disorders, and hence, cooling pranayamas like Sheetali and Seetkari are beneficial for them.
Pranayama makes one in control of one’s emotions, increases focus and reduces stress. Generally speaking, all types of pranayama are beneficial for the skin, however, kapalbhati, Nadi shodhana and Anulom vilom are the most practised ones. All of these lead to a healthy skin.
Factors responsible for unhealthy skin
Skin is the largest organ in the body. It plays an important role in protecting the internal organs, the bones, muscles and ligaments. It provides immunity to protect the body against pathogenesis and excessive water loss. It has other functions like providing insulation, temperature regulation, synthesis of vitamin D, the barrier to infection etc.
The colour of the skin is determined by a pigment called melanin. Skin pigmentation in humans has evolved to regulate the amount of ultraviolet radiation penetrating the skin, hence the tanning and discolouration.
Like all organs in the human body, skin is healthy when the mind and body are in optimum health.
Stress makes your skin dull
Number one cause for most of the diseases is stress. Stress takes a toll on your health by disturbing your hormones, like cortisol. Every time you are under stress, the panic button in the body is switched on and that causes distress to your other organs and makes the hormones go haywire.
Elevated cortisol levels can hurt your skin by forming breakouts, hives, rashes etc. as an immediate response. It can even aggravate underlying skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema etc. How we feel internally, reflects on the outside. But since stress is a part of the game of life, how we manage it and find happiness will surely reflect on your skin.
Pollution takes all your glow
An increase of pollution over the years has resulted in many health issues. Even though the main function of the skin is shielding against the irritants, prolonged exposure of the skin to the pollutants along with UV radiation has been found to cause profound negative effects on the skin like allergic conditions, redness, premature ageing, wrinkles, dull skin, eczema and dryness.
You may lose skin glow by consuming Alcohol
Alcohol abuse causes dullness, sagging skin, under eye bags and premature ageing. All of us know the harmful effects of smoking on the body. If external pollution damages the skin, imagine what it would do internally!
Dehydration makes your skin dull
Not drinking enough water throughout the day causes dehydration in the body and results in dry, flaky, dull looking skin. It is recommended to drink at least 2-3 litres of water in the day.
Improper Sleep also causes dull skin
Improper sleep patterns, not getting enough rest and too much gadget use during bedtime lead to under eye bags, dark circles, pigmentation, wrinkles and other inflammatory skin conditions. It also snatches away the skin’s natural glow and translucency. That’s the reason it is called the “beauty” sleep!
Fast foods harm skin glow
With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, everything has become “fast”, even the food. We do not find time to make home cooked, fresh, healthy food these days.
Even with healthy options available, don’t we all go for the junk most of the times? Maybe letting go, once in a while is okay, in fact even advised, but it is always better to know what you are putting on your plate.
It is recommended to eat homemade food at least one meal a day. When we do not eat healthily or follow proper timings for meals, the digestion goes for a toss. The skin is like a mirror to our internal systems. When digestion is not proper, we see it on the skin in the form of breakouts, dull skin, lack of lustre and paleness.
It is advised to eat food rich in Vitamin A as it helps the skin by regulating the oil secretion, which means less acne and blackheads. It also helps in reversing damage due to the sun. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps the skin retain its glow.
Makeup is the enemies of skin
Using too makeup on the skin can lead to blockage of pores and as a result, the skin may not be able to breathe properly. Consider applying natural, mineral-based products on the skin and removing every ounce of makeup before bed. This will ensure no blocked pores, no acne, no black or whiteheads and a happily breathing skin!
Proper skin care routine which includes exfoliation, moisturizing and hydration should be practised regularly for a clean and clear skin. Using face packs made with natural ingredients may be used for the same.
Coming back to the main topic of how doing yoga help in maintaining a healthy skin. Yoga is a lifestyle. It has been observed that a slight alteration in the type of one’s lifestyle can have multiple effects on one’s health. And yoga helps with just that.
It’s important to keep in mind that while yoga, in general, is beneficial for overall health of the body and reduction and management of stress, when it comes to yoga for healthy skin, choose Asanas which focus on improving the blood supply to the head and face (all inverted poses and forward bends), as good blood supply to the skin ensures an everlasting glow and good complexion.
Last but the most important point of the entire story is to SMILE more! Smiling and being happy makes you look and feel attractive.