Yoga can certainly offer a range of physical benefits to anyone who commits to a regular practice—from toned muscles, to greater flexibility. But did you know that yoga can actually help improve the look of your skin too?
While researchers say there’s still much to investigate regarding yoga’s impact on the skin, there’s at least some scientific evidence that the antioxidant molecular and cellular benefits might lend a hand to slowing and perhaps even reversing the aging process of skin cells.
Here are just five different ways you can tailor your practice to give your skin a healthy, youthful looking glow.
1. Practice Asanas That Promote Good Blood Circulation Around the Head
If you’ve been hesitant to practice some of the more intimidating inversions like headstand or handstand, now’s your chance! All inversions (headstand, handstand, shoulderstand, and even downward facing dog) are understandably great for improving blood flow and circulation to the head as well as all around the face.
Of course, if inversions aren’t your thing, forward bend poses will also do the trick. These include downward facing dog, child’s pose, puppy pose, standing forward bend, seated forward bend, standing split, wide-angle seated forward bend, and bound angle pose.
2. Practice Heart Opening Asanas to Purify and Improve Oxygen Flow
By opening up the heart you’re essentially making more space around the chest area, expanding the lungs and encouraging more oxygen to flow throughout the body via the bloodstream. This can aid in delivering essential nutrients to the skin’s surface.
Try poses like camel pose, triangle pose, sphinx pose, cobra pose, upward facing dog, fish pose, bow pose, wheel/upward bow pose and other heart opening favorites of yours.
3. Practice Asanas and Pranayama That Help With Digestion
When your digestive system is running smoothy, your whole body benefits—including your skin. Twisting poses like revolved triangle pose, Bharadvaja’s twist, half lord of the fishes pose, and Marichi’s pose are ideal for helping the body detoxify and move things along.
In addition to twisting poses, the way you breathe can help stimulate and bring balance back to the digestive system. As a suggestion, you may want to try alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana) to help remove toxins and lower stress while supporting the respiratory functions.
4. Try Face Yoga to Relax and Tone the Facial Muscles
Yes, you can do yoga for your face! While there are mixed opinions about face yoga, it might not hurt to try it out yourself. There are over 190 muscles from your neck up that often aren’t used, and just like not using muscles in other areas of the body, some argue that lack of use can cause the area (in this case, the face) to appear out of shape.
Finding out how to perform face yoga exercises is as simple as doing a quick search for “face yoga” on YouTube. Some popular exercises include puffing up your cheeks with as much air as possible, stretching your tongue out as far as you can, tilting your head to look up as you pucker your lips, and even making a classic fish face by sucking your cheeks in.