By: Manmohan Singh
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Yoga teacher Manmohan Singh. You’ll find more details about Manmohan and how to connect with him at the end of this post, but in the meantime, grab yourself a warm cup of chai and read on to learn how your daily yoga practice can benefit your skin.
“Yoga for the soul and the skin,” Yes, that is the slogan of the day for all the avid yoga practitioners and those who are practically aware of this authentic statement. As humans, it is natural for us to feel comfortable with the outer self as much as the inner layers of our existence demand us to. Having a healthy skin is a biological necessity as it pretty much verifies how much ‘in the pink’ we are from within. Just as having a sound mind expresses an optimistic lifestyle, a beautiful skin is an expression of our body’s healthy functions.
While the environmental changes in the air quality, climatic conditions, dietary habits, the ageing process, etc., contribute majorly to the skin’s poor health, we cannot undermine the role of ‘stress’ in this equation. Stress is a key element in promoting various kinds of both mental and physical illnesses, while its effects are clearly demonstrated in our skin in the form of acne, pimples, patches, irritation, dullness, etc. Melt the stress away with each breath you intake during a yoga practice. This is the power of yoga, the science of life.
Let us glance at the multifarious benefits of a gentle and regular practice of yoga:
Reverse the Ageing Process with Yoga
Ageing is a natural process and the same goes for the skin. With age, our skin tends to lose elasticity and suppleness owing to a loss of muscles and bone density. A regular workout routine comprising of yoga helps strengthen the bone density and muscles density along with boosting the collagen that leads to an age-reversal in the body.
Top Five Recommended Asanas: Tree Pose (Tadasana), Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose), Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Get that Luminous Glow from Within
A poor blood circulation is one of the key factors behind a dull and lifeless skin. You can undo the whole process with Yoga. Yoga is highly beneficial in regulating the flow of oxygen to the entire organs along with improving the blood circulation from head to toe.
Top Five Recommended Asanas: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose), Halasana (Plough Pose), Shishuasana (Child Pose)
Impart a Beautiful Tone and Fight Cellulite
Melt those fat dimples away with the help of a dedicated yoga routine. By stimulating the subcutaneous layer in the skin under which this cellulite is trapped, yoga works towards a complete elimination of these along with providing a supple and well defined body. The science of yoga exercises balance, focus, breath, and asana—all assimilated towards a fit body and a healthy mind. The wonderful stretch and tone that each asana offers to a practitioner’s body is a testament to the yogi’s hard work and dedication towards the science. The rest follows.
Top Five Recommended Asanas: Garudasana (or Eagle pose), Uttanapadasana (or standing forward bend pose), Gomukhasana (or the cow faced pose), Setubandhasana (or the bridge pose), Upward Facing Dog Pose (or Urdhvamukhasvanasana)
Get Rid of Dry Patches
Extreme weather conditions, stress, insomnia, ageing, ph imbalance can steadily result in a dry and flaky skin which only gets worse, if not managed in time. There is one word for it – Sweat. In order to maintain a healthy ph-balance in the skin, it is necessary for a being to sweat and perspire on a regular basis, call it a natural moisturizer for your skin.Top Five Recommended Asanas: Chaturanga Asana Variation (Push-Up Crunches), Boat Pose (or Navasana), Dolphin Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana), Natrajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose), Warrior Pose (Veerbhadrasana)
Eliminate Pimples and Acne from the Root
Hormonal imbalance, impurities in the blood stream rapidly give rise to acne and various other types of skin problems. We can’t stress this enough how vital it is for a body to detoxify in order to keep a healthy flow of blood and oxygen that is devoid of any impurities. Practice yoga asanas in combination with traditional yogic works (the shat-kriyas) to purify the body from within and to gain a silken, acne-free skin.
Top Five Recommended Asanas: Janu Sirsasana (The Head-to-Knee Pose), Pawanmuktasana(Wind Relieving Pose), Viparita Karani (The Legs Up on the Wall Pose), Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose), Sasakasana (Rabbit Pose)
Dietary Tips and Inclusions during Yoga practice to further boost the skin benefits:
• Make it a habit to consume only clean cuts that are organic and locally sourced.
• Include a lot of seeds and nuts in your diet.
• Avoid anything and everything processed.
• Consume the largest meal during lunch.
• Include Vedic herbs such as ginger, turmeric, etc., during cooking to promote digestion and boost blood circulation.
• Stick to sattvic (yogic) food preparations and choices.
• And always eat with a happy heart and a wonderful smile.
Author Bio: Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him visit his website.