Regular yoga practitioners often talk about the benefits they’ve seen from years of yoga practice. Many of them talk about being strong, having a calm mind and being more flexible. But one unmistakable benefit that is visible to the world is that they don’t seem to age at all! Did you know that you can also get glowing skin with the regular practice of yoga?
This anti ageing benefit of yoga is because of the way certain asanas are particularly beneficial for your skin. These asanas work on different factors that control the glow of skin, and doing them properly are sure to show results. Here are five of the most popular yoga asanas for glowing skin.
1. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)
- Lie on your mat with arms and legs extended with palms on the floor. Exhale.
- As you inhale, use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs off the floor to a 90 degree angle with your hips.
- While exhaling, lift your hips and lower back off the floor, moving your legs slightly back over the head.
- Inhale and straighten your pose by keeping your lower back, hips and legs in a straight vertical line.
- Support the pose by resting the backs of your upper arms on the floor and propping up your upper back with your hands. Keep your chin on your chest and your eyes on your feet, breathing normally.
Benefits: This is an ‘all hands on deck’ kind of pose, involving nearly every part of the body. It improves metabolism and increases ‘Agni’, the digestive fire which clears up your skin as well. This anti gravity pose also leads to increased blood flow to the face and head, further increasing your glow.
2. Halasana (Plough Pose)
- Start with the Sarvangasana. Keep your hands as close to the shoulders as you can.
- Breathe normally and with every breath, move your hands lower down your upper back, and move your legs back down over your head.
- Keep bending backwards from your hips and avoid rounding your lower back.
- Release your hands and lower the legs fully till the tips of your toes touch the floor. Stabilize your position and breathe normally.
- Keep your arms extended. You can either rest your palms on the floor or clasp your hands together.
Benefits: This is a superb pose for improving the functioning of all your hormone-producing glands which can alleviate problems of dry skin. Additionally, the internal organs in your abdomen are massaged, improving digestion and contributing to clear skin.
3. Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
- Lie down on your mat with arms and legs extended.
- Exhale. As you inhale, lift your legs up to a 90 degree angle from your hips.
- Bend your knees and bring them to your chest. Bring your heels towards your buttocks and ensure knees and ankles are together.
- With each hand, clasp the opposite elbow, circling your knees at the same time.
- Lift your head and press your chin to your knees. Breathe normally for a while, making sure that your thighs are pressed to your abdomen throughout.
Benefits: True to its name, this pose helps to relieve all that gas trapped in your intestines, helping with bloat and constipation. The end result is improved digestion, and cleaner insides mean a glowing outside!
4. Kapalbhati (Breathing Exercise)
- Sit in Padmasana, cross legged with the soles of both feet placed on opposite thighs and pointing upwards. Keep head and spine erect and rest hands on knees.
- Exhale strongly through your nose, contracting your abdominal muscles.
- Release your abdomen, inhaling at the same time.
- Repeat the exhalation and inhalation 50 times, about two reps per second.
Benefits: This is a breathing exercise that does a great job of increasing oxygen in the body, which gives you a healthy glow. It also helps to clear sinuses and is very good to relax facial muscles.
5. Balasana (Child Pose)
- Kneel on your mat, keeping knees together and resting your buttocks on your heels.
- Exhale and move your torso forwards toward your thighs, and lower your forehead to touch the ground in front of you.
- Lengthen your torso, keeping forehead on the ground and buttocks on your heels. Relax your arms by your sides, hands by your feet, palms facing up.
- Breathe and get deeper into the pose with each exhale.
Benefits: Stress is one of the biggest obstacles to a beautiful, happy glow, and this pose works perfectly to relax your mind. It provides a gentle stretch, optimizing circulation throughout all parts of the body.
In addition to these poses, do the Surya Namaskar as it is an excellent way to flush out the toxins in your body. The inner ‘cleanliness’ will reflect in the glow of your skin. But most importantly, be consistent with your practice; remember, there are no shortcuts to glowing skin!
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