Yoga and our skin

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I have long been a yoga devotee. Not just for the physical fitness benefits, but for yoga's incredible ability to calm the mind. My mind has to be astute all day to make sure I am taking the best care of my patients, and not missing anything. So it takes a lot to switch it off. And yoga is the only thing that works. Need another reason to strike a pose?  Amongst the extensive benefits of yoga, glowing skin is just another thing we can enjoy from regular practice. Lucky me, I had to opportunity to sit, cross legged, with super local yoga instructor, Tenille Scott to talk all the skin benefits of this scared practice.

 

So how does yoga benefit the skin? Quite simply the practice of yoga (including asana, pranayama and meditation) promotes increased circulation which assists in nourishing our skin cells, and removing toxins. Additionally, yoga aids digestion which encourages effective absorption of essential nutrients that we need for glowing skin. Yoga also helps reduce stress by engaging the Parasympathetic Nervous System (SNS), decreasing stress assists us on two levels:

 

-       Our major systems function more effectively

-       Our sleep improves, helping our skin to rejuvenate and repair

 

Yoga postures to improve skin

 

There are an abundance of postures, breath work and meditation that will benefit our skin. Specifically postures which open the chest (increasing the volume of breath into the lungs), as well as postures that increase blood supply to the face - inversions are your friend!

 

1) Ardo Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog

 

Improves blood flow and improves oxygen supply to skin cells on the face. Downward facing dog is also an inversion which assists to remove toxins.

 

2) Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend

 

Improves circulation and blood flow to the face whilst increasing intra-abdominal pressure, creating blood flow to the belly and aiding digestion.

 

3) Viparita Karani - Legs Up the Wall Pose

 

Increase blood flow to the face, as well as encouraging the removal of toxins by using gravity to support the lymphatic system.

 

3) Nadi Sodhana - Alternate Nostril Breathing

 

Tones and increases lung volume, creates balance in the body, calms the nervous system and improves sleep.

 

4) Savasana/Meditation 

 

This is the posture that people often skip over in practice, when in fact it is one of the most important. Meditation calms the nervous system, encourages optimal function of major organs and systems within the body, and improves sleep.

 

Keep your eyes out for our next blog, where we’ll continue sharing the many other skin and health benefits of yoga!