Being a writer, I know how much time and effort goes into producing a beautiful piece, especially one you really care about. I’m thankful to guest authors, who’ve produced some really great posts for Road2beauty. And for today’s guest post, we have on board, Melissa, a beautiful, young writer from Project Female. Let’s see what she has to say:
What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Shilpa Shetty, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, and Madonna have in common? They all endorse the rejuvenating effect of yoga on the face and skin!
Gone are the days when we thought getting down and dirty meant bad news for our precious, delicate skin. Now we embrace the fact that while working out can get us red and puffy in the face at first, it will eventually leave us with a lasting, youthful glow that endures the more we exercise.
Read on to find out these five surprising beauty effects of yoga and exercise on your skin!
Effect #1: A rosy glow
Yoga causes your blood vessels to enlarge or dilate, leading to improved circulation, according to Dr. Dendy Engelman, Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Medicine at Metropolitan Hospital and dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. This is visible under the skin as a flush while you’re in the throes of your yoga routine, and leaves a rosy glow that persists even after you finish your workout.
If you’re so inclined, you can take this to the next level by engaging in hot yoga, but really, any kind of exercise will bring you the benefit of better heart and blood vessel health and a lovely warm flush.
Take care though—if your complexion is one that’s naturally prone to rosacea or similar conditions, going overboard on the heat might lead to unflattering results. If that’s the case, it’s best to stick to regular yoga.
Moves to try: By virtue of gravity, inverted postures increase circulation to the head and face and leave a lasting rosy glow. Here are some asanas you can try!
- Cobra Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Plow Pose
- Fish Pose
- Shoulder Stand
Effect #2: Well-nourished skin
Increased circulation isn’t just about flooding your face with blood, it’s about flooding your head with oxygen too. Increased circulation means boosting the oxygen and nutrient supply at the surface of the skin, bringing all the vitamins and minerals responsible for that healthy glow right where they should go.
You can achieve this by incorporating breathing exercises, known as pranayamas, into your yoga workout. You can try a pranayama called kapal bhati (from the words kapal, which means forehead and bhati, which means glowing) that involves deep breathing and forceful exhalation.
Deep breathing fills your lungs to full capacity with oxygen. Forceful exhalation removes carbon dioxide, thus lowering the acidity of the body, and keeps oxygen levels high, which is essential in preventing buildup of free radicals and toxins that proliferate when oxygen is low.
Moves to try: Combine pranayamas with heart-opening poses, to expand your rib cage and improve lung capacity and heart function.
- Triangle Pose
- Camel Pose
- Twisting Bound Goddess Pose
- Arching Warrior Pose
- Extended Tabletop Pose
Effect #3: Bye-bye toxins!
Any type of increased physical activity improves metabolism and digestion. In general, that’s important to skin care. A digestive system in tip-top shape will be able to absorb the nutrients essential to keeping skin glowing and vibrant, while constant exercise also means less fat will be stored, helping you avoid oily skin and breakouts. It also establishes a regular bowel movement to eliminate waste products that could be responsible for dull skin and other conditions.
Yoga is a great form of exercise in itself, and many yoga poses lend you the added bonus of binds and twists massaging the digestive organs. Twists that wring out your liver, stomach, and intestines speed up digestion and help flush out toxins faster.
Extra tip: Make sure you shower right after your yoga workout! Don’t let sweat linger on your skin—toxins and waste products released in sweat might seep back into your open pores and cause blockages and blemishes.
Moves to try: Go with poses that massage the digestive organs, such as
- Wind-Relieving Posture
- Peacock Pose
- Bow Pose
- Half Lord of the Fishes
- Seated Forward Fold
Effect #4: Better facial muscle tone
Exercising tones the muscles deep to the skin, stretching out the skin and making it firmer and smoother. Our faces are made up of 43 muscles specialized to create varied facial expressions, and they’re no different. Exercising facial muscles evens out the skin and makes it taut, dewy, and youthful-looking.
Plus, working out your facial muscles also brings us back to Effect #1 by increasing blood flow to the face.
Moves to try: Do 20 minutes of facial yoga daily!
Try this exercise to start you off: Pull your skin back around your temples, pucker out your lips to form an ‘O’, then drop your jaw as far as it can go, then smile wide as though to reach your ears. Hold each position for five seconds, and repeat for three reps.
Effect #5: And bye-bye wrinkles too!
While doing yoga, you concentrate on coordinating your movements and breathing. That focus clears the mind from your worries and troubles for a little while, allowing your mind to reset itself and return later on with a fresh perspective. Paying close attention to every part of your body puts you in touch with your inner self; thus, you are able to set aside what’s not essential and reflect on what’s truly important to you. This is important in releasing stress and negative emotions that could leave your face lined with wrinkles and frown lines.
Just as well, physically, calming exercises like yoga floods your system with endorphins and lowers the stress hormone cortisol, too much of which is directly responsible for acne breakouts.
Move of choice: Meditation is built on harnessing relaxation. Tensing up redirects your focus outward instead of inward, so practice poses that help you release tension.
- Lotus Pose
- Adepts Pose
- Ankle Lock Pose
- Easy Pose
Yoga is about reaching an awareness of your Self. The combination of breathing, movements, and meditation fosters unity between mind, body, and spirit.
As far as your body goes, beautiful skin is one of the outcomes of yoga, but you reap other health benefits too: better circulation, improved digestion, less stress, and pesky toxins flushed right out of your system with every breath! And the more you get to know and care for your body, the closer you get ascend to higher levels of understanding the world around you and the inner self.
So get right on those bends, twists, and sun salutations! You’ll see the difference in your mind, body, spirit—and yes, your skin.
Other helpful resources on the health and beauty effects of yoga:
About the author:
Melissa is a young and energetic writer, a mom to a sweet little boy, and a fur-mom to two perfect pooches. Before becoming the Associate Content Director for Project Female, she was a journalist specializing in topics related to women in politics and policy affecting women.