Your complexion and yoga
The ancient art of yoga was discovered about 5,000 years ago. It is a well-known fact that yoga helps to tone muscles, increase strength and flexibility, calm the wandering mind, and thus improve overall well-being.
Every day yoga & meditation can greatly contribute to improve your beauty and complexion. You've probably heard that yogis have fabulous, glowing complexions. This is because yoga practice balances the hormones and enhances blood circulation, giving skin that naturally healthy radiance.
Yoga postures, breathing exercises, yogic relaxation, meditation, healthy diet and natural yogic therapies make for a very effective beauty regime. Remember to practise yoga under proper guidance as incorrect technique will do harm to both the body and mind.
How Yoga leads to great skin:
Blood circulation is the key to a radiant complexion. The better the circulation, the faster and more effectively toxins and impurities are removed. Sun salutation is a wonderful yogic practice for this. As you move through the 12 postures during sun salutation, the sweat will pour, which is a wonderful detoxifier. Anyone who has ever taken a class knows that yoga practice is not easy at all, and it can be very demanding at the advanced level. So do not consider it as a secondary exercise.
Inverted postures like Headstand and Shoulder-stands help to tone the facial muscles by providing a rich blood supply to the facial tissues, not only preventing dryness and excessive sagging but also gently massaging the facial tissues to produce that gentle glow on the face. These inverted postures also improve the functions of the Thyroid, Parathyroid, Pituitary and Pineal Glands located above the heart, and thus help to balance the hormones.
Rapid exhalation during Kapalbhati (the breath of fire) helps to expel toxins from the body in the form of CO2, and fills the body with oxygen and increased blood flow.
Breathing exercises, such as alternate nostril breathing helps to calm the wandering mind and create a balance between the heat and cold of the body.
As we all know, stress is a part of life that has a hugely negative effect on our health, as it creates an imbalance of hormones, which then affects the skin and internal organs. A study says, "Stress can lead to acne". A practice of yogic breathing exercises, meditation, yoga nidra (deep yogic relaxation) is wonderful for relieving stress and relaxing the stress hormones, which directly affect the skin.
Yoga recommends a high-fibre diet, so the body flushes out toxins well and keeps the body light in order to let it glow. A balanced diet will fight against wrinkles, and foods that have anti-oxidants help to maintain the skin's firmness. All berries are rich in anti-oxidants. Red peppers, carrots and beets are high in vitamin A, which heals the skin and keeps it supple. The omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon helps to prevent inflammation by lubricating the skin. Be sure to eat green leafy vegetables to stay looking fresh. It's also important to drink plenty of water every day to keep the skin well hydrated -- the natural cure for a dull complexion.
Try these postures at home
Roar like a Lion (Lion Pose): Kneel on the floor and then sit down on your heels. Rest your hands on your knees with your fingers spread apart. Imagine yourself roaring like a lion. Take a deep breath in through your nose as you lengthen your spine. Lean forward slightly as you exhale through your mouth, extending your tongue out as far as you can, opening your eyes and mouth wide, and roaring like a lion. After completing exhalation, sit back, return your hands to your knees, and relax. Repeat this step 3 to 4 times and after completing the practice, close your eyes and feel the improved circulation in your face while letting the facial muscles relax completely.
Yogic Face Massage: Sit on the floor and close your eyes. Let your mind and body relax as you take a few deep breaths. Then vigorously rub your palms together to warm them. Now start placing your fingertips on different parts of your face starting from the eyebrows, bridge of your nose (a downward massage here), cheekbones (massage like you're wiping away tears), ears (rub them gently). Finally open your mouth and press the heels of your hands into your jaws while making a circle. Press the chin towards cheeks. Repeat this process 3-4 times, which takes about 5-8 minutes. Do your first round of massages with a firm touch, then get lighter and softer as you do the subsequent rounds. After the massage, lie down on the floor while keeping your legs and hands apart in a comfortable distance (Shavasana Pose) and observe a few breaths.
Yogic natural face pack: Rather than focusing on whitening products that bleach your skin, dice an onion finely and squeeze the juice. Mix this solution with some lime juice and apply it on your skin. After a few minutes, mix turmeric powder with milk and rub this on your face gently. You can keep this on your face for sometime as a face pack and finally wash the face with cold water once it is dry. This process will remove dead cells and blackheads by cleaning the pores, which in turn helps to smoothen and beautify the skin.
Our ancient Rishis have said, "Early to bed and early to rise" is the sign of good health. If you ask a student of yoga who has been practicing for some time, "how do you feel after a yoga class"? The answer will be, "Refreshed, recharged and energetic". Yogic practice also brings about better concentration at work, a calm mind to make wise decisions and greater clarity of thought.
Radiant complexion, healthy body and mind - is yoga simply about this? No! Yoga is a way of life. Experience life with yoga and learn to live in peace.
Prakash Singh Bisht
>> View Prakash's bio