A few months ago on International Yoga Day I went for a free trial yoga class in my apartment complex. After realizing how stiff my body was and in pain from using muscles I had never used before, I knew this was something I had to do. Talking to the yoga teacher after the class, I arranged to have regular classes with her.
The first month was really hard as I realized how out of shape I was. As it got easier I began to notice a difference in my skin. It was clearer, less red and the few breakouts that I did get healed faster. The real moment of joy for me was when a friend told me my face glowed. Anyone who has had acne will know the comments we get – mostly soul-crushing, esteem destroying ones. No one had ever complimented me on my skin. But there it was right there. A compliment about my skin.
So how can yoga help you get glowing skin and help heal acne?
- Yoga can be done anywhere. Live in a place that has great weather and clean air? Practice it outside. Don’t feel like going out? Do it in the comfort of your home.
- You do not need any equipment to practice yoga. No shoes, no special clothes. All you need is a yoga mat. You can even skip the mat and practice it on a sturdy carpet.
How it helps your skin
- Inverted postures ( postures where your head is lower than your body – like the photo above ) like downward facing dog, forward bends and headstands increase the circulation to your face. This helps your acne heal faster.
- Increased circulation to your face brings more blood to your face which will make your skin glow.
- It helps with stress relief, which is one of the factors which may lead to acne. If you are stressed because of acne, yoga can help. Deep breathing where you focus mainly on how your breath moves through your body, brings about a deep sense of calm.
- Twisting postures like the one above, help the digestive system work better. When the digestive system works well it means that more nutrients are absorbed into the blood. More nutrients mean the overall health of your skin and body are greatly improved.
Note that after a session of yoga your face may be red for a while and this is normal. This should go down after 20 – 30 minutes after your session.
What you can do
Now I do highly recommend that you take a yoga class. You can also ask a qualified teacher to teach you basic asanas and then do them on your own. If not watch a video of the basic Surya Namaskar routine of yoga and practise it regularly.
However if for some reason you cannot do this, here’s a little trick you can do to get the benefits of increased circulation. Lie on your bed or sofa and let your head hang over the edge. Stay like this for 2 to 5 minutes. Do this just before you sleep. The increased blood to your face will help your acne heal faster while you sleep. You can also stand and bend forward to get the same effects.
Here are some sites which will help you with more information and videos. They are all free.