Yoga offers many health benefits that extend beyond improved flexibility and strength. It offers one impressive benefit that is the key to clear skin in modern times – stress relief. Yoga is an ancient form of exercise practiced by the gurus of India for physical, mental and spiritual discipline. In recent years, the practice of yoga has become increasingly popular with people looking to yoga to seek peace from their busy modern day lives. Yoga studios are opening all over the world and are boasting a new benefit – clearer skin. Stress is known to be a major trigger of acne and breakouts in men and women of all ages. It can strike at any time, regardless of previous history with acne. Dermatologists refer to acne as a “systemic inflammatory disease” and recommend yoga as a way to reduce stress that results in inflammation. Research also shows that regular yoga practice helps to reduce stress and offer various health benefits. By reducing stress in the body, you also help to reduce elevated cortisol levels, which are responsible for those pesky breakouts around the chin and jawline. The inclusion of deep breathing and mindful meditation into your yoga schedule will fast track you results for clear skin.The best poses for reducing inflammation in the body caused from stress include forward bends, inversions and savasana. Here are the top five yoga poses for clear skin: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana )
- Stand up tall with your hands by your side.
- Place your hands on your hips and inhale.
- As you exhale, soften your knees and fold down slowly from your hips.
- Place your hands onto your legs, ankles or the floor.
- Lie on your back with your feet spread slightly apart.
- Inhale deeply and hold it while tensing your whole body.
- After tensing your body for a few seconds, exhale and release as if to let go of your stress.
- Sit down with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Stretch your lower back and raise your arms above your head.
- Slowly bend forward.
- Place your hands on your lower legs, ankles or feet.
- Sit on a yoga mat or cushioned surface.
- Arrange your legs in a cross legged position.
- Place your hands on your knees with your palms facing up and your index finger and thumbs gently touching. Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) – Lie down on your back with arms along side your body and bring your knees to your chest – Lift your hips and your feet toward the floor behind your head. – Interlace your fingers with arms straight on the ground. Squeeze your shoulder blades and elbows close together. – Bend your elbows and support your middle back with your palms, fingers facing up. – Lift your legs up vertical, pressing your knees and ankles together gently. Practice these poses daily and include mindful meditation in your practice for best results. The intention is to calm the mind and allow peace to flow through the body during practice, allowing stress to gently melt away. Yoga should be your happy place, a place where you can relax and allow your stress to release. The more you can practice awareness and relaxation, the better your skin will become. Self-love through yoga is the pathway to a healthy body, happy life and clear skin.
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