Your skin reflects the state of your overall health. If you are physically fit and mentally calm, your skin will naturally be supple, flawless and glowing with life. If on the other hand, you are suffering from some physical disease, or are mentally stressed out, your skin will also lack the luster of life.
Unhealthy dietary practices including intake of junk food and aerated beverages, exposure to various pollutants in water as well as air, and over exposure to the sun are some of the most common factors that squeeze out the natural health of the skin and cause various types of skin diseases. A sedentary lifestyle devoid of physical activities compounds the problem.
If your skin has also started showing the effects of all these factors in the form of blemishes, wrinkles, and other skin problems, it’s high time you paid attention to it. Yoga provides you with possibly the best-integrated skin care regimen. It balances the secretion of hormones in your body and promotes the flow of oxygen enriched blood to your skin. This neutralizes the effects of all those factors that affect the health of your skin and leaves it glowing with natural health. Yogic practices nourish the skin at the cellular level and detoxify it. They activate all internal organs, particularly the endocrine glands, and optimize their functioning by stimulating them as well as by lowering the stress levels.
The essentials for the rejuvenation of your skin are better blood circulation, improved oxygen supply to the skin cells, and lowered stress levels. Yoga has a twofold way to achieve this – pranayama and asanas. Here are some pranayama which best for skin care. Practice each for a minimum of five minutes, on an empty stomach. Be consistent and patient, for the results will start showing only after three-four weeks:
Bhastrika: It is the simplest of pranayamas and provides a sort of warm up at the beginning of a session. Simply inhale as much air as you can and then exhale slowly to remove even the last traces of it from your lungs.
Kapalbhati: This pranayama detoxifies your body by concentrating on the process of exhalation. Just blow out air from your nostrils in short bursts. Keep the pace moderate, ideally, one burst every second.
Anulom Vilom: This consists of breathing in from one nostril and breathing out from the other. Breathe in with the left nostril keeping the right closed with your thumb. Breathe out with the right, keeping the left closed with your index finger. Keep the mind concentrated on breaths.
Shitli Kumbhak: Fold your tongue in a way that it slightly protrudes from the mouth. Inhale slowly from the mouth, experiencing coolness in the interiors of the neck. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale in the normal way through the nose. This pranayama is especially good for the skin. Practiced regularly it can reduce wrinkles and skin blemishes by purifying the blood.
Some asanas that are more beneficial for the skin are:
• Surya Namaskara
• Yoga Mudra
Of these, Surya Namaskara is a complete set of twelve poses that combine the benefit of all the yogic asanas. The remaining ones are individual asanas found especially beneficial for the skin.
Practiced regularly, these pranayamas and asanas of yoga can infuse your skin with natural health and impart an unusual glow to your looks. They need no costly equipment and require just a few minutes of your time. Just be persistent and patient, and continue the practice even after you have achieved the desired results for continued benefits.