If you’ve been to a yoga class, the glow on the skin of your yoga teacher is hard to miss. And yes, you’re correct to assume that the secret behind it is regular yoga practice. There are many ways in which yoga can make your skin glow.
The practice makes sure your blood circulation system is in great shape which means your skin, along with other parts of the body, is getting all the oxygen and nourishment it needs. Yoga also helps strengthen your immune system and helps your body fight free radicals which are a major cause of skin aging. So here are 6 yoga poses that will probably get you more compliments than expensive anti-aging creams. Worth the effort, right?
1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Sit on the floor or on a mat with legs stretched out in front of you while keeping the spine erect.
Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. Make sure that the sole of the feet point upward and the heel is close to the abdomen. Now, repeat the same step with the other leg.
With both the legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on the knees in mudra position.
Keep the head straight and spine erect. Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
From all fours (on your hands and knees) bring your hands slightly forward of your shoulders.
Middle finger pointing forward with your fingers spread, firm your hands down, pressing through the outer edges of the palm and the finger tips.
Keep your upper arms and shoulders rotated outwards while your forearms rotate in. Tuck your toes under (feet are hip distance apart).
On an exhalation, engage your lower belly drawing the navel back to the spine. Press the floor away from you, lift your hips back and up to push yourself back into an upside-down V pose.
Keep your knees initially bent to lengthen the spine, taking the hips up and away from you. Then if possible straighten the legs, while maintaining the length in the spine. Taking the top of the thighs and knees back.
Press upper arms towards each other, shoulder blades down along the spine, but keeping the space across the tops of the shoulders.
3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Begin by lying flat on your stomach with your chin on the mat and your hands resting at your sides.
On an exhalation, bend your knees. Bring your heels as close as you can to your buttocks, keeping your knees hip-distance apart. Reach back with both hands and hold onto your outer ankles.
On an inhalation, lift your heels up toward the ceiling, drawing your thighs up and off the mat. Your head, chest, and upper torso will also lift off the mat.
Draw your tailbone down firmly into the floor, while you simultaneously lift your heels and thighs even higher.
Lift your chest and press your shoulder blades firmly into your upper back. Draw your shoulders away from your ears.
Gaze forward and breathe softly. Your breath will become shallow, but do not hold your breath. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
To release, exhale and gently lower your thighs to the mat. Slowly release your legs and feet to the floor. Place your right ear on the mat and relax your arms at your sides for a few breaths. Repeat the pose for the same amount of time, then rest with your left ear on the mat.
4. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)
Lie down in the supine position or lying on your stomach. Raise your legs slowly upward and bring it to a 90° angle.
Bring the legs towards head by raising the buttocks up. Raise the legs; abdomen and chest try to form a straight line.
Place the palms on your back for support. Place the chin against the chest. Maintain the position as long as comfortable. Try to maintain the pose up to 30 seconds or more.
To release, first lower the buttocks with hands supporting the back and slowly come to the surface or in the original position. Perform it twice or thrice.
5. Halasana (Plow Pose)
Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms downwards. As you inhale, use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor, raising your legs vertically at a 90-degree angle.
Continue to breathe normally and supporting your hips and back with your hands, lift them off the ground.
Allow your legs to sweep in a 180-degree angle over your head till your toes touch the floor. Your back should be perpendicular to the floor. This may be difficult initially, but make an attempt for a few seconds.
Hold this pose and let your body relax more and more with each steady breath. After about a minute of resting in this pose, you may gently bring your legs down on exhalation.
6. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Use a mat or sheet of some kind to lie down on your back. Your surroundings need to be as neat as possible.
Lie in the center of the mat. Make sure your spine is straight and your shoulders are touching the ground.
Keep your arms wide, your palms facing upward and fingers absolutely relaxed. With your eyes closed, concentrate on each and every breath.
Be aware of your chest expanding while you inhale and contracting while you exhale. As you move upward, from your feet to your head, feel each part relaxing.
While doing all of this, try to stay awake and after 4-5 minutes you’ll feel this sense of relaxation spreading through your body.