So the other day, I met with a not-so-close relative after a year and I was astonished yet amazed to see how glowy and youthful her skin was. It turns out, she’s been practicing yoga and giving classes for it too. All this, while taking care of her husband, kids as well as parents in law. Most of us lead such busy lives; we forget to use traditional cultural exercises such as yoga to relax our mind, body and soul. Instead we spend thousands on spas and masseuse. Just before going off to work or just before you sleep, if you allot only 30 minutes to yoga, your life will be easier to live. If my cousin can do it with such a hectic lifestyle; so can we.
This particular cousin of mine learnt yoga several years ago, but never found time to actually perform it, and now that she has, it has trimmed her body and transformed her skin along with peace of mind. I took the opportunity and made her show me 7 yoga postures that can give you great looking skin, restores youthfulness to the skin, prevents wrinkles and gives hair that bounce to look good.
image credit: flickr
Yoga posture #1 Lion pose to prevent sagging of facial skin and firm the muscles
Sit on heels, with toes pointing backwards. Rest hands, relaxed, on knees. Slowly move trunk forward and concurrently, widen eyes, extend tongue and spread fingers apart. You must feel a stress on muscles of the face and neck and fingers.
Hold this position for 15 seconds and relax. Repeat 3 times initially, eventually increasing holding time and repetitions, as your body would allow in coming days.
Yoga posture #2 Scalp exercise for healthy appearance of hair
This one is more of an exercise than a posture, but very effective and hence is included in yoga. Sitting cross-legged, grasp your hair roots quite firmly, and move the scalp as much as possible, in all directions. Continuously, but not too quickly, perform this exercise for 30 seconds. After the exercise, the scalp will prickle and feel alive.
Yoga posture #3 Modified head stand for a good complexion and healthy hair
This posture requires the use of a small pillow. Seated on heels, with toes pointing backwards, interlace your fingers outstretched in front of your body, with palms facing you. Place the backs of the interlaced fingers and hand on the pillow and rest your head on the pillow area in front of the hands, with the back of your head cradled in the palms. At this point, your toes will be resting on the floor. Pushing your toes into the floor, raise your bums and back and extend your legs. Gradually, inch toes forward till your knees are close to your chest. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Slowly flex your legs, and lower knees to floor with head still on the pillow. Hold this position for another 20 seconds.
Yoga posture #4 Mountain pose to impart a glow to skin
Stand with feet as apart as width of hips. Press on the balls of the feet and spread apart the toes as much as possible. Feel the stretch in the legs and slightly tuck in your tummy. Raise the breast bone and drop the shoulders behind. Keep the face straight ahead, looking in front, keep top of head parallel to ceiling. Breathe through the nose. With a deep breath, raise arms above head, the arms touching your ears and clasp hands as if in prayer with fingers reaching for the sky. Hold position for 20 seconds, with deep breaths. Release with an exhalation.
Yoga posture #5 Standing forward bend for glowy skin and healthy hair
Stand with feet close together, legs extended. Bend forward and bring tummy as close to thighs as possible, without bending the knees. Drop the head freely in air and touch the feet with hands. For those who, like me, are very stiff, the same effect can be achieved even by simply bending forward and dropping the head free, not necessarily bring the tummy close to the thighs or touching the feet.
The idea is to get the blood flowing to the head through gravity hence giving surplus nutrients to the hair and skin.
Yoga posture #6 Chair pose for improved circulation and flawless skin
Stand with feet an inch or two apart. Bend the knees, bring your torso forward a bit and outstretch your arms forward with palms facing downward.
Hold for 20 seconds. Release.
Yoga posture #7 Legs up the wall pose for increased circulation and radiant skin
Lay on the floor perpendicular to a wall, with the bum resting on the floor and the legs parallel and resting on the wall. Your arms outstretched either above your head with palms facing upward, or beside your side, again, palms facing upward. Hold the position for 15 deep breaths. Gracefully, turn to the right side sliding the legs down too, still resting on the wall though, with the right leg touching the floor and the left leg touching the right leg. Hold this position for another 5 breaths. Relax.
The main aim of doing yoga focuses on deep breathing and muscle stretching to improve circulation to get maximum oxygen to various organs in the body, hence promoting flexibility and causing the mind to relax. But one thing you must remember is, never to attempt yoga on a full tummy, or without warming up. Every yoga session must have a warm up and a cool down before and after respectively.
Done regularly, yoga can impart several benefits including weight loss and radiant, glowy, youthful skin. So grab your yoga mats, get into comfortable gear and start right away!