It’s no wonder that 15 million Americans practice yoga regularly, and that the number is expected to grow by 20 percent.
We often hear about the many proven physical health benefits of yoga, including improved strength and flexibility, weight loss, and management of pain and chronic illnesses, according to Mayo Clinic.
The mental health benefits of yoga are no secret either.
Yoga has been proven to improve symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and also delays brain aging and memory loss.
As a mom of two young boys and a business owner, practicing yoga throughout the week definitely helps me find my balance and remain calm.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that yoga can be amazing for our skin as well.
As I mentioned above, I began practicing yoga a few years ago to help my physical and mental health while balancing family and work life. As a licensed esthetician, I have a pretty strict skincare regimen, but I firmly believe that exercise provides our skin with benefits that skincare products just can’t offer.
My skin seems to glow and have a more dewy appearance when I exercise and do yoga—and because of sweat. And overall, it’s definitely more vibrant.
Below, I go into more detail about how yoga can help our skin’s health and appearance.
1: Yoga boosts blood circulation.
This is one of the most important components of yoga as it pertains to healthier organs.
When blood circulation improves, vital organs throughout the body will be getting more oxygen, vitamins, and other vital nutrients delivered faster and more efficiently. This boosts our overall health and vitality.
Keep in mind (although it’s easy to forget) that skin is the largest organ in the body, and yoga helps to nourish it.
2: Yoga promotes oxygen flow.
Oxygen provides our skin cells with nutrients and helps flush out free radicals and toxins. Free radicals can break down collagen and elastin, which are proteins that keep our skin plump and firm. As a result, signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, can become more apparent.
Yoga is great for improving our breathing as well.
When sitting down at a desk at work, the chest is often constricted. This means the lungs aren’t being “opened up” like they should be in order to maximize oxygen production and flow throughout the body.
We can combine some breathing exercises, also known as pranayama, to control breathing, increase energy, and release stress.
3: Yoga reduces stress.
We all know stress is a part of life, but that doesn’t stop us from wishing for more hours in a day.
Even though we’re living in “the digital age” and have technology that is intended to make life easier, we still have classes, deadlines, or children to take care of.
Excessive and prolonged stress can not only increase chances of getting sick and developing anxiety and panic attacks, but it can also have negative consequences for the skin. Stress is proven to worsen acne and cause our skin to appear tight, wrinkled, or dull.
When we practice yoga, it’s going to help alleviate a lot of that stress.
That’s because the entire process is restorative, meaning it not only helps rejuvenate the body, but also the mind. According to Harvard Medical School, yoga encourages relaxation, tames the stress response, and improves mood.
I love practicing some soothing yoga poses before bed to unwind from the day. It clears my mind, and I’ve noticed I definitely sleep better.
Not only is sleep important for brain health, but it’s when our skin repairs itself and our nighttime moisturizers and creams go to work.
4: Yoga eliminates toxins.
Although it may make us feel gross, sweating is actually healthy!
When we work up a sweat during yoga, our body is eliminating toxins in the skin. Such toxins can increase the risk of breakouts and dull, uneven texture.
As I said before, we’re also improving blood circulation during yoga. This increases the rate at which our body eliminates built-up toxins.
5: Yoga improves digestion.
The digestive system absorbs vital nutrients and is also designed to help eliminate harmful toxins.
When we practice some of the bends and twists of certain yoga poses, we’re helping our digestive system get moving. This carries nutrients to the necessary cells and helps us feel better overall.
6: Yoga helps us handle negative emotions.
Prolonged periods of stress, anger, or sadness can take a toll on our body, mind, and skin.
We all feel these emotions from time to time, but it’s important to address them! Yoga helps release pent-up emotions through the poses we do. Even taking one class can change brain chemistry for mood improvement.
Better yet, practicing yoga long term results in long-term changes. People report feeling less sadness and anger, and they feel happier and healthier.
These are just a few benefits of yoga that for healthier skin and a healthier body. It’s pretty clear why yoga has surged in popularity! I’m excited for you to see the results.
Author: Alana Mitchell
Editor: Emily Bartran
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina