You know that amazing glow you get when you leave a yoga class, when your skin somehow looks equal parts hydrated and detoxified all at once? As it turns out, that’s no coincidence: There are certain yoga poses that can actually help improve your skin.
According to Yanti Amos, Founder of Earth Yoga NYC, the yoga practice has valuable benefits for your mind and body, including your skin and your soul. “If you're looking for particular poses that help the skin, try inverted poses and forward bends which increase blood circulation to the head and which can help with ‘yoga glow’ skin,” says Amos. “Some of these poses are also heart and chest openers that increase oxygen to the upper body. Don't forget to breathe long and deep when you get into these postures, and try not to feel hurried.”
Amos warns that even though there are poses that can help give you the glow, it’s important to introduce a regular practice rather than looking for quick fixes to improve your skin in the longterm (I know… if only it were that easy). “As with anything, if you want great skin and less wrinkles it won't happen overnight… It's small incrememental changes in your daily routine,” says Amos. “Yoga can definitely change the way you look and feel. And people notice.”
To start implementing yoga into your everyday life (and your skincare routine) here are six poses that you can do at home that will give you an immediate boost of gorgeous skin… and center and de-stress you in the process.
1. Shoulder Stand
Yoga inversions have countless benefits (plus, you can totally see the world differently when you're looking at it upside down) and the shoulder stand is no exception. You can achieve the same benefits dong the pose supported or unsupported (meaning with or without your hands holding the small of your back), and it's important to practice slowly to achieve proper alignment and avoid getting hurt.
2. Triangle Pose
Yoga's triangle pose is meant to create symmetry throughout the body, and involves standing in a wide stance and placing one hand flat on the floor with the other reaching up toward the sky. Using a block can help create extra stability.
3. Cobra Pose
The cobra pose is one of the most basic "heart opening" poses, Amos suggests. To properly receive the benefits of the cobra pose, lay on your stomach with your elbows bent and your hands next to your chest and arch your back to raise your chest off of the floor while keeping your neck long.
4. Plow Pose
This basic inversion will help open your neck and back, as well as increase blood flow to your face. Remember to breathe, and set up the pose with a prop under your back the first few times you try it so you can learn how to properly support yourself as you practice.
5. Child’s Pose
It may seem like you're taking a break when you're hanging out in child's pose, but the OG "resting pose" actually has a lot of benefits, including skin health. Start on your knees and sit back onto your heels, then inhale to lengthen your spine. To properly achieve this pose (which may seem really easy, but actually requires specific thought), begin exhaling and walk your arms in front of you while bringing your torso to the tops of your thighs and your head to the mat. Rest your hands by your sides with your palms facing upwards near your feet. Hang out and breathe deeply until.... forever.
6. Fish Pose
The fish pose stretches out the front of your body while also positioning your head for increased blood flow. Lie on your back with your legs straight out and your arms by your side, then press your forearms and elbows into the floor and lift your chest to create an arch in your upper back. Slowly lift your head, shoulder blades and torso up off of the floor, then tilt your head back as far as you're comfortable. This pose is intense, but will stretch your upper body and give your face and extra-rosy glow.