Yoga for Acne: How to Heal & Love the Skin You’re In

By a Yoga Medicine® Contributor.

Yoga is known for many things. From a mindfulness practice designed to
relieve stress, to a physical activity that serves to improve flexibility and body
strength, yoga is meant to support the mind-body relationship. And part of that
means helping to heal and love the skin you’re in. Starting with the ways in
which it works to fight off acne.

It may sound silly, but you should make yoga a part of your skin care routine,
especially if you’re having a hard time combatting bumps and blemishes. In
conjunction with applying a treatment like acne cream (for her and him), washing your face twice a day, and keeping your skin hydrated, yoga can also help you in your
struggle with breakouts of any sort.

Yoga for Acne: Understanding the Connection

In order to understand how yoga can affect your skin and diminish acne, it’s
important to first recognize the causes of acne development. Contrary to
popular belief, the reasoning behind the appearance of acne doesn’t solely
come from the dirt and pollution your skin gets exposed to when you’re going
about your day. Although they can and do play a role in your skin’s health,
other factors, namely, stress and unhealthy circulatory and digestive systems
can largely contribute to acne development.

Thankfully, countering these issues can be done through the practice of yoga,
as the ancient tradition actively works to address these issues through
different asanas and breathing techniques that serve to reduce stress,
detoxify, and repair these internal bodily functions/systems.

3 Must-Try Asanas & Techniques to Heal Your Skin

See the benefits for yourself! Next time you’ve found yourself with a pimple
problem, consider using yoga as part of your skin care solutions. To get you
started off on the right foot, try these three yoga asanas and breathing
techniques to better manage acne and the overall state of your skin:

1. Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar, an asana commonly referred to as the Sun Salutation in the
English language, has proven to be an effective way to not only boost energy
levels, but also detoxify the body. Specifically, practicing different poses as
part of performing Surya Namaskar, such as the Bhujangasana (the Cobra
pose), is great for detoxification and improving cell turnover in the body by
stimulating facial muscles, both of which are beneficial for treating acne. And the best part? This pose is one of the easier beginner poses to do in
comparison to other more complex yoga positions, so if you’re just starting
out, this is a great place to begin.

2. Sarvangasana

Sarvangasana is the Sanskirt term for the yoga pose generally known as the
Shoulder Stand. This asana affects all of the limbs in your entire body and is
characterized by laying down on your back comfortably, pushing your hips all
the way forward so that your chest is closer to your chin, and lifting both of
your legs up together so that they’re pointed towards the direction of the sky.
The purpose in doing this is to boost blood flow circulation throughout your
body and further relax your mind and body. Similar to the Surya Namaskar
(Sun Salutation) asana, the increase of circulation, particularly in your face,
can naturally detoxify your body and lead to an increase in cellular production.
Therefore, serving to alleviate pimples and unwanted acne!

3. Pranayama

The development of acne often comes from high levels of stress from an
individual. The reasoning for this is due to the fact that high stress can cause
a spike in your cortisol levels, a hormone that’s actually referred to as the
“stress hormone.” When your body releases more cortisol, it naturally causes
your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which in turn, clogs pores and
leads to breakouts. That’s why we recommend using Pranayama, a breathing
meditation within yoga, in an effort to keep your cortisol levels down and
better balance your mind-body connection. Doing this will allow you to relieve
stress more quickly and efficiently, and thereby work to treat, control, and heal

The Takeaways

These three asanas and breathing techniques are a great place to start in finding the connection between yoga and acne and loving the skin you’re in. And while you’re on your journey to clear skin and healthy living through yoga, you can learn more practices and techniques from Yoga Medicine®’s  online yoga programs and/or online yoga classes

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