- Understanding what acne is, and what its causes are
- How yoga can help you fight acne
- Yoga poses and breathing exercises to help you get started
You Are Going for A Party? I’ll Come Along Too!
Acne can be one of the most difficult of physical issues to deal with. In a culture that covets dewy, poreless skin, having an angry rash of red on your face can make you feel insecure, camera shy, and make you feel like you are not doing enough to protect your skin. An endless barrage of products claim to remove acne in one go, but often, all they do is make your skin dry and lifeless.
Acne occurs when oil or dirt blocks the air follicles in your face, which in turn can cause redheads, whiteheads, and blackheads. Acne is not just the odd pimple on an otherwise flawless skin. It is a condition that affects the entire face and often the other parts of the body as well, and is a sustained condition that comes and goes.
Unfortunately, a lot of conditions can trigger your acne, which includes –
- Having a naturally oily skin, which means bigger pores and more stuff to clog them
- Accumulation of dead skin on the face when it is not scrubbed or cleaned properly
- Hormonal changes, such as those which accompany puberty or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can also cause acne
- A diet high in sugar or carbohydrates
- Genetic history also plays an important role in the development of acne
- While it does not necessarily cause acne, taking undue stress can flare up your existing condition
How to Treat It? Look at Yoga
A number of popular remedies often circulate on social media and the internet regarding acne, ranging from rubbing ice on the face to using a number of special products and routines to cleanse the face. However, these products can often cost a lot, create a number of side effects, and some may simply not be suited to your skin. It is also important to remember that a lot of causes of acne are internal to the body, and assaulting your skin with ten different products may actually not have any impact.
This is where yoga comes to play. The ancient practice is all about finding balance in the body, and yoga can do wonders for your skin and reduce acne significantly. How? Here are some ways –
- One of the major causes of acne is hormonal imbalance. Well, many yoga asanas specifically target the endocrine system, finding a natural and effective way to stimulate the proper production of hormones. This in turn means less acne.
- Yoga is also well known for its ability to reduce stress, which means lesser inflammation of already present acne
- Indigestion is also a lesser known cause of acne, as poor diet and excessive heat in the body can reflect on the skin via acne. Yogic asanas can help in achieving good digestion, which in turn can help your skin.
- While yoga can be incredibly relaxing and gentle, it also packs a great calorie burn, which means a good amount of sweating, which in turn can clear out your skin and unclog your pores.
Poses to Try Out
If you want to target your acne (while also improving your overall mental and physical health) here are some asanas to try –
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) – This asana stretches out your limbs and hips, and can be a great way to relax too. In healing acne, this asana helps in stimulating the abdominal organs for proper digestion, helps in relieving stress, and stimulates the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the face, thus helping in enhancing your skin quality.
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose) – The pure variant of this asana with the padmasana can be quite a challenge, so you can keep your legs straight too. Opening up the chest and strengthening the shoulders, this asana also gives a good inversion stretch to the back. For acne, this asana helps in restoring proper hormonal balance, such as by targeting the thyroid gland in particular. It also enhances the flexibility and firmness of the skin, which means smaller pores and lesser acne.
- Balsana (Child’s Pose) – A great way to relax and give a gentle stretch to the spine and shoulders, this asana also helps with acne removal by stimulating blood flow towards the face. It is also a very good way of reducing stress and tension from the body. If you have problems in keeping your hips on your heels, you can place a thickly folded blanket between them to help you out.
- Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose) – Tackling acne does not mean that you cannot challenge your body too. The shoulder stand pose helps in strengthening the shoulders and engages the core and hips, and helps in honing concentration. In terms of acne, this asana can help in reducing stress, stimulating digestive issues, and can help in more peaceful and deep sleep – which is important for skin health too.
- Shitali/ Sitkari Breathing – Known literally as the cooling breath, this pranayama or breathing exercise uses the saliva of your mouth to cool down the air that comes into your lungs, thus helping in reducing the heat in your body. Ideal for summer months, this practice helps in reducing stress, irritability, and the heat generated from bodily processes, which can thus help in promoting clean, healthy skin.
While these poses are very helpful and integrating them in your workout routine will surely help your skin, it is important to remember that acne is not just a condition – it is also a symptom of underlying issues that you need to tackle too. So be sure to find out what these are, whether it be diet or hormonal imbalances etc., and you can use yoga to work on those underlying issues as well. This will help in truly combating your acne and keeping it at bay for the long run.