Yoga for glowing skin and stronger hair? These poses and breathing techniques have you covered

Yoga poses can act as a salve for a migraine, help balance PCOS-related hormones, and improve digestion. And it’s not just good for health—yoga, by virtue of being a relaxing and energising workout, has many beauty benefits. It helps to reduce stress-hormones like cortisol, and increases happy hormones like serotonin in the brain. But some poses are particularly helpful for your skin and hair. “Yoga helps one relax and relieve tension and anxiety from the body by aiding the body to switch from sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system,” says Avni Talsania, a Mumbai-based yoga teacher. “Gently pulling and tugging at muscles and connective tissues, combined/coupled with proper breathing patterns actually improves blood circulation in the body. Sluggish blood circulation deprives the flow of both oxygen and the nutrients both of which play a role in healthy skin and hair,” shares mobility coach Shereena Master. Here’s what you can add to your routine now.

Try kapalbhati breathing to combat premature ageing

“This breathing technique helps the body inhale and assimilate more oxygen and stimulates cell growth and regeneration thereby helping skin and hair look their healthiest best. Although widely practiced, this breathing technique can be a bit tricky, so learning and practicing is key,” says Bangalore-based yoga teacher Pragya Bhatt.

  1. Sit in any comfortable seated asana.
  2. As you inhale, inflate your stomach.
  3. With a sharp exhale pull your stomach in.  Imagine your navel drawing towards the spine.

Try the camel pose (ustrasana) if you’re struggling with stress-induced acne

“The camel pose is not only a great mobility drill for your front hip flexors but also involves a pretty intense back bend which assists in opening up the rib cage and increasing lung capacity. This pose is best to even reduce stress and balance cortisol hormones which can be responsible for zits,” says Master.

  1. Start in a kneeling position and gain stability.
  2. Reach one arm all the way back and hold onto the heel of your foot.

Add the downward dog pose (adho mukha svanasana) to your repertoire to brighten and nourish skin

“The downward dog is considered an inversion, which means the blood flow in the body is reversed away from gravity instead of towards it. For this reason, the gentle delicate skin of the face gets a fresh supply of blood, which stimulates the skin. Inversions are also great to stimulate the lymphatic system of the body, which is responsible for toxin removal from the body. This also aids in cleansing the body and skin,” adds Bhatt.

  1. Start on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Lift your knees away from the floor and gradually straighten the legs as you firmly press your hands into the floor.
  3. Keep your gaze soft and aimed at your knees or toes. Keep the heels up and focus more on lengthening the spine.

Tighten your facial muscles with the wheel pose (urdhvamukha svanasana)

“All backbends stretch and tone the front part of the body.  In the final position in this asana the head drops back and the neck is lengthened. This not only tones the neck muscles, but also gently pulls at the facial muscles, giving the effect of a massage,” adds Bhatt.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip width apart and close to the body.
  2. Bend your arms and place your hands under your shoulders, making sure the fingers point towards your toes.
  3. Push your hands and your feet into the floor and lift yourself away from the floor.
  4. In the final position your head should drop back and neck should be relaxed.
  5. If you’re unable to do this asana (since it can be a challenge for many), use props such as a chair or blocks to aid in the backbend.

Try the standing forward bend (uttanasana) to help hair growth

“This forward bending pose is for beginners. It relaxes muscles and flows the blood and oxygen to the head and scalp which enables the hair follicles to grow long and strong,” says Talsania. “It improves the functioning of the glands and also provides fresh oxygen and blood to the scalp so that your hair is shiny and healthy,” says Bhatt.

  1. Start with your feet firmly on the floor and arms by your sides.
  2. Gently lift your arms straight up to the ceiling.
  3. Bending forward from the waist, place your hands on the floor.
  4. In the final position you can place just your fingers or entire hand on the floor. If you’re unable to reach all the way down, use blocks under your palms.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *