Most people wish to have beautiful and glowing skin. Unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate and some suffer from different skin conditions. If you have delicate, sensitive or easily irritated skin yoga might help you out!
You might know that Yoga is not only about practicing a physical practice - Asana - on your yoga rug or yoga mat.
Yoga is a practical philosophy which covers many areas such as breathing exercises, food and physical practice which help to purify and live a balanced life.
You might wonder “Ok, I get it, but how can yoga help me with my skin condition? Is there such a thing like yoga for psoriasis or Yoga for eczema?”
The answer is a little complex - just like our conditions - but there is definitely some support we can take from Yoga!
Since skin is our biggest organ, we need to heal it from within. In order to better understand the situation let’s look at skin problems from an Ayurvedic perspective.
Skin problems and Ayurveda: What do Yoga and Ayurveda say about skin problems such as an eczema, rashes and skin irritation?
Ayurveda systematically describes and categorized skin disorders as follows:
- Maha Kusthas: Major skin disorders. There are seven in this category.
- Kshudra Kusthas: Minor skin disorders which are eleven in total.
Many skin diseases are caused by irritation of Vata (wind) or excessive Pitta Dosha, or combination of both of them.
The skin conditions are also divided based on the Doshas involved and the signs and symptoms vary accordingly.
- Vata disorders: The condition may be accompanied by discolouration, dryness of skin, rough texture, stiffness of the local area, numbness, fissures, cracks, nervous involvement etc.
- Pitta disorders: The condition may be accompanied by coppery or bright red discolouration, acne, burning sensation, sweating, rashes, inflammation etc.
- Kapha disorders: The condition may be accompanied by pale of white discolouration, swelling, fluid retention, itching, oiliness, heaviness, etc.
More details can be found in this article.
As Ayurveda – the science of life – describes that doshas are part of our lives, we are created from them – only if they are well balanced the individual feels healthy – mentally and physically.
Therefore, it doesn’t consider only WHAT we eat, but also WHAT we do, HOW we do it, WHAT are we surrounding ourselves with – all this has a direct impact on our health conditions. Either it can be food we eat, weather, geographical location and overall lifestyle.
Taking into considerations previous lines – there might be more factors why we are suffering from our skin condition.
Let’s jump into what can we actually do about it and how to do Yoga for improving skin conditions.
How to reduce acne and skin problems with Pranayama and Yoga?
Pranayama for skin problems
As previously mentioned, most of the skin related problems are connected with unbalanced doshas – mainly Vata (wind) & Pitta (fire). In order to treat skin rashes or acne with yoga we need to decrease Pitta (fire), in case we need to treat the dryness of the skin we need to pacify the Vata (wind) . The following practices are commonly used to treat acne, eczema, skin allergies or psoriasis due to their cooling and grounding effect.
- Bhastrika pranayama
- Kapalbhati Pranayama
- Anulom Viloum Pranayama
Mudras vitalize the prana inside the body responsible for almost each and every cell and its functioning. It creates a circuit of energy linking every body part including the skin and then regulates the prana to light up the specific body part (Skin).
Mudras with deep and slow inhalation involve oxygen-rich blood, which when reaches the outer layers of skin nourishes their cells and removes weakened and dead cells.
Some of the hand mudras are concerned with the elements of the body earth and water. Where earth restores and gives birth to the new structure or tissues and water element keep them moistened, which promotes glow and lightening of the skin.
- Yoni Mudra
- Varun Mudra
- Apan Mudra
Food: What helps me to improve my skin: reduce skin irritation and dryness?
Food = when external becoming internal. Remember, you are what you eat!
Main Ayurvedic principles to cure acne, eczema or skin rashes are to focus on decrease of Pitta (fire) & pacify Vata (wind) doshas.
Start slowly, with an observation and follow these simple steps:
- Eat Freshly cooked food
- Drink enough of water
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid eating as much processed food as possible
- Favour tastes like mild sweet, bitter and astringent
- Helpful herbs are Triphala, Neem, Manjistha, Shatavari, Turmeric which you can consume and surround yourself with
- Avoid excess of sour, spicy and salty foods
It might be harder in the beginning but sticking to such food routine will bring you great benefits in a very short time. You will feel much better and your skin will be thankful!
How to Practice Yoga to Fight Skin Problems and Diseases
Among all considered factors its also very important How we do our yoga practice. Making proper time for your practice and dedicating a room where you can reconnect with yourself is important.
The way you practice can effect the different doshas – too fast can increase in your internal temperature, too much pressure & restraining the breath = increase of pitta. Fast and excessive movement or practicing in stress = provokes Vata (wind).
So listen to your body carefully and have it in mind that you are working on something way grater than you think which can affect you tremendously - even without realizing it. The way you practice has an impact not only on your skin condition but overall wellbeing. We are practicing to make our conditions better, not the opposite.
Environment plays a huge role as well. You are part of your surroundings – everything around you reflects your inner space as well. Clean it, so all the particles which cause irritation will go away- always clean).
Practice in clean dust free room or with access to clean air, but be careful of direct air flow - it might aggravate the Vata (wind) - the increase of the Vata can reflect in your mind and then in practice as well and eventually on your body as well = dry skin for example. Remember that dust is one of the top allergens which causes many skin or respiratory problems. Lot of dust particles may be stored in your yoga mat.
That's why, in order to practice yoga in a dust free and clean environment we suggest you get Organic Yoga rug - which is easy to wash, clean and carry where ever you need so you make sure that you will always practice on clean and healthy surface.
Make sure the temperature is warm enough so you feel comfortable but not too hot so you avoid increase of the Pita which can lead you to overheating. Since you use Ujjayi breathing during the practice, which increases inner fire, make sure you don’t overdo it with the room temperature as well – this extreme increase of fire might irritate your skin and bring out the pimples and rashes.
Using calming natural incense sticks will prepare your mind and body for the yoga practice.
You will be gaining not only the grounding effect but also incense sticks will energetically purify the room where you burn them. To see our collection of natural, non-toxic hand rolled incense sticks click here.
If you need more inspiration on how to create a home yoga studio you can check full guide in this article.
Clothes & Fabrics
Make sure you wear natural fabrics, such as bamboo, Tencel or cotton. The clothes are in direct contact to your skin so make sure that contact is non-toxic.You will be gaining not only the grounding effect but also incense sticks will energetically purify the room where you burn them. To see our collection of natural, non-toxic hand rolled incense sticks click here.
When it comes to Yoga practice, make sure you follow the same principle – non toxic yoga mat. It can be from different natural materials – just avoid plastic and microfibers. But the best yoga mat which sustained its place throughout of the history is – cotton carpet for yoga a.k.a. Yoga rug. All the benefits and reasons were described in detail in this article.
Another thing which comes into contact with the skin may be the cosmetics you use. Depending on your skin condition, consider an application of natural oils before stepping on your yogarug. Application of the pure oils before the practice to solve your skin condition.
- Coconut oil – cooling property - calming down the skin – no rashes, no pimples
- Sesame oil - heating property – treating eczema, dry skin, itchy feeling
Allergic to yoga mat? Switch to latex free yoga mat from Leela!
Last but not least is worth to mention the surface to practice yoga on.
Use a clean and not skin irritating surface – Organic yoga rug – which will pamper your skin and senses.
Doesn’t matter if you have delicate skin or eczema, the herbs which are infused in our yoga rugs are highly used in Ayurvedic treatments for skin diseases.
We decided to implement healing benefits and functionality of the herbs – color, smell and other properties - into our products to bring the power of Nature to you!
It all takes time, but those things are about to teach your body new way of working.
If you fixed your food routine the most direct impact on your condition can be switching from plastic yoga mat to Natural Yoga Rug.
During yoga practice is your skin exposed and the best thing you can do is to provide it with harmless surface. Leela yoga rugs are providing support to your Yoga practice and to your skin as well.
Natural materials used in our products changed multiple lives to yogis around the world. The skin irritation during and after practicing yoga on Leela yogarugs stopped. Skin got softer, itching stopped, the body got stronger and the overall wellbeing improved.
Because of easy maintenance - you can wash your Leela yoga rug easily and be sure you will practice on clean surface every time.
Its also super easy to travel with - therefore you can take it whenever you will need!
So what are you waiting for?
Skin is your biggest organ – Feed it well!