Many of us are concerned about our skin aging and spend a lot of time and money on ways to keep us looking and feeling our best. From skincare products to cosmetic procedures, there’s always a ‘must-try’ in the anti-aging market for us to invest in.
But what if we told you there was a natural way to help reduce the effects of aging on your skin, and it may only take you 12 minutes a day?
Well, there is! Turns out, practicing yoga is not only great for your posture, flexibility, and waistline, but this meditative exercise can also help you look younger, too!
Here are 5 ways that yoga can reduce the onset of aging skin:
Let’s begin with the obvious. Yoga is defined as a physical, mental and spiritual practice that relaxes and centers the body and mind. A recent study at UCLA  found that participating in just 12 minutes of yoga per day for 8 weeks can reduce the body’s inflammatory response that’s linked to acne, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles.
As well as this, by regulating your stress hormones (including cortisol), you are more likely to have a reduced heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and better oxygen intake – all signs of relaxation.
Reducing inflammation in the body allows the skin to perform its regular functions without interruption. Inflammation can impair skin healing, and interrupt the natural barrier designed to maintain healthy moisture levels and elasticity – all vital for keeping your complexion looking youthful.
If you suffer from acne or age spots, yoga could be the answer for you. There is evidence that links improved digestion with clear, healthy skin, and yoga is well-known for alleviating digestive problems.
First off, many digestive issues can be stemmed from excess stress, especially constipation and diarrhea, and certain yoga poses are known to help stimulate digestion. Opening up the right parts of your digestive system with yoga stretches can ease digestive pain and help encourage a faster bowel movement.
The connection between our gut and our skin has long been researched, and recently, studies proved when digestion slows down, it alters the balance of our good and bad gut bacteria. This imbalance can lead to inflammation in the body, which appears on the skin. So, keeping your digestive system in good health can provide the added benefit of clear, healthy skin.
The poses and practice of yoga are not designed just for strength and flexibility, but to encourage deeper breathing and improved blood flow, too. But how is this good for your skin? Well, increased blood circulation will help deliver nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells, which are vital for regeneration and repair. Nutrients will also encourage the healing of any blemishes or breakouts and increase collagen production, helping the skin to remain smooth and supple.
Good circulation also helps to flush cellular debris away, reducing puffy eyes and dark circles and encouraging a more youthful glow.
Yoga has shown in numerous studies to help stimulate healthy blood circulation, and more oxygen in the cells means better skin – downward dog, anyone?
Facial yoga is a more recent phenomenon than the regular practice, but those who do it swear by the results. Facial yoga is a series of stretches, massages, and exercises designed for the face, that help strengthen the muscles and tighten the skin around the eyes, mouth, neck, and jawline.
By relaxing tension-filled expressions, we can smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even create the illusion of a face-lift! Bold claims, but there is some truth behind it. Think about when you exercise a muscle in your arm or leg. The muscle tightens and increases in size, and the connective tissues between the muscle and skin firm-up, leaving a taut, smooth result.
Performing facial yoga for 10-20 minutes, a few times a week, can help you reduce wrinkles, increase firmness and give you an overall healthier glow. Try performing some facial yoga massages with a firming cream and reap the results of a more youthful appearance.
A part of yoga practice that is often overlooked is meditation; less physical than other poses, but just as important for overall wellness and health – particularly mental health. A study from the American Board of Anti-Aging  showed that regular meditation dramatically affects the production of three important hormones related to stress, longevity, and wellbeing: cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin.
DHEA is known as the ‘anti-aging hormone’, and we produce less and less as we age. Yoga increases the production of this hormone, and also decreases the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in turn. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for better sleep, and by encouraging the body to sleep well, we are increasing the time to repair, rejuvenate and restore healthier skin.
Yoga is undoubtedly beneficial for many reasons, and reversing the aging process of our skin is certainly one of them! By adding just 12 minutes a day to your morning or evening regimen you can reap the benefits of a healthier mind, body, and skin. Want to look younger and feel better? Then Yoga could be your calling.
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