How Yoga Helps
Yoga gives your skin a healthy glow by balancing your hormones and boosting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your skin. This keeps your skin resilient and prevents dryness and excessive sagging. Yoga also tones the muscles of your face and neck. These poses target your facial skin.
What to Do
Practice these poses every day.
Who Found Relief
Silvia Scura, 50, a human resources manager from Essex Fells, N.J., always had nice skin, but she worried that her skin would change as she approached menopause. She was determined not to take hormone replacement therapy, so she assumed that she would see some wrinkles.
She had tried yoga in her 30s, and seven years ago she returned to a regular practice. As a result, she says, three years ago she “sailed through menopause with the yoga glow.” Her skin condition didn’t change, and only a wrinkle or two has emerged.
Committed to a daily practice of deep breathing and a variety of postures (including those shown here), Scura says yoga is now central to her life. “For me, yoga is the answer to a lot of life’s questions,” she says. As a bonus, the varicose veins she developed in her late 30s have disappeared.
1 Face Massage
1. Sit on the floor with a tall spine with your eyes closed, and rub your hands together vigorously to warm them. Place all your fingertips on your eyebrows with your pinkie fingers next to each other. Firmly press along your brows, moving your right hand to the right and your left hand to the left, until you reach your temples. Repeat this several times, each time moving up a quarter-inch until you reach your hairline. Imagine you are smoothing out worry lines.
2. Place your fingertips on the bridge of your nose and swipe downward along your cheekbones, as if you are wiping away tears, as pictured. Repeat.
3. Press your fingertips into your temples and make small circles.
4. Open your mouth. Press the heels of your hands into your jaw (near your ear lobes), and make more small circles.
5. Use your fingertips to press your chin up toward your cheeks, as if you were molding your skin into a smile.
6. Repeat steps 1 to 5, this time using a gentler, lighter touch and adding a circular motion to all the steps. Your entire massage should last at least 10 minutes.
1. Kneel on the floor and then sit down on your heels, or sit on the edge of a chair. Rest your hands on your knees with your fingers spread apart. Imagine that you are a regal lion, fierce and powerful. Take a deep breath in through your nose as you lengthen your spine.
2. Lean forward slightly as you exhale through your mouth, extending your tongue out as far as you can, opening your eyes and mouth wide, and roaring “Aaah!” At the same time, lift your hands off your knees and spread your fingers wide, pretending they are claws, as pictured.
3. When you have exhaled completely, sit back, return your hands to your knees, and relax. Take two full, deep breaths. And then take another deep breath in through your nose as you lengthen your spine.
4. Repeat steps 2 to 3 three more times. When you’re done, sit for a moment and notice how you feel.
3 Forward Elbow Clasp
Caution: Avoid this pose if you have glaucoma, a detached retina, eye or ear inflammation, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a history of heart disease or stroke, or if you are pregnant.
1. Stand with your feet about hip width apart and your arms at your sides.
2. Keep your feet rooted to the floor as you fold forward from your hips, keeping your back flat. Continue until your torso is hanging from your hips, and then grasp each elbow with the opposite hand, as pictured. If you feel unsteady, stand a few inches away from a wall and lean your buttocks against the wall. Keep your legs strong and allow your torso to spill out of your waist like a waterfall, noticing the weight of your head. Gaze through your legs to the wall behind you. Hold for 3 to 10 breaths. Imagine that you are bowing to your inner beauty.
3. To release, lift your abdominal muscles toward your spine and keep your back flat as you raise your torso to an upright position. Unhook your elbows and pause to notice how you feel. If you are lightheaded, sit or lie down for a moment.