Science has revealed that yoga is best when it comes to overall wellness. However, Yoga is not just about doing asanas. The key to the benefits of yoga is breath. So here, I’ll (SANCHITA AHUJA) talk about Pranayama for skin and How we can get healthy and glowing skin from yoga, since it can be done by every age group.
Talk about fashion, I’d say healthy skin is in style forever. Some say, your skin represents your age and inner health. And what do we not do to keep it healthy and younger-looking? Use face creams touted to be enriched with Vitamin E. But if you believe, just like me, that the secret of healthy skin is related to inner wellness and not some magic creams, then you’re at the right place.
• Pranayama for skin rejuvenation and Which Pranayam is good for Skin ?
When someone asks me how Pranayama rejuvenates the skin, I give them the analogy of a ‘house renovation’. Consider you have to renovate your house, the first step you’d do is to remove all the old and worn-out stuff. Second would be to bring in fresh and new furniture. And third, arrange that furniture in the right spots.
Similarly, Kapalbhati removes all the toxins and carbon dioxide from our body. Anulom Vilom brings in fresh air and oxygen. And Brahmari spreads this oxygen to the whole body. To get the maximum benefits of Pranayam for skin, you must do these three breathing exercises for wrinkle free glowing skin in the same order.
• Guidelines for the practice of Pranayama :-
Before I get to explain the right technique of each of these, here are a few guidelines one must follow.
- Empty the bowels or keep a gap of 3 hours between meal intake and pranayama
- Sit with a straight spine (preferably Padmasana or Siddhasana, you can also sit on a chair if sitting with crossed legs causes discomfort)
- Keep your eyes closed to avoid any distraction and keep the focus on the breath.
- Observe your breath, during inhalation your abdomen should inflate and deflate during exhalation.
- If it is opposite for you, then high chances are there you’re breathing wrong. It must be consciously corrected
- Keep the doors and windows open for fresh air in a quiet room.
- Best timing for pranayama :- morning and evening.
• How to do Pranayama for skin with right Technique
✓ Kapalbhati for beginners \ How to do Kapalbhati
Kapalbhati is a cleansing technique that focuses on exhalations, while inhalation happens automatically in a short time between each exhalation. To exhale with the abdomen, first, inhale deeply till abdomen rises, and then quickly pull your stomach in to expel the air out through the nose. This makes one exhalation. With a quick inhalation, repeat exhalation.
A beginner should do 20 exhalations in a minute. As you progress, you can do up to 120 exhalations in one minute. If you feel any discomfort, do it slowly and fewer exhalations in one round.
Pause after one round and start again as you feel you are ready for another round.
✓ Anulom Vilom Pranayama for glowing skin
Anulom vilom (also called Nadi shodhan Pranayama) is a very subtle breathing practice focused on elongated breathing.
Ancient yoga mentions the positive effect of slow and elongated breathing on ageing. Science has also shown the link between low breath rate and longer life.
|Animal||Breath per minute||Lifespan|
|Whales||3-5||200 – 130 years|
|Human||6-16||110 – 80 years|
To perform Anulom Vilom, form Pranav mudra (Vishnu mudra).
- Now Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale with your left nostril.
- Then, close the left nostril and with the ring finger and exhale with your right nostril.
- Inhale with right nostril and exhale with left (keeping the right nostril closed)
This makes one round of anulom vilom. Try to keep the duration of inhalation and exhalation same. (That is if you inhale for 4 seconds then exhale for 4 seconds). Perform this for 3-5 minutes with slow breathing.
Anulom vilom also balances the left and right brain. Each side of the nostril is connected to the nervous system. By equal breathing from both nostrils, the parasympathetic nervous system is boosted by anulom vilom, which is known to de-stress the body and enhance the immune system and also helps to maintain healthy lifestyle.
✓ How Bhramari Pranayama works ?
Brahmari in Sanskrit means ‘female bee’. In brahmari, a humming sound like that of female bee is produced with slow exhalation. Brahmari’s vibrations heal on the deepest levels of the body. This is why it is also recommended to people after surgeries to speed up the recovery.
Steps -: Bhramari pranayama techniques how to do
- Sit with a straight spine, closed eyes and gentle smile.
- Form Shanmukhi mudra (close your ears with thumbs, eyes gently with the index finger, place a middle finger near the nose and seal lips with the ring finger and pinky finger)
- Inhale deeply and while exhaling slowly make low-pitched sound mmmm…… (keep the lips sealed)
- Feel the vibrations in your face
- Promote Kewal kumbhaka (effortless stoppage of breath) after this round.
Perform each of the above exercises for 3-5 minutes (that is 9-15 minutes in total) every day. Just 15 minutes of Pranayama is shown to slow down the ageing according to various researches. You can end the practice with Aum chanting which gives immense peace. Share your experience and tell us if this article helped you.