Yoga is a 5000-year-old ancient Indian way of life, which includes changes in mental attitude, diet, and the practice of specific techniques such as yoga postures, breathing practices, and meditation. Despite how long yoga has been around, this practice has grown in popularity in recent years as people have begun to recognize its health benefits. From toned muscles to improved flexibility, yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the US and around the world.
It has also been suggested that yoga can promote healthy, glowing skin. Since Nollapelli was created based on a passion for great skin combined with a background in science (plus our founder loves doing yoga!), we wanted to explore what the literature has to say about whether or not yoga can really benefit the skin.
Yoga improves circulation and glucose control
While there are many factors that contribute to skin aging, one that has received particular attention in recent years is advanced glycation end-products (AGE). AGE products are the result of the attachment of glucose (a sugar molecule) to a protein or lipid. According to a publication in Future Science OA, yoga poses that build strength and flexibility in the muscles lead to enhanced blood flow and insulin receptor expression on the muscles. The result is increased glucose uptake and hence reduced blood sugar. Thus, the correlation of insulin regulation and glucose control can be translated to improved tissue functioning, improved glucose control, and thereby potentially reverse the effects of AGE protein accumulation.
Yoga improves digestion
In addition to increasing circulation and glucose control, research also shows that yoga can improve digestion. So what does this have to do with your skin? An article from DermatoEndocrinology says it best: “Beauty comes from the inside.” While the food you eat and how well it is digested is just one factor that contributes to the appearance of your skin, it is certainly an important one.
Interestingly, many of the digestion benefits that come from yoga are due to the stress-reducing techniques, such as controlled breathing and meditation, that play an essential role in the practice of yoga. Zayna Gold, creator of Healing Through Movement and a Boston-based yoga instructor, tells Health, “You will feel less stress when your nervous system is relaxed. The health benefits will spread to the rest of your body and ease your digestion.” It is recommended to practice poses like wind-relieving posture and bow pose, and to try alternating nose breathing, all of which will aid in digestion.
The final verdict: Yoga can benefit your skin
After evaluating the literature, it’s clear that substantial evidence exists suggesting that yoga can benefit your skin by increasing blood flow, regulating glucose, and aiding in digestion. Not to mention that yoga has numerous other health benefits, including improved strength and flexibility and lowered stress levels.