Yoga for Healthy Glowing Skin

Yoga for Healthy Glowing Skin

 I don’t know about you, but for years I’ve heard yogis speaking about the countless benefits of yoga, one being great skin. I never quite believed it, however since beginning my yoga journey I can confirm it really does work! Not only is our skin the largest organ in our body but it’s also the most visible so why not work with the body to promote healthy, vibrant skin?

There are numerous reasons as to why yoga helps improve the skin. It seems to provide that inner ‘glow’ we all strive for. But how?

Practicing yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system which relieves stress and lowers cortisol within the body. This helps in balancing the hormones which directly impacts the appearance of the skin. 

Yoga has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is an immune response which can cause redness or dry, itchy skin. Think eczema, rosacea, acne etc. Creating a steady yoga practice can help reduce these effects. 

Another perk of establishing a yoga practice is to get your heart pumping. Not only does this flood the body with endorphins, but it will flush the body with fresh oxygenated blood which revives the skin, giving us that fresh glow and youthful appearance we so desire. 

So you may now be thinking, this all sounds great but where do I start? Which poses are going to give me that glowing complexion? 

Spinal twists or Vakrasana as it is known in Sanskrit is definitely one of the most beneficial movements for the skin. In fact, any kind of twist is amazing. The twisting motion squeezes and rinses out the internal organs. Once the twist is released, the body is then flushed with fresh oxygenated blood (think ringing out clothes) and toxins are eliminated. This inner cleansing is shown directly through the skin. Think smooth and glowy, what more could you want?  

  • To perform this movement, begin by sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Bend one leg and place the sole of your foot roughly in line with the knee of your straight leg. 
  • Next cross the opposite arm over the knee of the bent leg. 
  • Take a deep inhale, lengthening tall through the spine, reaching the crown of your head towards the sky. 
  • Exhale to deepen the twist. 
  • Repeat for 5-10 breaths. 

    Forward folds or Uttanasana as they’re referred to in Sanskrit are very beneficial to the skin. Any kind of forward folds are known to be great stress relievers. These poses relieve tension from the body whilst also encouraging healthy blood flow throughout. 

  • Begin in tadasana (mountain pose) by standing tall, elongating the spine. 
  • Keeping a soft bend in your knees, hinge forward from your hips, drawing your belly button in and up towards your spine. 
  • Arms may reach the floor or simply hang. 

    Sun salutations also known as Surya Namaskar combine a series of poses and are usually performed repeatedly. The repetition of this series traditionally flows with the breath, completing one breath per movement. Not only does this get the heart pumping which floods the body with fresh, clean blood, but they also have a calming effect over the body as once you discover your rhythm, they can become very methodical. 

    • To complete one round of sun salutations, come to a standing position at the top of your mat. 
    • Take an inhale as you raise your arms towards the sky, gaze follows. 
    • Exhale as you fold forward, placing hands on the ground. 
    • Inhale, lift halfway, hands come to either the shins or thighs as you lengthen through your spine, looking forward. 
    • Retain the breath to step or jump to plank pose. 
    • Exhale as you slowly lower to the ground, keeping elbows close against your body. 
    • Inhale and roll your shoulders back, finding cobra pose. 
    • Exhale as you press up and back, coming into a downward dog. 
    • Inhale to make your way back to the top of your mat, hands come to thighs or shins and spine lengthens. 
    • Exhale, release and relax into a forward fold. 
    • Inhale as you come back to standing, arms reach above your head, gaze follows. 
    • Exhale, lowering the arms back by your sides. This completes one round. 


    Goddess pose also referred to as the fierce angle pose or Rudrasana in Sanskrit is an extremely restorative pose. Finding stillness in this posture creates a calming effect within the body. Once settling into the pose, not only do the muscles begin to work but by finding stillness, there is an emphasis placed on the breath. Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, relaxes the mind and oxygenates the body, refreshing the skin. 

    • To perform this pose, begin in a standing position. 
    • Place your hands on hips and step the feet wide (roughly 4ft) to wherever is comfortable. 
    • On an exhale bend your knees, lowering into a squat. Eventually working towards bringing your thighs parallel with the earth. 
    • Your arms can come to prayer in front of your heart or reach up towards the sky. Alternatively, they may rest gently on the thighs with palms facing up. 
    • Deepen your breath, finding stillness as you lengthen through the spine. 
    • Hold this pose for 10-15 breaths or for as long as is comfortable. 


    Camel pose or Ustrasana is a back bend which opens up the front body. This increases lung capacity, allowing for deeper inhalations. Back bending poses are also said to reduce stress and lower inflammation. 
      • To find camel pose, begin on your knees with hips stacked directly over your knees and legs   parallel. 
      • Place your hands on your lower back. 
      • Take an inhale as you tuck your tailbone under while also drawing your shoulder blades back and together, pushing your sternum up and out to allow your rib cage to expand. 
      • Draw your elbows together behind you as you focus on deepening your breath and creating as much length as possible through your spine. 
      • If this is comfortable, your hands may lower towards the feet. 
      • Upon finding your fullest expression of ustrasana, hold for around one minute. 


      Uttihita trikonasana or triangle pose opens up the lungs, chest and heart. This leaves the skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 
        • One of the easiest ways to find triangle pose is to enter from a warrior two. 
        • Begin by straightening your front leg. 
        • Keeping your body flat and hips tucked under, press your hips towards your back leg whilst simultaneously reaching and extending forward with your fingertips (this creates length and space in the body).  
        • Next, slowly lower your reaching arm down your front leg as far as it comfortably reaches. 
        • Take a deep breath, settling into the pose as you roll your shoulders back and engage the core. 
        • Remember, it’s about how the pose feels rather than how deep you can go. 


        Inversions: Any pose where your head is below your heart is classed as an inversion. Think downdog, headstand, dolphin, shoulder stand etc. Inversions are great for the skin because they improve circulation throughout the body which is a prominent factor in skin health. Let’s take headstand (sirsasana) for an example: 

        • A great way to enter head stand is by beginning in dolphin pose. 
        • Elbows should be about a forearms width apart. 
        • Lower your head gently to the ground and clasp your hands around the back of your head. 
        • Press all of your weight into your forearms and lift from the shoulders. It’s important to not put all your weight in your head. (Imagine your goal is to be able to slide a piece of paper between your head and the ground). 
        • Next, walk your feet in closer towards you until your hips are as close to over your shoulders as possible. This may be your full expression of headstand. 
        • To go further, engage the core as you lift one leg upwards towards the sky, allowing the other leg to follow. 
        • Breath deeply for 5-10 breaths wherever you are able to find stillness. 


        Fish pose or Matsyasana is known to be a hormone balancer. Practicing fish pose improves thyroid, pineal and pituitary function. These all have a positive influence on the overall appearance and health of the skin. 
          • Begin by lying flat on your back. 
          • Come up onto your elbows, pressing forearms flat into the mat with upper arms perpendicular to the floor. 
          • Keep the forearms firmly in place as you puff up your chest, rolling your shoulder blades back and together (it should feel like you’re creating a backbend). 
          • Next, tilt your head back and begin to slowly lower the crown of your head onto the mat. 
          • Keep puffing out the chest with shoulder blades squeezing together tightly. 
          • Engage through your legs and feet. This is an active pose. As you do so, keep rooting through your forearms to ensure there is no strain or pressure on the head and neck. 


          All in all, any form of yoga has countless benefits both physically and mentally. A healthy mind and body creates healthy, glowing skin. 

          This article was written and photographed by yoga enthusiast Amy on behalf of Valka Yoga. Amy has always had a passion for all things health related. As a practising Yoga instructor and Reiki energy healer, Amy is fascinated with learning, researching and writing about how to live a healthy, happy, natural lifestyle. Valka Yoga sell beautiful, ethically sourced yoga mats as well as lots of useful yoga accessories. Check them out today!
          Back to blog