yoga poses to calm the mind & body for clear skin
Our mind, body and skin want to be in a calm state to perform optimally. Bringing more calm into our day will allow us to have a clearer mind, be more present, tackle challenges easier, sleep better, improve immunity, manage weight better and go about our days generally happier.
It will also help our skin become more clear, toned, plump, even and will also help to restore our skins barrier function which is vital for healthy and thriving skin. It will also help our skin to look bright and radiant as everything will be beautifully balanced.
So I thought I would get in touch with my beautiful friend, Alex Daly, who is a qualified yoga instructor to give us some insights into 5 of the best calming yoga poses to bring into our day.
She has so kindly written the flow below and walks us through the ways to do each pose and how to transition.
(Please note that some of my hand and head placements were different due to my personal capabilities and limited space)
We hope you enjoy this short and sweet flow and embrace taking a lovely self-compassionate moment for yourself.
1. LEGS UP THE WALL:
Start with your butt as close to the wall as possible. While you lay back, lift your legs up and rest them on the wall. Find a distance you're comfortable at with your legs resting straight up the wall. Close your eyes. Notice your belly rising with each inhale and falling with each exhale. Keep your focus on your breath, moving in and out through your nose. Slow it down to an easy inhale to a count of 4, exhale to a count of 4. Try and count a little slower each round.
This is balanced breathing, we use this type of breathing to balance our nervous system. When you're breathing at a comfortable pace, introduce an ocean sound to your breath. This is where you make your breathing audible enough that if someone were next to you they could hear a “haaaa” sound when you inhale and exhale. Stay here for 3-5 minutes or as long as you feel you need.
2. SEATED CAT, COW:
When you're ready, swing your legs down to find yourself in a comfortable seat with your legs crossed. Place your hand on your knees and inhale while pulling your chest forward, then tilt your head back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. While you exhale scoop your belly in towards your spine, dome your upper back and tuck your chin in towards your chest.
Like earlier, focus on your breath, slow down your movements to match your breathing. Do five or so rounds like this until you feel nice and loose.
3. SUPPORTED BRIDGE:
WITH A BLOCK OR A BOOK/S
On your next exhale, roll all the way down to your back, bend your knees and place your feet down as wide as your hips, so when you reach down your fingertips can brush the backs of your heals. Inhale, press your feet down, lift your hips up and place your block or book underneath your sacrum (in between your tailbone and lower back). Choosing how high you'd like your supported bridge to be. Bring your attention back to your breath, your belly rising and falling, the whisper sound coming from the back of your throat.
You can either place your hands on your abdomen just under your belly button, arms wide next to you, or stretch them above your head taking hold of your elbows. Stay here for 3-5 minutes.
4. SUPPORTED FISH:
WITH A BLOCK OR A BOOK/S
Slowly with an inhale lift your hips up and remove your block. Exhale lower down your hips and stretch your legs out long, feet together. Next slowly sit up and place the block underneath your sternum. Some wiggling around to find that sweet spot may be needed and again your choice in how high you would like your supported fish to be. Wherever you are, relax your head on the floor, stretch your arms out beside you, close your eyes and bring your focus back to your 4x4 belly breathing with that ocean sound. Stay here for 3-5 minutes.
5. SPINE TWIST:
With a pillow to support your knee if needed
Slowly remove your block and lie back down. Bring your arms out next to you so your body is in the shape of a ‘T’. Inhale bring your right knee in towards your chest. With your left hand guide your right knee over your body towards your left in a gentle twist. Send your gaze over to your right finger tips. If your knee doesn’t reach the floor, place a rolled up blanket or pillow under it for support. When you count 10 inhales bring your leg back to center and switch sides.