Indian sage Patanjali outlined 8 steps of yoga to achieve enlightenment of mind, body and spirit. Such yogic path towards harmony and bliss addresses whole person from the inside out. It transforms a burnt out, unaware human into a vibrant, full of energy yet, very peaceful individual. The same yogic steps can be applied when striving to achieve illuminated skin. Just like the transformation of the mind, body and spirit, the transformation of the skin starts from the inside. Yogic path for a beautiful skin is not an overnight change, it is a life time process. It is a lifestyle choice of embracing discipline, practice, self-love, intention and consistency. And by product of the such path is a blissful skin. So, here are the 8 steps of yoga that can be applied to transforming your skin (and your life):
1. Yama or Self-restraint from sugar, processed and heavy foods as well as moderation with caffeine and alcohol.
2. Niama or Self-purification inside and out by drinking a lots of spring water, emptying bowels daily, eating foods that are nourishing and supporting to health. Also, remember to remove makeup, cleanse and hydrate your skin as well as protect it from the sun.
3. Asana or Exercise by being active, increasing your heart rate and blood flow to remove toxins, wastes and impurities. Physical exercise and especially hatha yoga helps to keep good physical form and transcend stress of daily life.
4. Pranayama or Breathing pure energy of clean air in and exhaling tension and agitation out. Strained breath causes improper ventilation and increase in stress hormones in your body that affect the health of your skin. Start every morning with kapalabhati breathing followed by a walk outside to greet the rising of the sun.
5. Pratyahara or Relaxation of your senses. When you completely relaxed, your body has chance to repair the oxidative damage (rusting) on cellular level. That type of inner maintenance wards of wrinkles and sagging. Remember the wisdom of going to bed early as early to bed and early to rise makes your skin healthy, glowing and young.
6. Dharma or Concentration on your health and well-being. Whenever in doubt or have competing choices, choose and focus on your health–physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. You health is your number one priority and everything else is a secondary. Reminding yourself of this often and following through will make a huge difference in the health of your skin.
7. Dhyana or Meditation or Mental Get-Away from stresses of your daily life that when cumulative lead to aging and poor health of your skin and overall body. Take a daily power nap or sit quietly concentrating on your breathing for few minutes. Having 24 hour free of any type of informational input except observation of your own internal musings is rejuvenating as for your mind and creativity and your skin will show it. If you have trouble meditating try Headspace app, it spoons feeds you the techniques of meditation and very quickly you become very skilful at it.
8. Samadhi or Pure Bliss of your skin manifests as a clear and glowing complexion. The heart of true, everlasting beauty is a calm, kind and happy facial expression which can only be achieved when one works and practices diligently starting on the inside.
Yogic path for a beautiful skin is not an overnight change, it is a life time process. It is a lifestyle choice of embracing discipline, practice, self-love, intention and consistency. Namaste!