The quest for youthful, luminous skin is endless. From collagen creams to skin-focused nutritional supplements and Botox injections, beautiful skin is a thriving business.
You may be itching to splash out a small fortune on a pair of designer boots or a leather bag that will make you feel like urban goddesses. But deep inside you know that if your skin look stressed or tired, you won’t feel awesome. So you’ll be relieved to hear that luminous skin comes from within, and costs nothing. It’s not just about swallowing collagen capsules. According to Vogue India, when we breathe with intention, we become “lit from within” with glowing skin. Practicing Pranayama or yoga breathing is just as important as getting adequate sleep, drinking plenty of water or applying moisturizer daily.
You may have associated Pranayama with headstands and sitting cross-legged chanting OM. But you don’t have to reach enlightenment just for your skin to look radiant. Pranayama breathing is a perennial yoga technique used to relieve toxic stress that makes us look a decade older than our actual age.
This is how it works in a nutshell. Pranayama is an ancient Indian purification practice that regulates and modulates our breath. It detoxifies and purifies the energy channels inside our bodies, known as "nadis". By moving the diaphragm, it relaxes us deeply, and activates the lymphatic system, which is known to remove the body’s “waste”. It is known to clean vital organs such as the kidneys and the liver. Interestingly enough, meditation also cleans “toxic” thoughts, intrusive ideas and relieves mental stress.
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MEDITATION. Mindfulness, connection to self, a quiet moment, silence. Call it what you will meditation is your direct path to achieving a deeper knowing of yourself and a peace within. It can be your anchor into yourself any time you need to gain clarity, connect with your intuition and inner truth. Whether it's for five minutes or an hour as Alicia Keys says "Some days I have 15 minutes, some days I have 40 minutes, some days I have five minutes where I have to take that time, because if I don’t I literally feel off. And I can tell the difference in the choices that I’m making… my center is off. I feel shaken a bit more, but when I do it I feel sturdy”.
According to yoga gurus, the practice triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which eventually even leads to balancing our wacky hormones. Our breath, which we tend to ignore during the day, safeguards the complex labyrinth inside our bodies.We are ready to start breathing with intention. For beginner’s Pranayama you can try the triangle breathing technique, which allows a complete and rounded breath. You inhale through the nose for a count of four, hold the air in your lungs for another four and then you breathe out through the nose for four.
However, for a more advanced Pranayama breathing training, you need the help and guidance of a qualified yoga teacher.