By Shannon Jones
September is National Yoga Month, and it is also National Skincare Awareness Month. Though yoga and your skin seem completely unrelated, we at exhale believe that the two are absolutely intertwined. Join us on the mat and get your skin glowing at the same time.
We like to start our class off with a few deep, centering breaths. Breathing deep into the belly brings you into the present moment and washes your body over with oxygen. Oxygen is necessary for all of your body’s functions. In the skin, it is especially important to energize your skin cells to build collagen and elastin, the support structures that keep you looking young and wrinkle free. So breathe deep with us, and keep your skin firm and supple. Maintain a wrinkle-free visage with the Youth Complex from iS Clinical. This powerhouse fights all the signs of aging, including fine lines, uneven texture, and loss of firmness.
As we breathe, we take a few minutes to set our intention. This meditative moment reminds us that we are in class to escape the outside world and to learn to find peace amidst the chaos of our daily lives. Stress reduction is one of the reasons we come back to class day after day, and it also works wonders for our skin. Stress alters your body’s chemistry, increasing cortisol levels. Cortisol is often associated with an increase in oil production and inflammation, thereby making breakouts more likely. Taking this time to relax and refocus can reduce cortisol and ultimately lead to clearer skin. Keep fighting acne long after class is over with Sircuit Cosmeceuticals Sircuit Agent. It keeps blemishes away and minimizes the appearance of pores.
Now we move into our vinyasa. Movement always improves circulation, but inversions such as Down Dog can be especially beneficial. As we flip upside down, we move fresh, nutrient-rich blood into areas that sometimes have trouble getting it, like our brain and face. The blood carries important nutrients to your cells, which keeps them healthy and functioning the way they should. This increased blood flow gives your cheeks that healthy flush, making you look youthful and vibrant. Keep that glow every day with iS Clinical Pro-Heal. The vitamin C increases circulation, reduces irritation, and aids in cellular repair.
Twists like Reverse Triangle stimulate the body’s natural detoxification process. They can help with everything from digestive issues to anger management; plus they help us practice the ability to breathe through discomfort. Detoxing is great for your skin as well. Though the skin is designed to eliminate toxins, it sometimes gets overwhelmed, which can lead to irritation and inflammation. Moving cellular waste and debris away from the cells more effectively allows them to function better, fighting the destruction of collagen and keeping the skin clear of wrinkles and breakouts. Deepen your detox with a Smart Peel. Talk to one of our amazing estheticians about trying one as part of your facial.
Moving in to savasana, we’re winding down our practice. We’ve done lots of beneficial things for our minds and our bodies. We’ve flooded our cells oxygen, improved blood flow to bring in nutrients, and swept waste and debris far away. Now it’s time to revel in our relaxation. As you feel your body ground into the earth, allow all the tension to melt out of your jaw. Focus on your third eye and relax the muscles around the eyes and forehead. Repeated muscular movements like frowning and squinting will eventually cause deep wrinkles, so take this time to stop them in their tracks. Relax your wrinkles at home with Sircuit Cosmeceuticals Secret Sauce. It slows repetitive muscular contractions and instantly plumps up any other fine lines that might have already shown up.
Leaving class after a deep savasana is always the hardest part. But taking this time to focus on yourself creates an important habit of self-care. With a renewed sense of calm, you might find it easier to eat more colorful veggies or get a good night’s sleep; both are healthy habits that will nourish your insides and your outsides. Maybe it will be easier to find a few minutes to invest in your evening skincare routine as well. Happy, relaxed people naturally appear younger, with a brighter, lighter spirit that shows in your face. Continue your calm with the Tata Harper Aromatic Anti-Stress Treatment. Keep this handy and inhale deeply when you feel out of control.
Join us on September 20 for namasDAY, as we celebrate our yoga practice and maintain our youthful glow. Book a facial and talk to an esthetician to get personalized recommendations to target any other skin concerns you may have.
Shannon Jones is a licensed esthetician and regular yogini. She is a lead and trainer with exhale in New York City. She blogs about all things skin and beauty at www.practicalskintuition.com.
By Shannon Jones