By Shahnaz Husain
Regular yoga practice can help you in achieving true inner and external beauty like flawless skin, shiny hair and a slim figure. Yoga can rejuvenate your skin and make you look gorgeous by improving physical features and skin conditions. You do not have to be born beautiful. It can be acquired.
I have always said that good health and beauty are two sides of the same coin. Unless you are healthy from the inside, you cannot reflect true beauty. For a flawless skin, shiny hair and a slim figure, good health must be on top of the list. That’s why I advocate Ayurvedic principles of holistic health, with Yoga as an integral part of the program. This concept of holistic beauty care was unique and caught on worldwide.
One of the asanaas that is necessary for beautiful skin and hair is pranayam, as it helps to reduce stress, increase oxygenation and improve blood circulation. Some of the other asanaas that help beauty are Uttanasana, Utkatasana, Shirshana and Halasana. Surya namaskar is also most beneficial.
The appeal of Yoga lies in the fact that it helps both body and mind.
It not only works on all the muscle groups, but also increases vitality, tones the internal organs, stimulates the nerve centres, relieves stress and clears the mind. Although it is an ancient Indian discipline, it has also gained relevance as a means of attaining a well-balanced personality and delaying the visible signs of ageing.
The other important aspect of Yoga is that it involves breath control and specifies the inhalation and exhalation of breath during the exercises. Thus, it helps oxygenation. It imparts a feeling of physical and mental exhilaration. This is so important for beauty, because feeling good is an integral part of looking good.
Yoga improves blood circulation, including reaching it to the skin surface. This is so important for the good health of the skin, as it helps to supply essential nutrients to the skin. It also promotes the removal of toxins through the skin. This is so important, specially in cases of skin congestion. It tones the skin, improves oxygenation to the skin, imparts a beautiful glow and keeps the skin youthful and free from problems.
The same goes for the hair. Yoga helps to promote blood circulation and oxygenation to the scalp and hair follicles. This helps to supply nutrients in the blood stream to the hair follicles. It promotes hair growth and keeps the scalp healthy.
When we talk of beauty, we do not talk only about the beauty of the face. It also includes the figure, giving it suppleness, good posture and grace. Where the appearance is concerned, a slim figure can take years off and helps in staying youthful for a longer time. It supplies oxygen to every tissue and this, itself makes way for both health and beauty.
If you are leading a life that does not provide enough physical activity, you are actually encouraging aging. Exercise is a potent remedy for pre-mature aging, not only because it strengthens the body, but also keeps it looking trim and fit. The yogic asanaas are designed to keep the spine and joints flexible and supple. They make the body strong and agile, tone the muscles, improves blood circulation, imparts vitality and enhances both beauty and good health.
Many beauty problems are triggered by stress. Since yoga helps to induce relaxation and reduce stress, it certainly helps in dealing with stress-related conditions like acne, hair loss and dandruff. Studies conducted on those who practice yoga have shown that positive changes also occur in the personality, in attitudes, emotional stability, self-confidence. It has a direct effect on the mind, emotions and mood. In fact, it is a regular stress-buster and puts the glow back on the skin. You will feel instantly rejuvenated and good about yourself.
The diet is also important. The ancient sages of India placed a high value on natural foods. They carried out the detoxification of the body through foods that were eaten raw, like fresh fruits and freshly extracted fruit and vegetable juices.
Fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouted cereals and lentils, unprocessed and un-refined wheat and rice, nuts (unsalted), seeds and yogurt come under the category of natural foods. They should form a major part of the daily diet, cutting down on refined sugars and fats.
There is no doubt that natural foods can improve the external appearance. They can make you look and feel much better. The skin becomes clearer and more translucent. The health of the hair improves. The figure also improves in shape. There is a general feeling of vitality that improves the mental outlook, boosts self-confidence and adds zest to life.
Reduce your intake of fats, sugar and red meats. Increase your intake of whole grains, eliminating refined cereals and flours. You can get all the natural sugar you need from fruits. Honey can also be used as a sweetener. A part of your daily diet must consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, eaten raw, with the skin, as far as possible. Yoghurt is also a wonderful beauty food, while skimmed milk and cottage cheese can be included.
Vegetables should be lightly cooked. Eat enough green, leafy vegetables, like spinach. Fruit and vegetable juices, freshly extracted are ideal. They not only ensure a supply of valuable nutrients, but are assimilated and absorbed by the body very easily. They also help to cleanse and purify the system and prevent the accumulation of toxic residues. Fruit and vegetable juices are best taken freshly extracted, with the addition of water.
Indeed, the benefits of yoga reflect as external beauty. For a flawless skin, shiny hair and a slim, graceful figure, make yoga a part of your daily life. (IANS)