As a yoga teacher, I live my life in sweaty rooms with a messy ponytail. I couldn't rely on fancy hair and makeup as my recipe for radiance even if I tried.
Lately, students have been asking me for my secrets for glowing skin and peace within. If you practice yoga regularly, you're probably aware of how much clearer and brighter you're skin looks when you're hitting the yoga studio more often than not. Want to take that glow to the next level? Here are my top five "glow to's":
1. Inhale and exhale.
Take a 10-minute walk around the block. Take the stairs instead of the escalator, or simply dance to your favorite playlist for 10 minutes. Having your heart beating faster transports oxygen-rich blood to your muscles and improves cellular respiration. It's super simple and straightforward, but it works like a charm. In just 10 minutes, you've refreshed your body and mind.
2. Connect to the earth.
Take off your shoes and stand in the grass, sand, or ocean for five minutes. Earthing, or as some call it, "grounding," is the theory that our bodies are meant to come into contact with the earth on a regular basis. And there's biophysics and science to back this theory too. Positive electrons in the form of free radicals are associated with chronic inflammation.
Our lives have taken us away from direct contact with the earth—rubber-soled shoes, cement floors, and electromagnetic waves from our cellphones and Wi-Fi. And as a result, positive electrons build up in our bodies. When we're grounded, there's a transfer of negatively charged free electrons from the earth into our bodies, and these free electrons are some of the most potent antioxidants around.
3. Turn it upside down.
Find a quiet place to lie on your back and elevate your legs up a wall for 10 minutes in Viparita Karani. Standing all day or being seated upright with your feet on the ground for long periods can create pressure in your leg veins and cause fluids to collects in the soft tissue.
This pose will also calm your nervous system. In order to manage our stress, we need to encourage our parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) and ask our sympathetic nervous system (stress response) to subside. Taking restorative time like this helps calm our adrenals and return us to a more peaceful state. This can keep things like heartburn and inflammation at bay, and the afterglow can be a more effective metabolism and a stronger immune system as well.
4. Create a cooling blend of essential oils.
Try a peppermint halo. This soothing, cooling blend of oils is your everything. Headache? Not anymore—roll this magic potion like a halo around your hairline and wait a few minutes. Perfect for massaging sore muscles and applying to the bottom of your feet after a long day. I rub it between my hands and tent them in front of my face during Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) inhaling for four, holding for four, and exhaling for eight. It helps to clean out sinus congestion and combat nausea, too. Sprinkling a few drops into a shower or bath is divine. I highly recommend Saje Natural Wellness oils!
5. Sip, steep, and sleep.
Sleep is, of course, the ultimate resplendent rejuvenator. To wind down and set myself up for slumber success, my nighttime ritual includes sipping on a cup of dandelion tea, a natural diuretic. Dandelion has long been held as a liver detoxifier in alternative medicine. There are studies that show dandelion soothes digestion and even assists the breakdown of fat in ways that promote weight loss. Some believe it might even hold cancer-fighting properties. I love this from Traditional Medicinals (I'm a big fan of their attention to social impact and give back too).
There you glow.
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