When I was in my 20s, I found I was struggling with something I had hope would end with my awkward teenage years: acne. It was uncomfortable and made me feel so self-conscious, so I tried every existing medication my dermatologist prescribed me, telling myself I was just one antibiotic away from clearing up my acne for good.
None of them worked, and to my frustration, some of them even worsened my symptoms. I felt hopeless and resigned to having pimples on my face for the rest of my life. When a friend suggested I try yoga, I was skeptical—could spending a few hours a week stretching on a mat really be the key to clearing up my skin when Western medicine was failing?
The answer was yes. I didn’t go to a class, do a downward-facing dog, and come back up to find my acne had magically vanished. But within a few months, my skin was looking a whole lot better. The stress-busting benefits of a regular yoga practice helped, of course, but for me focusing on poses specifically targeted toward hormone balance, digestion, sleep, and work stress was the key to getting rid of skin flare-ups.
Here's how finding yoga cleared up my skin and the specific poses that made it happen: