The Yoga Poses That Helped Me Get To The Root Of My Adult Acne

mbg Contributor By Cindy Warren
mbg Contributor
Cindy Warren is a writer based in Seattle, Washington, with a focus on skin care and all things green and healthy. She created the blog BeSkinHost to share enlightening and interesting opinions on skin care, health, and more.
woman in warrior one pose

Photo by Stocksy

When I was in my 20s, I found I was struggling with something I had hoped would end with my awkward teenage years: acne. The longer my acne lingered, the more hopeless and resigned to it I felt—until a friend suggested that yoga could help me relieve stress, a known contributor to acne. I was skeptical: Could spending a few hours a week stretching on a mat really do anything to help clear up my skin?

While my acne didn't vanish at the first downward-facing dog, over time it did start to ease up a bit. Here are some of the specific poses that I suspect helped my complexion by getting to the underlying causes of acne.

For digestion: triangle and wind-relieving pose.

I Tried To Clear My Skin Using Yoga & This Is What Happened

Photo by Cindy Warren

Yoga turned me on to a vegetarian diet and taught me to eat more consciously. It also made me crave less refined sugar, which can accelerate the signs of acne and aging. I felt like poses such as triangle, wind-relieving pose, staff pose, and revolved lunge all helped rev up my digestion too.

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For sleep: triangle and savasana.

I Tried To Clear My Skin Using Yoga & This Is What Happened

Photo by Cindy Warren

A steady yoga routine helped me de-stress, which meant I could fall asleep faster and have more energy throughout the day. I found poses like standing forward fold, triangle, shoulder stand, plow pose, headstand, and, of course, savasana, to be especially relaxing.

For emotional support: seated forward bend and cobra pose.

I Tried To Clear My Skin Using Yoga & This Is What Happened

Photo: Cindy Warren

Emotions have quite a bit of power over our body's health, and negative, fearful emotions can throw our hormones out of whack. When looking to balance my emotions, I utilized tree pose, warrior 1 pose, seated forward bend, cobra pose, and child's pose. Simply sitting and breathing was also amazing for my mood.

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For stress relief: upward-facing dog and seated twist.

I Tried To Clear My Skin Using Yoga & This Is What Happened

Photo by Cindy Warren

Stress is one of the factors that triggers acne, and I had a lot of it. I found that sneaking in a quick asana during the workday helped lower my stress levels in the moment. At the office I did seated crescent moon pose, extended mountain pose, upward-facing dog, extended side angle, forward fold, and seated twist. Sure, I got a few weird looks, but it was worth it.

When I wasn't at work, I practiced other stress-busting poses like reclining bound angle pose, legs up the wall, and savasana.

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