Stretching my way to better skin.


This is the skin I’m in and I want to take care of it, because it’s a reflection of how I take care of myself. Skin is our largest organ and it’s super important to treat it with TLC. I discovered yoga in the early 1990s, and ever since I started practicing and teaching I’ve realized that beauty is both an inside-out and outside-in job. What we put into our bodies, what we put on our bodies, how we move our bodies, and how we feel about our bodies all affects the health of our skin.

Yoga has been my main form of exercise for the past 22 years. Exercise in general has noticeable effects on the skin, but for me yoga has done wonders. The emphasis on the connection between the mind and body is one of the main reasons I think practicing has been so helpful. In addition to being great for the skin, yoga is low impact, can benefit joint, bone, and heart health, improves flexibility, mobility, and strength, and relieves stress. When I’m practicing, I truly listen to my body and move in a way that feels good and doesn’t cause too much stress. Some of my favorite yoga poses for skin health are inversions like downward facing dog, standing forward bend, shoulderstand, and headstand. These positions encourage blood flow to the head and face, which causes a healthy flush. The deep, full breathing in yoga oxygenates and detoxes the entire body to help skin glow.

Another thing I’ve realized about the health of my skin is that what I eat truly makes a difference. When I eat healthy, wholesome foods loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats, my skin is radiant. But when I’m eating a lot of sugar and unhealthy fats, I notice the opposite: My skin isn’t as supple and is more prone to breakouts. I’ve also learned that certain foods contain ingredients that can help skin stay strong and youthful. For instance, the lycopene in tomatoes has been shown to help prevent sun damage, while protein in lean meats, eggs, and seafood keeps skin strong and radiant. When we eat healthy foods that nourish our bodies, it definitely shows in our skin.

Taking care of my skin and doing yoga are a few of the many things I do to feel good about myself. I also love to ski, play tennis, walk, hike, and be very active with my son. When I’m moving my body, especially when it’s to practice or teach yoga, I feel confident and happy—and it shows. Stress and depression have huge effects on the way our skin looks and of course on how we feel. It’s important to find joy in life and to practice being in the moment. Movement, writing, reading, meditating, keeping a gratitude journal, and being with friends and family are all important for our well-being and for how our skin looks. When we’re happy and living life to its fullest, it radiates from the inside out.