Deep Breathing for a Clear Happier Skin
Acne, irritation, redness, dry and flaky skin, dark spots, pigmentation can make you feel less confident and beautiful. Sure, you can hide the problems (but for how long) under a ton of (even more skin damaging) makeup. Or, you can start a simple, natural, free, skin-clearing program that will make your skin look clear, smooth, velvety, radiant, and glorious. Indeed, your happy and glowing skin is one breath away from you.
Did I make you curious? I am talking about breathing exercising. If you are skeptical that your inhales and exhales will magically turn your skin into a flawless peachy clear complexion, keep reading to find out what is the twist.
Take a deep breath and let’s start!
What is Breathing and What Are the Implications?
Yes, I know what you’ll say: “Well, I just inhale the air and then I expel it, and the implication is that I keep on living, there is no philosophy in that.” True, but it’s more than that.
Unfortunately, we have developed a very unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle that makes us breathe incorrectly and insufficiently. I already hear you arguing “Well, I live, therefore I breathe enough to be alive, right?”
We sit down too much, we bend too much (over the computer, laptop or tablet) our back, shoulders, and neck (those headaches and neck pains – that’s why you have them) and that causes modifications in our spine and posture. The thoracic muscles are contracted (because we bend, remember?) and abdominal muscles are static and instead of breathing deeply, using our abdomen, thoracic cavity, and upper chest, we only use the upper chest and neck for that. Consequently, our breath is shallow, short, and accelerated.
This shallow breathing will then influence our mind, and we become worried, anxious, panicked, uncertain, fearful, tensed, etc. However, when we breathe deeply, we feel calm, peaceful, happy, content, confident, and flexible.
What do we breathe into our lungs? Air, and, says the Yoga system, prana, which is the Energy of Life. Prana, yogis say, is the Universal Force of Life. We get prana mainly from the air, but also from the food (raw food), rest, and a happy calm state of mind. Moreover, the quantity and quality of prana, as well as the way it flows through the subtle energy channels will influence our health and wellness. You understand now that breathing influences our skin health as well.
We can’t live without breathing, can we? While the air goes through the lungs, prana, from the air, goes into our energetic channels in our bodies, called nadis. They are subtle, luminous, vibrating, invisible to the eye, capillaries-like through which this energy, prana, circulates.
We also know that oxygen transported from the air into our lungs, then gets into our blood stream and is spread into our whole body, feeding the cells, tissues, and organs (the brain is one of them).
A Little Breathing Lesson for Better Health
Our mind and well-being are like a hot air balloon, and our breath is the air that fuels it and it makes it go higher. Now, the stronger and the deeper our breath is, the higher our balloon gets. In other words, we have a flourishing health and well-being, if we have a deep, calm, rhythmic breath.
Analyze yourself honestly:
Is your posture rather bend, with your shoulders pulled in front and your neck curbed?
Do you have several health problems?
Do you have back, shoulders, or neck pains?
Are you stressed up?
Do you feel often angry, anxious, worried, panicked, sad, depressed?
Do you have low energy levels, feel tired, exhausted, or lazy?
Can’t you focus, be attentive, or concentrate?
Do you have headaches or migraines?
Do you feel emotionally vulnerable?
Do you have skin problems?
If you answered yes to one, to some, to most of them or to all of the situations listed above, it means you don’t breathe correctly.
Observe your body when you breathe now:
Is your breath deep or shallow, short, quick?
Is your belly contracted and static when you inhale/exhale?
Is your diaphragm moving when you breathe?
Do you use mostly your upper chest when you’re breathing?
When you inhale, do your abdomen, chest and upper chest expand and move? When you exhale, do they ALL move back? If you do, then you have a great state of health and mind and probably your skin looks great, too. But if you notice no movement in your abdomen when you breathe, you have a shallow, short, quick breath, chances are you have a poor health, an agitated and anxious mind, and a problematic skin.
But worry no more. Once you will relearn to breathe and adjust your posture, all the above-mentioned problems will disappear one by one. Things can be changed to the better with better breathing. And now I am going to show you how to accomplish that.
Full, Deep, Complete Breathing Technique
This breathing technique shows you how you should really breathe, completely, from your belly, diaphragm, and upper chest. Once you get to relax your belly and put it to work, it will be easier for you to start breathing completely, deeply, throughout the day, not only during the breathing exercises.
Prepare your space: usually, it is great if you could do this breathing exercise in the open air, somewhere in nature or in a park, but if it is not possible, just open the window in your room where you practice.
Sit on a chair, couch, or a yoga mat, as comfortably as you can and close your eyes. You can also lie down on the floor or in the bed.
Relax your body, from toes to the head, insisting on the contracted areas of your body.
Breathe in and out deeply a couple of times to eliminate any toxic residues from your lungs.
Now exhale all air from the lungs, contracting your belly and diaphragm.
Take a deep breath of air, first focusing on your belly area, expanding it while you take the air in, then expanding the diaphragm, then the upper chest. Your intake of breath should be like a wave, starting from the belly, continuing with the diaphragm, and ending with the upper chest.
Hold your breath for a count of 5-7 without doing anything else.
Gently expel all the air, in a reverse wave, first contracting the upper chest, then the diaphragm, and finally, the belly, until all air is expelled.
Hold your breath for a count of 5-7 without doing anything else.
Prepare your environment: it is best to do this breathing technique in nature, or at least in a park or on your balcony. If you can do this, just open your windows and let the air come in. If you do this breathing exercise in a room, even it is winter and cold outside, it is better to refresh and clean up the air in the room, by opening the window for a couple of minutes. When it’s warm enough outside, you can leave the windows open during the practice, for a continuous influx of clean fresh air.
Prepare to sit: sit down on a chair, on a couch, or on the yoga mat if you’re in a room, and on a bench or yoga mat if you’re outside. When you sit on the ground, stay with your legs cross, in a comfortable position.
Prepare your body: Close your eyes, relax your body gently, from toes to head, until you feel completely relaxed and comfortable. Breathe in and out deeply a couple of times, this will help you slow down your system.
Detox your mind and body: Breathe out all the air, visualizing that with your breath, all your tensions, constrictions, limitations, toxic thoughts and emotions are eliminated. Expel all your negative energies with each breath. Feel at ease, relaxed, weightless.
Infuse your body, mind, and spirit with light, clarity, and love: Inhale deeply the air, (as you have learned from the previous technique) visualizing that you breathe in also light, purity, clarity, and love. With every deep breath you take, you fill yourself more and more with oxygen, light, purity, clarity, and love. You feel how your body, mind, and spirit are filling up with light, clarity, and love. You are like a balloon filling up with oxygen, light, clarity, and love.
Infuse your skin with light, clarity, and love: now, that you are filled with oxygen, light, clarity, and love, visualize that with every breath of air you take, the light, clarity, and love permeate your skin, radiating in the exterior. See how your skin is imbued with light, clarity, and love, and glows with light, clarity, and light.
Feel the Beauty in your body, mind, spirit… and skin: Take a minute to be fully aware of the exquisite beauty that you now radiate through all your pores. Feel the goddess-like quality you now have, feel how you are filled with light, clarity, and love, so filled up that you exude and shine light, clarity, and love through your skin which is now translucent and scintillating.
Gradually open your eyes, move your hands and legs, stretch if you feel the need. Keep this feeling throughout the day, wherever you go, and whatever you do.
What Else Can You Do to Make Your Skin Look Better?
Drink enough water daily, especially during the hot summer days, to hydrate your skin from inside out.
Eat natural, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Move your body: walk, run, do fitness, dance to keep your body energetic and dynamic.
Apply natural products on your skin: unrefined oils and butters, clays, herbs, fruits, essential oils, etc. Try to do your own DIY creams, makeup removers, serums, facial masks, scrubs, etc.
Relax: stress takes it toll on your health and skin’s health, too. That is why it is important to stay relaxed, cool, and to take it easy. Do relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga.
Smile daily: your face has many muscles. Exercising them keeps them toned and firm. Smiling more daily will make you look (and feel) more beautiful, attractive, and kinder, will send more positivity into the world, and it will improve your complexion, too.