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7 Poses That Guarantee a Yoga Glow

Standing Forward Fold Variation

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Get all the blood flowing straight to your face with any forward fold. For this one:

  • Stand in mountain pose. Take a deep inhale to reach arms up overhead, framing face.
  • Use exhale to engage navel to spine and swan dive over legs with a flat back.
  • Grab hold of opposite elbows and hang, swaying side to side (if comfortable) to loosen lower back.
  • Press all four corners of both feet into the ground and lift sitz bones toward the ceiling.
  • Relax head and neck, and for this variation, soften knees. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Jessica Howes

Seated Wide-Legged Forward Bend

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Emotion and stress are stored in the hips, so any gentle hip opener like this one is a good way to reduce the stress hormone cortisol (which has been linked to increased blood sugar, which accelerates the aging process). You should also check out these 5 ways to reduce stress and lose weight faster.

  • Sit with legs long in front of you. Move legs wide apart from each other.
  • Take hands behind you, lift hips up slightly, and scoot them forward if there's space.
  • Release your hands in front of you to the ground, take a big inhale to lengthen through your spine, and on exhale, start to crawl your hands forward, keeping your spine long.
  • Come as far forward as your body allows with a long spine, then relax your head down toward the ground or prayer your hands. Relax third eye on thumbs (pictured). Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Jessica Howes

Rabbit Pose

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Rabbit pose helps regulate your hormones and removes toxins from your body by stimulating the lymphatic system—two vital players in skin health.

  • From all fours, untuck toes and place the crown of the head gently on the ground. Reach hands back and cup feet.
  • Gently round back, spread shoulder blades down and away from ears, and press feet away to open up shoulders and spine.
  • Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths, being careful to keep weight in the lower body, and not on the head.

Photo: Jessica Howes

Shoulder Stand

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Shoulder stand stimulates the thyroid gland and reverses the blood flow.

  • Lie faceup on the ground with the knees bent, feet on the floor, and arms on either side.
  • Soften knees and press arms into the ground to reach feet up toward the ceiling and then back behind you (any amount that feels good on your neck) to plow pose.
  • Place hands on lower back for support and try to keep elbows about shoulder-width apart.
  • Soften through the knees and, one at a time, reach feet toward the ceiling.
  • Breathe here for at least 5 to 10 deep breaths and then trace steps out of the pose.

Photo: Jessica Howes

Camel Pose

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Along with stimulating the endocrine glands and allowing your lungs to expand more so that you can get more oxygen, camel pose is amazing for digestion, which is vital to having clear skin.

  • Start in a high kneeling position with hips over and lined up with knees, and weight supported by shins and the tops of feet.
  • Place palms on sacrum—fingers facing up or down, whichever feels better, tailbone reaching down—and draw elbows in to one another so that they aren't winging out.
  • Keep thighs rotating inward and pull shoulder blades toward one another and down back.
  • Look to the ceiling as you lift chest upward. Release hands to heels and arch spine.
  • Tip head back to keep the whole spine in extension if that is appropriate for your neck. Breathe here for at least 5 deep breaths.

Photo: Jessica Howes

Half Seated Spinal Twist

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Twists are the ultimate detox, and the fewer toxins you have in your body (or mind!), the better your skin will look.

  • Sit in staff pose with legs long and in front of you. Bend right knee and place right foot on the ground outside left thigh.
  • Turn torso to the right and take the right hand to the ground behind sacrum.
  • Gently hug right leg with left arm to twist. Use each inhale to lengthen the spine, and use each exhale to press into the ground and twist.
  • Keep this breathing pattern for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Photo: Jessica Howes

Legs Up the Wall

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Reversing the blood flow is a total win for the skin on your face. Staying in this pose for several minutes with your eyes closed, focused on your breathing, also promotes a well-rested look on your face as your muscles will relax.

  • Sit sideways next to a wall, with the wall on your left.
  • Lie down on your right side, facing away from the wall with your butt touching it.
  • Using your arms, lift your legs up the wall as you roll over to the left onto your back.
  • Allow your left hand to rest on your heart, and right hand on belly. Stay here for at least 10 deep breaths.

Photo: Jessica Howes

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