Professional zen-seekers share how to feel radiant from the inside out—both on and off the mat.
Photo: Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock
Yoga teachers can be an endless source of healthy inspiration. While it's almost a given that many pride themselves on plant-based diets, drinking plenty of water, and daily ohms, many of the teachers I've met have some surprising tips for inner and outer beauty, too. Whether it's reciting a thoughtful quote to calm the mind, sharing a recipe for a natural moisturizer, or helping me grow my meditation practice, I find myself constantly absorbing beauty wisdom while on the mat.
Here, we've mined favorite tips from top yoga teachers on how to emulate their enviable healthy glow.
Start with a morning inversion.
Many yogis believe that inversions can have a beauty benefit as well as a physical one. Whether it's a headstand or a handstand against the wall, going upside down—even for just a few minutes—can benefit the skin, says Jessica Bellofatto, an East Hampton–based yoga teacher and retreat leader. "If I don't have an opportunity for an entire yoga practice, I take at least five minutes and turn upside down—it's anti-gravity and anti-aging and absolutely gives the skin a healthy glow," she says. If you're not ready to do a full inversion, try dolphin pose or place your legs in an L-shape on the wall for similar benefits. (Related: Get a Yoga Glow with These Poses for Healthy Skin)
Experiment with coconut oil.
Rather than splurge on a drying face wash, Richelle Morgan, owner of Yoga Dicha Studio in Tulum, Mexico, turns to coconut oil. "First I warm my skin with a cloth that's been soaked in warm water to open my pores and then apply the oil," she says. "I remove the coco oil with the warm cloth, which leaves me with a fresh glow." For the body, Morgan combines coconut oil with sea salt in the shower. (Discover these 20 DIY beauty products to get pampered for less.)
Use a DIY face scrub.
At least once a week, Austin-based yoga teacher Audrey Fouss grabs equal parts mashed papaya and raw honey and mashes the ingredients together to create a face scrub that's fresh and easy. "The fruit enzymes are great for the skin and it leaves my face feeling soft and vibrant," says Fouss, who teaches at Sanctuary Yoga. She eats the leftover papaya because the fruit is especially good for digestion. (Related: How to Make a DIY Salt Scrub)
Add in probiotics.
Fermented beverages such as kvass or kombucha are a favorite of Sara Clark, a yoga and mindfulness teacher at YogaGlo, who is based in New York. The fermented drink helps keep your gut microbes healthy and aids in digestion. "A lot of what shows up on your skin is a representation of how your body digests things," she says. (Related: New Ways to Add More Probiotics to Your Diet)
Brew some "zen" tea.
Some mornings, Lauren Beth Jacobs, a yoga teacher at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, swaps her usual coffee for what she calls "zen" tea. The concoction consists of warm water, juice from half of a lemon, a small piece of fresh ginger, a teaspoon of raw honey, a dash of cayenne, and a dash of turmeric. Unlike coffee, the beverage keeps her from feeling jittery on days that she's stressed. "I feel and look awake, yet relaxed and focused," she says.
Kyle Miller, co-owner of Los Angeles–based Love Yoga, teaches a move that helps to gently flush the body's extensive lymphatic system. "Sit on the floor or a chair and bend your knee and fit your kneecap into your armpit. Make contact and then create friction by rubbing your armpit across your knee. It really works to keep the lymph moving, in fighting bloating and cellulite," he explains.