Yoga for Acne: 12 Poses for Clear Skin

August 5, 2015

Yoga for Acne

So you’re experiencing adult acne, and you’re not super psyched about it. I get it, I’ve been there.

You’re probably thinking, “shouldn’t I be past this point in my life?” It’s frustrating when your teenage years are over yet this problem persists.

The frustration builds when no pill, cream or way of eating seems to do the trick. Or maybe it does, but you would prefer a more natural way of dealing with the beast.

It’s lucky that yoga is one of the best holistic remedies in the book, and can treat such a wide variety of ailments. Since skin issues can be caused by so many different factors, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint where your breakouts are coming from.

With the brief yoga sequence below, you can cover all your bases. I have included breath work and asanas that treat the most common causes of acne and other skin problems.

If you are unfamiliar them, you can follow each link for a photo and description of the pose!

Do each pose at some point throughout the day, or combine them all for a pre-bed sequence.

Maximize oxygen intake with pranayama breathing

Breath of Fire

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Yoga for Acne | Alternate nose breathing

Alternate nose breathing

The breath is so important when treating skin ailments. Full, deep breathing facilitates faster cell turnover, meaning your blemishes and scarring heal quicker. Proper breathing also aids digestion which, as you’ll read below, helps with acne treatment as well.

Improve digestion with Wind Relieving Pose

Yoga for Acne

When we aren’t digesting our food well, the intestines get blocked up- meaning lots of fermentation in the gut. This experience is not only embarrassing and uncomfortable- it also creates a toxic buildup in the body that can release itself through the skin. Poor digestion can also mean we are not receiving all the nutrients we need from our food, which is another cause of unhealthy skin.

Detox with spinal twists

Yoga for Acne

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Yoga for Acne | Revolved triangle

Revolved Triangle Pose

Yoga Poses for Digestion | Peaceful DumplingReclining Twist

Spinal twists are notorious for detoxifying the internal organs. When these organs, such as the liver and kidney, are toxic, then they do not function at optimal levels. This often results in acne (as well as stress, hormonal imbalance, and other related issues).

Balance hormones with Rabbit Pose

Yoga for Acne | rabbit

This pose stimulates the thyroid, which is one of the main producers of hormones. An under-active thyroid can mean bad skin, because this gland is responsible for cell production and consistency. Stimulating the thyroid may help ease it back to appropriate hormone production.

Increase circulation with inversions

Yoga for Acne | headstand



Yoga for Opening the Third Eye Chakra - Peaceful Dumpling

Shoulder Stand

Increasing blood flow, especially to the face, is very beneficial in the quick treatment of acne. Yet again, this is mainly because increased circulation means increased cell reproduction. You may find that regular inversions also leave you with a healthy facial glow.

De-stress with Child’s Pose

Yoga for Neck Pain | Peaceful Dumpling

Stress can present itself as skin flare-ups because the sebaceous glands produce more oil when you’re under pressure. It’s important to try to incorporate some calming practices into your life for the sake of your skin.

Get a restful sleep with Legs-up-the-wall

Five Post-Run Stretches for Leaner Legs

Adequate sleep is just as good for your skin as it is for your brain. We heal in our sleep, and if we don’t get enough then we miss out on a lot of vital rejuvenation time. This pose will put you in a calm, sleepy state that should keep you dreaming through the night.


Photo: Peaceful Dumpling; Jessica Renee; Mary Hood Luttrell

Quincy is an NC-based college student who is passionate about leading a healthy and compassionate life. Aside from classes, she fills her time with cooking, writing, travel, and yoga. You can find more from her on her blog Shugurcän and on Instagram.


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