Acne: Could Yoga Be the Culprit?

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | May 20th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Detox, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Yoga

Yoga and AcneYoga is a therapeutic practice that always stimulates a certain degree of detoxification. Hot yoga in particular really inspires a release of toxins. In the long-term, this is great for your skin. But in the short-term, you may experience a few literal “bumps” along the road to a glowing countenance.

Because the skin is one of the key organs involved in detoxification, your face, chest and back may show signs of the cleansing process. If you have been experiencing unusual breakouts after beginning a yoga practice or coming back to it after a break, it could be because of the detoxification process. Not to worry, this is a normal part of the process when the body is ridding itself of toxins! However, there are a few things you can do to avoid excessive or prolonged breakouts:

1. Eat well: A clean diet is key, so avoid processed foods, caffeine, sugar and alcohol, and indulge in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

2. Hydrate: Drink lots and lots of water! It will help flush out those toxins so they don’t show up on your skin.

3. Use your own yoga mat and clean it regularly: Shared studio mats can be breeding grounds for bacteria. Bring your own yoga mat and use a natural mat cleaner after every practice.

4. Wash your face: After a sweaty yoga sesh, wash up to keep your face fresh and clear. Keep a pack of facial cleansing cloths in your yoga bag so you won’t have any excuses to skip it!

Of course, yoga can also improve your skin. Here are two yoga poses that can help promote a fresh complexion:

Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)

Sit on the floor on a folded blanket with legs extended. Inhale, bending your right knee and drawing your heel back toward your groin. Rest your right foot against the inside of your left thigh. Lay your outer right leg on the floor, with your shin at a right angle to your left leg. Press your right hand against your inner right thigh and your left hand on the floor beside your hip. Exhale and turn your torso to the left, reaching to grasp your left foot in your right hand. Inhale and lengthen through the top of your head, twisting further to the left. Reach your left hand to the outside of your left foot, exhaling as you bend forward to touch your nose to your knee. Hold for up to one minute, then release on an exhalation. Repeat on the other side.

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)

Sit on the floor with legs extended. Bend your knees, sliding your left foot under your right and laying the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step your right foot over your left leg, standing it on the floor outside your left hip, right knee pointed up at the ceiling. Inhale and lift through the top of your head, then exhale, twisting to the right. Press the right hand against the floor behind you, then position your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh near the knee, upper arm lifted in a wave. Twist your head to look right, or counter-twist it to look left. Hold for up to one minute, lifting with each inhalation and deepening the twist with each exhalation. Release with an exhalation. Repeat on the other side.

For more yoga poses to help prevent acne, check out Asanas for Acne: 8 Yoga Poses for Vibrant Skin.


  1. “Facial cleansing cloths”? Really? Go into the restroom and use soap and water. Disposable wipes are so environmentally UNfriendly, I’m surprised Gaiam is recommending them. Also you don’t need a special “yoga mat cleaner” – use vinegar & water and you’re fine. Minimize products – on your body and your mat, and focus on the GOOD that yoga brings.

    PS -Got a zit? Big deal, put a little toothpaste on it before bed and it will dry up.

    Aimee | May 20th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  2. I have found that the culprit for my breakouts in relation to yoga is using a towel to wipe sweat off my face during practice. And yes I use all natural detergent.
    I wait until I get home and exfoliate.

    Courtney | May 29th, 2013 | Comment Permalink

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