We would be hard-pressed to pass up a quick beauty boost that required no products and zero cost—wouldn’t you? Enter inversions, or rather, any physical pose in which the head is below the heart. “Inversions help bring fresh oxygenated blood to the head, including our scalp and facial skin,” says Desi Bartlett, certified personal trainer and yoga teacher in Los Angeles. “It’s sort of like giving your face and hair a natural oxygen boost.”
If you’ve ever experienced the skin flush and head rush of turning your head upside down, you already know the feeling. That extra boost of oxygen and nutrients can give skin a temporary, natural face lift by opposing the effects of gravity—and could help stimulate hair follicles, promoting growth, says Bartlett. “Inversions may also bring blood back to the heart more quickly, improving circulation and the elimination of toxins,” says Bartlett.
Concerned you don't have the balance (or the guts) to work a daily handstand into your routine? Check out Bartlett's three easy inversions you can do regardless of your level of yoga mastery.
Legs Up the Wall
Lay down with your rear touching a wall, hips elevated by a bolster or a pillow, and your legs straight up the wall. Your body should create a 90-degree angle. This inversion is great for reducing swelling in the feet; Bartlett loves getting into the position after a long flight. Bonus: Use an eye pillow or cool cucumber slices to help with calming and de-puffing.
Start with your knees and palms on the ground in a typical all-fours position and simply straighten your legs, lifting your hips to the sky. Your final position should have your feet as flat on the ground as possible and your palms flat and shoulder-width apart.
Sit with your spine against a wall and your legs straight. Wherever your feet are resting is where you will eventually place your hands. Bartlett suggests putting a water bottle there as a marker. Stand, and then place your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground in front of you, where the marker is. Walk your feet up the wall behind you until your body creates a 90-degree angle. (It's a good idea to have someone spot you if it's your first time!) Take three to five slow breaths and come down one foot at a time.