I got into doing yoga a while back partly because it seemed like an easier form of exercise. I hate sweating. I hate it so much that I tend to stay away from aerobic activities so I could avoid it. Because of this, yoga just seemed like such an attractive alternative. So I started by just doing simple things like searching for free yoga videos on youtube. Although yoga isn't as physically demanding as running, I still felt the wonderful changes to my body over time. Not only did my body become more flexible, I also felt like my mind was more focused and at peace when I practiced yoga consistently. These benefits are pretty rad but what I'm most excited about is that my overall hair regimen also benefits from the practices taught in the zen lifestyle.
Deep Breathing ~"Focus on the breath."
Taking in slow, deep breaths is a foundational pillar of yoga. When I first began yoga, I didn't understand why I had to breath so slowly over and over again. Well now I know that this type of deep breathing practice benefits the body in numerous ways. One of the most powerful benefits of taking in deep breaths is improved circulation. The normal way most of us breathe is really insufficient. Our normal way of breathing is considered "shallow" and only uses a fraction of our available lung capacity. The optimal way of breathing should mirror that of a new born who allows her abdomen to fully expand and contract with each breath. So how does did deep breathing help your hair journey? Each deep breath you take in floods your body with oxygen which improves blood circulation throughout the body. Increased circulation means that oxygenated-rich blood can nourish your scalp and hair follicles. I like to combine deep, focused breathing with my scalp massages to make it even more impactful.
Yoga Poses-"Downward facing dog."
One thing I will say about the art of yoga is that although it isn't strenuous aerobically, there are some pretty difficult movements one has to master. Most notably are the various poses were my head is pointed towards to the floor along with several other positions that require a great sense of balance. These poses offer a real benefit to the scalp. First you're drawing in oxygen in large quantities through the deep breathing then you promote a rush of blood to the face and scalp with the various bending movements. There are numerous sites online that recommend numerous yoga poses for "hair fall" and stronger hair. Traditional exercises, while beneficial to the body, don't offer the direct scalp benefit as yoga bending poses.
Stress Reduction-"Release all of your negative energy."
I started practicing yoga during a pretty hectic time in my life. I felt like I was experiencing increasing amounts of work-related stress and needed to find a way to manage those damaging emotions. So I started doing yoga for 20-30 minutes each morning. In doing so I soon realized that I experienced a more peaceful and powerful day. I don't know how to explain it but I felt like I had such control over my mental state. My stress levels went down dramatically and we all know how adversely stress impacts the health of our hair. Whenever you are experiencing excessive shedding, take a moment and assess your stress levels before you spend money on a hair product. If your shedding is stress related, perhaps you can address the issue from the root cause with the calming effects of yoga.
Meditation/Visualization-"Close your eyes and quite the mind."
One of the most beneficial practices of the zen lifestyle is the art of visualization, meditation, and intention manifestation. I am fully present to the benefits of seeing what you want in the mind before it manifests in reality. One of the biggest examples of this is Njoy's inspiring story of how she incorporated visualization into her hair regimen. Stephen Covey said that everything is created twice, first in the mind, then in reality. What makes this practice so powerful is how visualization creates a strong, deep belief in actually achieving what you desire. The more you believe you can have strong healthy resilient hair, the more it becomes possible for you.
I'm saying all of this to demonstrate how important it is to build a hair regimen around a healthy lifestyle more so than just relying on products alone. If you are not much of a physically active person but you'd like to incorporate healthy practices into your routine, check out some of the hundreds of free videos available on youtube.