Can you get stretch marks from Yoga? Yoga helps reduce stretch marks; however, an intense workout may end up giving you the opposite effect. Read on to know more.
Most people deal with stretch marks at some point in their life. Stretch marks are a type of scar that appear on your skin after pregnancy, sudden weight gain, and loss, hormonal changes, or muscle building.
Since stretch marks are associated with physical exercise, you might be wondering if yoga causes stretch marks too?
In this article, let us look at:
- What causes the formation of stretch marks?
- Does Yoga create stretch marks?
- Which Yoga Asanas will help reduce stretch marks?
- What are the other remedies that you can adopt to prevent or reduce stretch marks?
- What medical treatments are available for stretch mark removal?
What Causes Stretch marks?
Getting stretch marks is a natural phenomenon and nothing to be ashamed of. As the skin stretches, the collagen present in the body weakens, and its production cycle is damaged—this loss of collagen results in scars over the top of the skin. Stretch marks also appear when someone loses or gains weight suddenly.
The skin has three parts: the outer layer, the middle layer, and the deepest layer. Stretch marks develop in the middle layer of the skin when the skin stretches beyond its limits of flexibility.
Many physical processes can cause them:
You may have heard women getting stretch marks when they are pregnant. The fact is, any time your body weight increases or reduces suddenly, you will see the appearance of stretch marks. Skin stretches in many ways while making room for the baby. This continuous stretching causes stretch marks.
In the case of pregnancy, stretch marks are most often found on the belly or stomach since the skin stretches out as the baby grows inside the mother’s womb. However, there is no complication or health risk from these stretch marks. They are simply a scar left when your body heals.
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If you gain weight too quickly, you have a great chance of getting stretch marks.
Whenever there is an increase in your body mass, it secretes cortisol causing stretch marks.
Losing a lot of weight quickly also causes stretch marks. Any sudden change in your body may cause your skin to stretch and form lines.
If there is any sudden change in your hormones, it also has a chance of causing stretch marks in the body.
Can You Get Stretch Marks From Yoga?
The good news is that yoga is not strenuous enough to give you stretch marks. On the contrary, it can actually help prevent and cure stretch marks!
When people perform yoga, it helps tone their bodies and shed the extra pounds and inches, especially on your arms and thighs. Yoga helps in toning your muscles and preventing formation of stretch marks.
Another way in which Yoga can help is by increasing blood circulation. Improved blood flow helps to cure stretch marks.
We list below following yoga asanas, medical treatments and other changes that you could adopt that will help you reduce your stretch marks.
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Yoga Asanas To Prevent Stretch Marks
Deep Breathing, also known as pranayama, is a good exercise that helps prevent stretch marks. Pranayama helps as it improve the blood and oxygen circulation and helps repair skin. Blood flow helps to circulate the nutrients in the body. And these nutrients help in producing skin fibers, collagen, and elastin.
You need to sit on the floor, close your eyes, and feel relaxed. Now take deep breaths and count till 10. Slowly release your breath with the same count. Try doing it at least five times a day.
Halasana or Plow Pose
Halasana or Plow Pose will help reduce stretch marks on your belly. To perform Halasana, lie down on your back, with your arms on the floor and palms facing down. Inhale and use your core strength to lift and raise your legs to a 90 degree angle. Slowly, as you exhale, lower your legs backwards, above your head, such that your toes are pointing towards the floor. If you can bring your toes to touch the floor completely. If needed, you can also support your back with your hands (instead of keeping them on the floor).
To come out of this pose, either continue to support your back or bring your palms on the mat and roll out slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae.
Utkatasana or Chair Pose
Utkatasana or Chair Pose is a great yoga asana for reducing stretch marks on your thighs. Though this posture looks simple, holding it for even 10 counts will test your endurance.
To perform Utkatasana or Chair Pose, first stand straight and as you inhale, raise your hands above your head. Your arms should be completely straight, parallel to your ears and palms facing each other. Now as you exhale, bend your knees and bring your thighs as parallel to the floor as you can. It’s like you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Notice that you do this, your torso will automatically lean a bit forward. Hold this pose for 20 seconds.
To come out of this pose, slowly straighten your knees, brining yourself to stand straight and then bring down your arms.
Supta Padangusthasana A or Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose A
Supta Padangusthasana A or Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose A, again is a great yoga asana for reducing stretch marks on your thighs.
To perform this pose, lie down straight on your mat. Bend your right leg and bring it closer to your chest. Now, with your right hand, hold the big toe of your right foot. Slowly straighten your leg, bringing it to a 90 degree angle. Now while holding your right big toe, stretch your leg out to the right side. Hold this pose for 20 counts or for as long as you can.
If you are not able to hold your big toe with your hands, you can also take help of yoga bands. As you do this, keep your left leg straight.
To come out of this posture, slowly bring back your leg to the 90 degree angle and then bring it down on the mat. Repeat this with your other leg.
Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand
To help with stretch marks on your upper body, Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand is a great yoga pose. This might be slightly more difficult and should be avoided if you have neck injuries.
To perform Sarvangasana, first start by lying down straight on the mat. Next, raise your legs to a 90 degree angle. Now bring your arms to support your waist and push your body up, as much as possible. At this time, your legs, hips and back are in a straight line, in the air. Your arms are supporting your body from the waist and your shoulders, neck and head are touching the mat. Hold this pose for 20 counts or for as long as you can.
To come out of this pose, slowly bend your knees, bringing them closer to your body. With one vertebrae at a time, bring your hips back on the mat. Straighten your legs and bring them to the mat.
How Else Can You Prevent Stretch Marks?
Set Your Daily Routine Of Working Out
Design your workout routine in a way that it is steady but not rushed. If you start working out too much to reach your goal – whether it is to lose weight or gain muscle, your chances of having stretch marks increases. So instead of taking on too much too quickly, be regular and progress your routine slowly.
Even if you are looking to increase muscle mass, you should do it gradually. Avoid taking steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs. They may increase your muscle mass too quickly and cause hormonal imbalances. Increased weight can easily cause stretch marks.
A major part of your body change comes from your diet. Having a good and healthy diet keeps your skin healthy. It is always better to include vitamins, zinc, and antioxidants in your diet.
Having fruits rich in Vitamin C like oranges, limes, berries and kiwis and healthy proteins like nuts or chicken will keep your skin healthy and well maintained. Making these few changes will set you free from stretch marks.
It is also essential to stay hydrated all time. It helps keep your skin resistant to stretching.
Keep Your Skin Well Moisturized
It is always good to moisturize your skin with lotions, cocoa butter, coconut oil and almond oil, and any product with vitamin A and E.
Bio-oil is one of the best ways to keep your skin healthy. It helps hydrate the skin and contains ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E. It helps keep your skin away from stretch marks.
One of the best ways to reduce stretch marks is by regular exfoliation. Regular exfoliation helps remove the dead skin and new skin from the scars. Thus by removing the dead skin cells from the scars in the body, it helps penetrate deeply and faster. Exfoliating your skin along with other preventive measures will give much better results.
Exfoliating your skin with a sugar scrub is a great solution. If you like natural remedies, you can make it at home by mixing sugar with olive oil, such that it becomes a paste. Rub this paste where you have stretch marks and let it stay there for 10 minutes. Wash it out with warm water. This will help remove the dead cells and lessen your stretch marks.
Medical Treatments For Reducing Stretch Marks
Stretch marks fade away on their own after a point in time. However, if they do not go away completely for you, especially after having tried the above mentioned options, you can opt for medical treatment. We strongly recommend that you speak to your doctor before you take any of these treatments.
Tretinoin cream helps restore collagen, which is a fiber-rich protein and helps in skin elasticity. You can apply this cream to your stretch marks. It may cause some irritation to your skin if you apply it the first time. But if you are pregnant, it is better to consult your doctor first.
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To treat your stretch marks, you can use a derma roller which is also known as micro-needling. These derma rollers have sterilized needles that cause micro-tears in your skin. When your skin reacts to this, you will see the production of collagen fibers. It thus covers up the tears.
Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy
Pulsed dye laser treatment helps in the growth of collagen and elastin. If you have a recent stretch mark, it is best to use this therapy.
Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure where in the top layer of the skin is removed using a small device. Your skin care specialist will rub fine crystals on your skin, which will help polish the skin. With this non-invasive treatment, new skin appears under the stretch marks.
Fractora is one of the latest methods in removing stretch marks. It helps rebuild and generate new collagen within the skin. It helps replace stretch marks with new healthy skin.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
Does Yoga Create Stretch Marks?
No, it does not. In fact, in many ways, yoga helps prevent and reduce stretch marks. It further helps in promoting blood flow and stimulates the production of collagen.
Can You Get Stretch Marks From Stretching?
Stretching exercises cannot cause stretch marks per se. Stretching exercises do not cause your skin to be pushed beyond its limits. Instead, they are meant to open your muscles and joints so that they are ready for more vigorous physical activity.
Can Stretch Marks Appear From Working Out?
If you do very intense workouts and are trying to build your body, you may have a chance of getting stretch marks.
Doing intense workouts suddenly increases your muscle mass, especially in your shoulders and arms. Any increase in weight can cause stretch marks. Instead of pushing yourself too far, you should be patient and build your body through natural diet control and regular exercise.
Can performing Yoga reverse the stretch marks in the body?
Your skin has a natural elasticity that prevents the formation of stretch marks when your body grows naturally.
But if it is overstretched due to weight gain or pregnancy, it may cause stretch marks. It thus disrupts the collagen present in the body.
Yoga may not reverse the stretch marks completely but will reduce the scars present in the body. Yoga promotes a healthy flow of blood and improves your physical well-being, which can help in reducing stretch marks.
How can you make stretch marks on your shoulder less noticeable?
Firstly, having stretch marks is a natural phenomenon and nothing to be ashamed of. But if you want to make the stretch marks on your shoulder less noticeable, you can
- Put on some makeup to make your skin tone look the same
- Use a sunless self-tanner
- Wear a shirt or top with sleeves
Doing Yoga and working out has a lot of benefits to your body and mind. It makes you flexible, improves health, and increases your energy. Yoga also helps in improving blood circulation.
Yoga exercises are not vigorous enough to cause sudden weight gain or loss. Instead, they help you improve your overall well-being by connecting your mind and body. Yoga asanas will actually help you reduce stretch marks.