Yoga for Hair Loss: Yoga, Mudra and BreathWork
By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
Which Yoga Practices Stop Hairfall?
Breathwork for Hair Loss -
Kapalabhati is the breathing practice most commonly associated with preventing hair loss.
How To Do Kapalabhati. Begin in a comfortable seated position. I really like kneeling so that you can have a lot of length in the spine. Extend tall through the crown of the head. Kapalabhati is all about the exhales. Both inhaling and exhaling happen through the nose. The inhales are passive while the exhales are forceful. Start by inhaling and filling the lungs to about 75% capacity. Begin to quickly and forcefully exhale through the nose. As you exhale, you will feel the belly snap. This movement happens naturally from the diaphragm. Take 20-25 rounds of breath each morning for maximum benefits. (Feel free to check out my blog on Kapalabhati and quote anything you see)
Why Kapalabhati helps with hair loss: Kapalabhati is a purifying breathing practice. It removes toxins from the head which helps to encourage blood supply to this region, which improves blood circulation. Kapalabhati also reduces anxiety which is helpful in decreasing the type of stress that causes hair loss.
2) Anulom Vilom
Anulom Vilom is another great breathing practice that is associated with preventing hair loss because it reduces stress and increases blood circulation
How To Do Anulom Vilom: Come to a comfortable seated position. Rest the left wrist on the left thigh. Fold the right index, middle and ring fingers in towards the palm. Bring the right thumb to rest lightly on the outside of the right nostril and the right pinky finger to rest on the left nostril. Close the right nostril with the right thumb, inhale through the left nostril. Release the thumb and close the left nostril with the right pinky finger. Exhale through the right nostril. Next, inhale through the right nostril and then close the right nostril and exhale through the left. Repeat this for 3-4 minutes for maximum benefits.
Why Anulom Vilom helps with hair loss: It improves blood circulation and decreases stress, both of which help to stop hair loss.
Yoga Poses for Hair Loss
1. Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is a pose that we often use in yoga during transitions. It takes us from one pose to the next and is part of our sequence for Sun Salutations A, B and C.
How to do Downward Facing Dog: From table top position, on the hands and knees, begin to straighten the legs as you lift the hips and shift them back. Press into the palms, fingers spread wide, and lengthen the spine. Feel free to keep a generous bend in the knees if that helps to keep the length in the spine. As you settle into the pose, let the heels descend towards the earth.
Why Downward Facing Dog is Helpful for Hair Loss: We often move through downward facing dog as we are moving out of one pose and coming into the next. We may hold downward facing dog for up to 5 breaths. For these reasons, it increases blood flow. As blood flow is increased, oxygen reaching the head and scalp is increased. This helps to facilitate hair growth and prevent hair loss. .
2. Uttanasana / Standing Forward Fold
Forward fold is a helpful pose for promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.
How to do Standing Forward Fold: From mountain pose, take a big inhale and lengthen the spine. On an exhale, begin to hinge at the hips and bow forward, as if your upper body could spill over the thighs. With each inhale, lengthen the spine a bit longer. With each exhale, go a bit deeper into your fold.
Why Standing Forward Fold is helpful for hair loss: With the head low, this posture really encourages blood flow to the head. Encouraging blood flow to the head is helpful in improving circulation which encourages hair growth. Anytime we come into spinal flexion (bringing the heart closer to the thighs), we are relaxing the central nervous system. This type of relaxation helps to reduce stress and anxiety which reduces hair loss.
3. Vajrasana / Thunderbolt Pose
Vajrasana is a potent pose for preventing hair loss and encouraging hair growth.
How to do Vajrasana: Come to a kneeling position and sit on the heels. Keep the legs together as you sit up nice and tall, extending through the crown of the head. The shoulders should be stacked right over the hips.
Why Vajrasana is Helpful for Hair Loss: Vajrasana is good for digestion. According to ayurveda, the sister science of yoga and ancient medical system of India, stomach issues can cause hair loss. Solving digestive issues and stomach problems can help to prevent hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.
Mudra for Hair Loss: Can rubbing nails regrow hair?
Yes, according to ancient yogic wisdom and also several modern studies, rubbing the nails together can help with hair loss. In yoga, we have a mudra called Prasana Mudra (also known as Balayam Yoga). To come into the mudra, you hold the hands in front of you, level with the heart, palms facing each other and fingers pointing upwards. Begin to bend the fingers in towards the palm and bring the hands to connect (nails to nails). Vigorously rub the nail beds of one hand against the nail beds of the other in an up and down motion for ten minutes.
What happens is that the hair follicles are connected to the nerve endings that are located under the nail beds. As you rub the nail beds together, these nerve endings are stimulated which in turn stimulate hair growth.
Can exercising cause hair loss?
No, proper exercise and movement won’t cause hair loss. If a person puts themselves under tremendous stress and pressure related to exercise, the stress can cause hair loss. This is why joyful movement practices like yoga are so important for hair growth.
Does head massage stimulate hair growth?
According to yogic wisdom, scalp massage can help to stimulate hair growth. In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga and ancient medical system of India, scalp massage is known as “Shiro Abhyanga.” During scalp massage, blood flow is increased. Most medical and hair experts agree that hair growth comes from healthy diet, good blood circulation and proper nutrition. As blood flow is sent to the area through scalp massage, circulation is improved and oxygen and nutrients are sent to the head.
More on Shiro Abhyanga: Shiro means “head” in sanskrit and Abhyanga means “massage.” Scalp massages are an ancient treatment in Ayurveda that have been practiced for over 5000 years, coming from India. There are 108 Marmas in our body, or vital points. There are 31 marmas in the head and scalp. These are the pressure points where cranial nerves, arteries and blood veins intersect. The Marma points help to drain and relieve pressure in the head and scalp. When they are massaged, blood circulation is increased and hair growth is facilitated.