When we want to tone our bodies we exercise our muscles. No questions asked. Muscle movement causes blood flow to an area, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen production. This brings the muscle to life and with repetition of a certain movement, a muscle will start reacting and hopefully tone in the way that we want it to. Simple right?
Can the same be said for the muscles on our face?
People have been practicing Face Yoga for centuries and swear by its benefits for a youthful and more glowing skin. Like anything though, you have to do it regularly and effectively for it to produce results. The experts say about 30 minutes a day should do the trick.
So how does it work?
The Internet is full of Face Yoga Guru’s showing a variety of exercises and explaining the principles behind this, sometimes strange looking practice. There seems to be three main physiological reasons for its success.
Massaging any muscle causes oxygen and blood flow to that area beneath your skin.This in turn promotes glowing and brighter skin tone.
Massage reduces puffiness, as any fluid build up is effectively drained/moved away.
Bringing oxygen to an area on the face increases collagen production in that area and we all know how good collagen is for our skin. Anti Ageing! The reduction of wrinkles is the take-away side effect.
You could say that Face Yoga is like giving your skin a natural face-lift!
As with conventional (body) Yoga there are many poses and you may prefer some over others. But as long as you are working through your whole face and also concentrating on your particular areas of concern, you should be good to go.
Here are 6 Poses to get you started:
- Buddha face – Resting your face completely, but with a slight smile. A simple technique that helps reset your facial expressions. We don’t always realise how much we are frowning or tensing our face. This is great while driving to calm not only your facial muscles, but your mind as well.
- Tight jaw line and cheeks – fill your cheeks with air like a bull-frog. Then release. This will help strengthen cheek muscles and prevent them from becoming thinner and hollow looking. Get lifted toned and plumped cheeks.
- Wide eyes – Open your eyes as wide as you can and hold that position for as long as possible. This will exercise the muscles around your eyes and forehead. This expression effectively does the opposite to frowning and helps reduce ‘frown lines’ and fine wrinkles around your eyes.
- Crows Feet, be gone – This one is a bit trickier. Place your fingers gently on the side of your eyes and exert a small amount of pressure (on-top of your crowns feet). Now try to bring your bottom lid up to meet your top lid. Obviously we can’t do this, but it’s the movement you are trying to create. Like winking with your lower lid.
- Lifted cheek bones– Who doesn’t want fabulous cheek bones? Grin with your teeth showing and gently press your cheeks upwards. Do this by placing your finger-tips just below the bulge of your cheek – in line with and between your nose and mouth. As you push, the muscles push back which strengthens them and makes them fuller.
- Double chin – Now we’re talking. Tilt your head right back, relax your shoulders and stick your tongue out. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat. Keeping your neck taut the entire time. Yip, it does feel strange.
Remember all movements are very gentle, you don’t want to be pulling or rubbing your skin. Light movements with intention, slowly and specifically.
Face Yoga will (hopefully) do for your face what normal yoga does for your body – relaxes and tones. It may feel strange in the beginning but the results appear to speak for themselves.
Like anything of this nature there is a school of thought that gives a different opinion. In this case, that pulling and pressing the skin will cause even more wrinkles and rather than preventing ageing, will in-fact speed up the effects.
Online research seems to show enough people experiencing the opposite and in the absence of any scientific trials, one needs to ask; will giving this a go do me any harm?
Good Luck and get Face Yoga’ing.