‘Ageing gracefully’ can be a frightening figure of speech in our world filled with anti-ageing crèmes and serums, which are loaded with toxins and chemicals. But what if there was an easier, more natural way of boosting youthful beauty without harmful ingredients? Or even a cream?
Well, there is one: Face Yoga!
As unique as it sounds, face yoga, is a practice that stands far apart from other yoga practices. Not that we’re saying its not yoga, but unlike any yoga sequence we’ve tried before, this yoga does not involve any downward poses or surya namaskars.
It might seem strange to think that our faces need exercise, let alone yoga, but an increasing number of people think they do. In fact, here are 5 surprising reasons why face yoga can be an excellent addition to any beauty regiment – plus a gallery of facial yoga poses that you can easily practice at home.
Reasons To Practice Face Yoga
1. It may slow down the ageing process
The more we smile, squint, or become tense, the more wrinkles we accumulate over the years. While this is an unavoidable, natural process of life, face yoga can help slow down the progression of ageing. Specific poses assist in recognizing when we’re unconsciously furrowing our brows or pursing our lips.
2. It releases tension
It’s incredible how much stress we carry around, in our neck and face. Face yoga adds awareness of those muscles and different ways to alleviate any tightness that you may carry around. In fact, it has helped some women recover from chronic neck pain.
3. It tones and tightens your face
Essentially, face yoga is a form of exercise, which means it tones and tightens your face. As you exercise these muscles, you’re drawing blood, oxygen and extra circulation to this delicate skin, which can stimulate collagen production and emulates youth. Indeed, unlike the frozen look of botox or the red scarring of other procedures, facial yoga gives you a natural glow and relaxed look.
4. It helps eliminate the double chin
Who doesn’t want to eliminate the dreaded double chin? Face yoga helps you eliminate this well. In fact, this goes hand in hand with toning, but with more focus on the neck, which can sag with ageing.
5. It’s cheaper than various beauty treatments – like cosmetic surgery, or botox – and over-the-counter crèmes
Unlike its pricey alternatives, face yoga costs nothing! Instead, it requires only a couple of minutes periodically throughout the day. In fact, if you were to compare the time spent undergoing expensive treatments, or in the store purchasing nighttime crèmes (that aren’t guaranteed to work), facial yoga works much faster on the skin.
5 Face Yoga Poses
Given the reasons, one could say it’s almost silly to not give face yoga a try. Besides, these exercises only need a couple of minutes a day! So, here are 5 facial yoga poses that you could practice at home:
1. The Forehead Smoother
Benefit: It prevents wrinkles by relaxing the forehead muscles and using acupressure to release tension.
How to do it: Make a fist with both hands. Place the middle and index finger knuckles in the center of your forehead and apply firm pressure. Maintain the pressure as you slowly slide your fists out to each side. End by gently pressing your knuckles into your temples. Repeat this four more times, later.
2. The Neck Lift
Benefit: This pose tightens the neck and jawline, in order to prevent sagging and firm up double chins.
How to do it: Pucker your lips over to one side as much as you can (you should feel a stretch in your cheek). Turn your head to that side, lifting your head up at about a 45-degree angle. You should feel the stretch in your neck. Hold for three seconds, and then, repeat on the other side.
3. The ‘Face’ Lift
Benefit: No this is not the chemically-modified treatment that we’re talking about. The face lift pose smoothes out the nasolabial fold lines (i.e., smiles lines) and lifts the eyes and cheeks.
How to do it: Simply place both palms on your temples.Push your hands up and back, lifting the sides of your face. Open your mouth and make an “O” shape. Drop your jaw to make your face as long as possible, and hold this pose for five seconds. Repeat it two more times.
4. The Eye Lift
Benefit: This pose lifts drooping eyelids and sagging skin all over and smoothe outs the nasolabial folds.
How to do it: Press your shoulders down and lift one arm straight up, and then drop that arm over your head to place your fingertips on your temple. Gently press down with your fingertips to lift your face up and back, and then drop your head over to your shoulder, keeping your chest open. Hold this pose while you slowly breathe out through your mouth. To take the pose a step further, reach your other arm out at a 45-degree angle and when you exhale stick your tongue out down towards the ground.Do the other side and repeat all the way through.
One key point to remember here is the right finger placement for this exercise, so be sure to check your form in the mirror. You’ll want your ring finger placed at the outer corner of your eyebrow and your ring finger on your temple. Hold that placement as you move through the pose.
5. The Buddha Face
Benefit: This exercise is the easiest of all of the face yoga poses. In fact, this pose can “reset your facial habits” — almost like rebooting your computer. Essentially, most people don’t realize they’re grimacing. It’s an unconscious thing. But repeated scowls create wrinkles. This pose helps offset those line-making expressions.
How to do it: Just close your eyes, visualize the point between your eyebrows, and make a very slight smile. However, be sure to relax the rest of the face completely to achieve maximum calm.