FACE YOGA! Now I’ve heard it all…….from anti-ageing cream, to facelifts, to Botox, attempting to turn the clock back has been taken to an entirely different level. So what does this new face sport involve? I was so intrigued I decided to go out and do my own little investigation. This is what I found out.
Face yoga is for the face what yoga is for the body, it relaxes and tones the muscles. Are you sitting reading this with your mouth open? That’s face yoga! The belief is that contorting your face and making yourself look even more unattractive then you think you already are can prevent sagging and wrinkles.
Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are completely against it. I can’t help but wonder if that’s because they think it might take away from their profits if it actually works because stars like Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow are endorsing it? According to plastic surgeon Jeffrey Spiegel wrinkles are not caused by a loss of elasticity in the muscles; wrinkles form on the skin. He believes that flexing and stretching your skin will lead to more wrinkles.
However, face yoga advocates claim that it relaxes the face which smoothes out those tense expressions we make on a daily basis without realizing we are doing so. Relaxing your face muscles can give you a natural face lift. “Relaxing the face muscles, particularly in the areas where we hold the most tension such as the forehead, brow and jaw can limit the damage caused by those menacing facial expressions we make so often,” says New York yoga instructor Annelise Hagen. In her book “Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift she goes on to state: “The face muscles are the only muscles in the body that can’t get on the treadmill and lift weights. When you intentionally make certain facial expressions and use your fingertips to apply pressure you are strengthening and toning the muscles” Annelise isn’t claiming to have the answer to perfectly youthful skin, but she does believe that face yoga can slow down the sagging process.
I’ve asked the experts, now it’s time to go ahead and try it myself, so here are 6 of Annelise’s face yoga exercises.
1. The V
Good For: Puffiness, eye bags, crow’s feet and drooping eyelids.
Alternative to: Eye surgery and Botox.
Step 1: Press both of your middle fingers onto the inner corners of your eyebrows at the same time as using your index fingers to place pressure on the outer corners of your eyebrows. Basically, just as the name suggests you are making two V shapes with both hands.
Step 2: Look up towards the ceiling and raise your lower eyelids up so that you are making a squinting expression and then relax.
Step 3: Repeat the exercise six times and then shut your eyes tightly for 10 seconds.
2. The Brow Smoother
Good For: Forehead lines
Alternative to: Botox
Step 1: Position both hands on your forehead and spread your fingers out along the eyebrows and the hairline.
Step 2: Apply light pressure and sweep the fingers in an outwards motion across the forehead.
Step 3: Relax and then repeat 10 times.
3. Smooth the Smile
Good For: Sagging skin and cheek lines.
Alternative to: Fillers and lower face life.
Step 1: Make an ‘O’ shape with your mouth to cover your teeth.
Step 2: Keep your teeth hidden and make a wide smile. Repeat this six times.
Step 3: You will then need to hold the smile at the same time as placing your index finger on your chin. Gently tilt your head back and then start moving your jaw up and down. Relax and repeat twice.
4. Flirting With Your Eyes
Good For: Drooping eyebrows and deep hollow eyes.
Alternative to: Eyebrow lift.
Step 1: Position an index finger under each eye pointing towards your nose.
Step 2: Stretch your lips across your teeth and part your lips slightly.
Step 3: Stare at the ceiling for 30 seconds and flutter your upper eyelids.
5. The Giraffe
Good For: Lines and loose skin around the neck.
Alternative to: Jowl lift and neck lift.
Step 1: Look straight ahead and place your finger tips at the base of your neck. Tilt your head back and lightly stroke the skin in a downwards motion.
Step 2: Tilt the head down towards the chest and repeat twice.
Step 3: Push out your lower lip as far as possible so that the corners of your mouth are pulled downwards. Point your chin upwards and place your fingertips on your collarbone. Take four deep breaths and then relax.
6. Surprise Me
Good For: To smooth forehead wrinkles.
Alternative to: Botox and facelift.
Step 1: Open your eyes as wide as possible. Hold this position until your eyes start watering.