Face yoga has received attention as an alternative to surgery or injections. Traditional yoga poses have anti-aging benefits, but face yoga specifically targets the facial muscles. Although yoga focuses on inner well-being, some teachers are promoting face yoga for its beneficial effects on the complexion and facial features.
Certain facial muscles, such as the muscles between the nose and ear, receive little or no exercise. Many people do not realize that these muscles exist until they begin to exercise them. Exercising these muscles for the first time can cause the same reactions, such as tingling or slight soreness, as exercising other muscles.
After as little as two weeks of face yoga, you may notice a more refreshed facial appearance. The face reflects tension and fatigue that exist in the rest of the body, and face yoga relaxes, tones and balances the face. The most vigorous facial exercises will produce the most dramatic results; for example, a man may notice a more chiseled jaw line or more prominent cheekbones.
Some yoga instructors encourage their students to practice face yoga as an alternative to cosmetic surgery or injections. Other instructors, however, downplay any cosmetic benefits from face yoga, stating that yoga emphasizes inner health and well-being rather than outward appearance. They note that these traditionally recognized benefits can give the face a healthy glow.
Face yoga poses are easy to learn and do. Here are 3 examples of face yoga for you to try at home:
The lion pose is a traditional hatha yoga pose that involves the tongue and jaw muscles. First, slowly inhale and tighten every muscle in the body, from your toes to your stomach to your fists. As you slowly exhale, relax your muscles, stick out your tongue as far as you can, and open your eyes and your hands widely. Do this sequence three times, and on the third repetition, try to hold the exhale with your tongue stretched for 30 seconds. This pose may help reduce wrinkles around the jaw.
Sit cross-legged or in full or half lotus position, and place your index fingers at the outer ends of your eyebrows. Close your eyes as you gently pull your eyebrows away from each other. This pose will improve tone and prevent wrinkles between the eyebrows.
An easy way to exercise facial muscles is to exaggerate facial expressions. Use the muscles around your eyes and mouth to form exaggerated smiles, frowns and looks of surprise; these exercises will relieve and invigorate your facial muscles.
You can do face yoga at any time of the day when you want to relax tension in your face or feel refreshed. Your skin will have a healthy glow from increased blood flow and you may even notice fewer wrinkles. At the very least you will be exercising muscles that often get neglected and have increased body awareness which is an important part of any yoga practice.