Downward facing dog, flying crow, and bird of paradise – if you practice yoga, you’re familiar with these poses. But, what about smiling fish, bumblee, and giraffe? Have you heard of these yoga poses? They’re all part of various facial yoga exercises that experts say will relax and release the facial muscles in the jaw, eyebrow, and forehead – the areas where we hold the most tension.
Think about how many times you laugh, squint, and purse your lips every single day. The repetitive use of these muscles causes fine lines and wrinkles. So, doing exercises like the smiling fish – where you suck in your cheeks and lips, form a fish face, smile, hold for five seconds, and repeat – you’re drawing blood, oxygen, and extra circulation to the skin. And, you really feel the workout in your cheeks and jaw. For some, facial yoga may feel silly, but those who do it will love the results. It’s easy and 100% natural and no chemicals or needles are needed to tone and tighten the face. Goodbye double chins and jowls.
Yoga has been around for centuries, since 3,000 B. C. Originating in India, the word “yoga” means “to unite.” In yoga, through a series of asanas, or postures combining pranayama, also called breath, you work the mind and body to an overall relaxed state. If yoga can work the muscles in your body, you bet it can tone facial and neck muscles.
According to Annelise Hagen, a New York yoga instructor and author of “The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift,” “The muscles on our faces can’t lift weights or go on the treadmill. When you apply pressure with your fingertips or make certain facial expressions, you’re toning and strengthening the muscles.” Doing these exercises daily definitely helps delay the signs of aging.
I recently took a trip to FACEGYM, the world’s first gym for your face. One of my former students, now a licensed aesthetician and FACEGYM trainer, toned, tightened, and sculpted my face. The workout included a warmup, cardio segment, sculpting portion, and relaxing cool-down session. Using a ball, jade roller, and some high-speed hand whipping, flicking, and pinching, I felt like I had Scarlett Johansson’s cheekbones.
My final thought – be consistent. If you want that youthful glow, do facial exercises regularly for best results.
Annette Hanson is the founder of Atelier Esthétique Institute of Esthetics in Manhattan, a New York state licensing, NACCAS-accredited skin care school, postgraduate facility, and the first United States aesthetics college to be recognized by London’s International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC). Her professional experience spans more than 30 years as a Paris-trained aesthetician, waxing specialist, body therapist, salon manager, and spa consultant. A creator of two product lines, she is also a published author and sought-after lecturer at leading professional conferences worldwide. She was instrumental in the development of the 600-hour curriculum for the New York state aesthetics license, as well as the written and practical exam. She served as an educator on the Appearance Enhancement Advisory Committee to New York’s Secretary of State. She was inducted into the Aesthetics International Association (A.I.A.) industry legends in August 2009 by DERMASCOPE Magazine. She is on the leadership committee of the ASCP Skin Care School Council (Associated Skin Care Professionals).