The benefits of various types of yoga have been exalted time and again. Now yet another kind of yoga is making headlines in the anti-aging realm: face yoga. Yes, you heard right. Popularised by celebrities such as Megan Markle and Gwyneth Paltrow, face yoga has received acclaim for being a non-invasive solution to surgery.
There are approximately 52 muscles in our face and neck. Face yoga engages the facial muscles in a series of exercises to sculpt and tone them in hope of revitalising your face by offsetting sagginess and puffiness. Face expert Dr Danielle Collins explains that these exercises stimulate the three layers of skin, the hypodermis (lower), dermis (middle) or epidermis (upper) to boost blood circulation, enabling more oxygen and nutrients to reach skin cells. Moreover, these exercises assist in releasing tension in the face, neck and even strain on the eyes.
No Rules. Yet.
As of now, there are no concrete step-by-step guidelines for how to do face yoga, no names for the exercises either, so do expect variation. However, the basis of it is similar: it is posited to reduce wrinkles and thin out the face as you age. Bear in mind though, there have yet to be published studies on its benefits, and opponents have even said that they can make your face fatter.
With all the hype around it, I thought I would give it a try for a week to see if there was any difference. Curious to see the results? I was too, so let’s find out.
So How Can I do This?
If you’re interested in getting in on the face yoga action with me, here are some simple face yoga exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home (I’ve renamed some of them to help me remember better):
1. Nanny Nanny Boo Boo
This one is simple enough; imagine being a child again and teasing the person you don’t like by sticking your tongue out. That’s really it; open your mouth and poke your tongue out as far as possible, holding it for 60 seconds. You can do this for three sets (yes, I said sets).
2. The Puffy Bullfrog
Taking a deep breath in, puff out your cheeks then shift the air from one cheek to the other like a bullfrog about five times. While making a small “O”, release the air slowly. Repeat this for three sets. This pose supposedly tones and lifts your cheek muscles, preventing them from thinning and hollowing out.
3. Fishy Face
Purse your lips then smile. Next, suck the inside of cheeks through the slits between the sides of your teeth, making a fish face. Do this four to five times in order to tone and firm up your lips and cheeks.
4. Crow’s Feet Cure
Before you start, ensure your skin is clean and moisturised. Using your fingers, raise and release your lower lid slowly without moving other facial muscles. Without dragging or pulling the sensitive area around your skin, press your fingertip lightly in the outer crease of the crow’s feet, which creates an opposing force for the muscle to work against. Firm up the skin around your eyes with this exercise in order to keep it from folding into itself to create wrinkles.
5. Big O, Small O
Open your mouth by dropping your jaw, creating a small “O” with your lips. Without closing your jaw, extend your lips as if you are about to smile. This should look like you are creating a big “O”. Repeat this cycle of small “O” and big “O” for about ten times.
6. Iron your Forehead
Expose the whites of your eyes as much as you can by enlarging your eyes, holding the pose until your eyes start to tear. This allows you to exercise the muscles around your eyes and forehead, essentially allowing you to counter the negative effects of scowling.
7. Laughter Leveller
Using your lips, cover your teeth such that your mouth forms an “O”. Give a wide smile without uncovering your teeth, doing this for six times. Then, put your index finger on your chin with the smile in place and begin to move your jaw up and down while your head tips back a little. Return to neutral and repeat it twice more. This one is great for cheek lines and the saggy skin around it.
8. Kiss Spiderman
Imagine Spiderman in front of you, hanging upside down from your ceiling, waiting to kiss you. So pucker up! Gaze up at the Spidey and hold that pucker for five seconds. Now pucker up and kiss him five more times. To get naughtier with him, stick your tongue out while looking up. This enables you to stretch and tone your neck muscles, giving you more prominent cheekbones and jawline. Be sure to look back to eye-level in between each set.
Does it Actually Work?
The muscles of the face are smaller compared to the rest of the body, so if you keep at it, results can be expected in a shorter period of time. What did I find? Well, the truth is I could not sustain it beyond two nights because it takes 30 minutes every night to do all 3 sets! Lesson learnt: if you’re disciplined enough and are desperate for a surgery-free, cosmetic-free approach to wrinkles and fine lines, then give face yoga a go!
Photo Credits: NDTV Food, Pixabay and Marie Claire