There’s no shortage of different styles of yoga, but here’s a new type of yoga you may not have heard of before: face yoga. In addition to having potential anti-aging effects, face yoga can help you relax and relieve tension, especially in the muscles around your temples and between your eyes. (This type of tension can contribute to problems like eye strain and tension headaches).
And that’s not all.
What is facial yoga?
“Facial yoga” describes facial exercises performed to tone and stretch facial muscles, usually with the goal of fighting the signs of aging.
Facial exercises have actually been used for a long time in the treatment of certain health conditions that affect muscle control, including strokes and Bell’s palsy. It therefore seems logical that these same exercises could help slow the appearance of aging skin, since studies show that age-related problems, such as sagging (deterioration of facial tissue), are due in part to the muscle loss.
Although there is not yet much evidence that the face yoga method works perfectly, proponents of this practice claim that its benefits may include:
– Help smooth out fine lines and wrinkles
– Lifting the skin around the eyes and preventing sagging and puffiness under the eyes.
– Tone and plump the cheeks
– tighten the skin of the neck and jaw
– Decrease tension, pain and tension in overworked muscles (in the same way that regular yoga benefits people with muscle tension and – promotes general relaxation).
How does it work?
You can think of face yoga as a gentle form of “strength training” for your face and neck muscles. The more you repeat certain facial yoga exercises that target different parts of your face, the more you notice that the muscles and skin begin to change slightly for the better.
From what we know about facial exercises in general, the face yoga method seems to work like this:
It stimulates the muscles of the face, thus helping to improve their tone and their “tightness”. This may explain why it can help some people reduce signs of aging, like sagging.
Increases blood flow/circulation to the skin, which can be helpful in lightening skin.
Reduces facial muscle tension caused by repeated facial expressions throughout the day, such as squinting. Massage and acupressure techniques are also incorporated into the facial yoga method, to relax key points on the face that tend to be tense.
Facial yoga exercises
Unlike some types of yoga, like Bikram or Ashtanga, there is no standard facial yoga sequence to follow. Rather, there are a number of different exercises you can try, in no particular order, to see if they provide you with any benefit or relief.
Examples of exercises include those that target the lower and upper cheeks, the area around the eyes, the jawline, the neck, and the middle of the forehead.
Exercises are referred to by names such as:
Sculpture of happy cheeks
Scooping: firming of the jaw and neck
Firming of the upper eyelid
Below are variations of some popular facial yoga exercises that you can practice at home: -productive. Instead, focus on lifting and expanding the face.
1. Open your eyes
Use your fingers to form a “binocular” shape around your eyebrows, cheeks, and entire face. Raise your eyebrows without creasing your forehead too much, then squint your eyes and finally raise them again. Try to repeat the exercise about 50 times.
2. Forehead lift
Interlace your fingers across your forehead and apply gentle pressure, trying to lift your forehead. Repeat 50 times and/or hold for up to one minute.
Another way to do this is to place both palms at your temples, push your palms up and back to lift the sides of your face, then hold for five seconds and repeat.
3. Cheek lift
Open your mouth wide, keep your teeth covering your lips and lift your cheeks. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return to normal. Try to repeat 50 times. (Try not to squint while lifting the cheeks).
4. Neck and Jaw Stretch
Tilt your face up slightly, then lift your chin forward at a 45-degree angle and toward one shoulder, and hold this position for three seconds. Return to the center, then repeat on the other side. Repeat 20 times on each side, or aim to repeat for one or more minutes at a time.
Another good way to stretch and strengthen your neck and jawline (only if you don’t have neck problems) is to tilt your head all the way back and hold it, repeating for up to one minute.
5. Purse your lips
Purse your lips, release them slightly and repeat the operation. Repeat the operation for one or more minutes.
Smile 50 times without squinting, then maintain a gentle smile for 50 seconds straight.
7. Facial Massage + Savasana
Cleanse your hands and face with a mild cleanser, then massage your entire face (you can use coconut oil to make this easier). Gently press your fingertips against the facial muscles to relieve any tension. Be sure to pay attention to your “third eye” (the space between your eyebrows), massaging for 30 minutes and working around your eyes. (You can also try using your adjustments around your forehead and eyes).
End with a warm towel draped over your face as you lie down and relax.
Face yoga: is it effective?
Is facial yoga really effective? While more formal research into this method is warranted, there is some evidence to suggest that these exercises, when performed on a regular basis, can lead to changes in facial muscles and potentially skin.
One of the most reliable studies on the effects of face yoga to date indicates that when adult women practiced face yoga exercises on a regular basis for 30 minutes a day over a period of 20 weeks (four to five months), most of them felt changes in facial muscles and skin, including fuller, firmer cheeks and tighter skin.
The researchers involved in the study rated the participants’ photos using a standardized facial aging scale. They assessed 19 facial characteristics of the participants at the start of the study and then at the eighth and twentieth week. Evaluators found that fullness in the upper and lower cheeks was significantly improved, and overall, participants appeared to have looked about three years younger after completing the 20-week facial yoga program.
How long does it take for face yoga to work?
You will need to practice for at least several weeks, or more than six in most cases, to see results. Most face yoga experts recommend practicing up to six days a week, for about 30 minutes a day, for the practice to really pay off.
If practicing facial exercises isn’t really your thing but you’re intrigued by the idea of paying more attention to the connection between your face and your overall health, consider learning more about face mapping. face.
This ancient practice, which has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, can help you learn how to treat underlying health conditions that cause symptoms in specific areas of your face. Face mapping is used by some people to treat issues such as redness, rashes from food allergies, wrinkles, puffiness and fine lines, and to improve overall mood and energy.
Risks and side effects
Does face yoga actually cause wrinkles? In order to avoid aggravating fine lines and wrinkles, facial yoga exercises should be performed without excessively creasing or puckering the face.
The idea is to stretch and firm the muscles without wrinkle the skin.
It seems that face yoga is generally very safe, as long as you go easy at first and don’t pull your neck too much or apply too much pressure. facial yoga offers individuals an inexpensive, non-toxic way to look younger, or to complement other cosmetic or anti-aging treatments they may be seeking.
Even if you don’t get the anti-aging benefits you hoped for, if face yoga helps you feel calmer (after all, we know yoga can change your brain!) and maybe decrease the eyestrain or headaches, consider it a victory.
All in all, while face yoga can make you feel less tense and look fresher, you don’t have to give up on other ways to take care of your skin, like use of sun protection, a healthy diet, sufficient sleep and abundant water consumption.
Face yoga involves performing exercises targeting the muscles of the face and neck to improve your appearance, tone and refine your face, and promote relaxation of overworked muscles. Although research is lacking overall, the benefits of facial yoga exercises may include plumping cheeks, reducing sagging skin, smoothing wrinkles, and treating eye strain and headaches. . You may need to practice for at least several months before you see results. Most face yoga experts recommend ideally practicing up to six days a week, about 30 minutes a day, for the practice to really pay off.