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  • Cheryl Cunningham

So, What's Face Yoga?


What is Face Yoga?

Face Yoga is an ancient Eastern discipline originating from India and South Asia. It uses a mixture of traditional techniques and skin knowledge. Breath control and posture are also important to overall practice. Exercises are designed to work the muscles in different areas of the face and focus on the forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth and lips, jaw and neck. Some exercises lift and tighten, whilst others plump or smooth.


What Are The Benefits?

Regular practice brings a wide variety of benefits such as:

  • Smoother forehead

  • Fewer wrinkles and defined lines

  • More symmetrical face

  • More defined jaw line

  • Higher, sculpted cheeks

  • Brighter, wider eyes

  • Plumper lips

  • Straighter nose

  • Smoother neck

  • Reduced puffiness in the face

Additional benefits include:

  • Greater confidence

  • Feelings of relaxation and ease

  • Clarity of mind

  • Increased blood flow to the skin

  • Fewer headaches

  • Less neck strain and backache

  • Better control of muscles for speech


Conscious Breathing

All face yoga exercises require conscious breathing practices to control the breath and relax the face. Conscious breathing is breathing with awareness, intention, and attention to our inner experience in the present moment. Conscious breathing helps us to release tension particularly in the face, neck and shoulder area. We do this by breathing in through the nose, slowly and deeply, and feeling the abdomen rise, breathing out through the nose, and feeling the abdomen fall. We observe the breath as it moves in and out.


Posture

Correct posture puts less strain on the neck, jaw and muscles of the forehead. When we sit or stand we need to correctly align the spine. Poor posture can lead to becoming tired more quickly, to back pain, neck and shoulder pain and inefficient breathing. Poor posture can also lead to more strain in the face and an increase in facial lines.


Warm Up

Face Yoga practice, like any exercise routine, always begins with a warm up to release stiffness, boost flexibility and increase blood flow to the face.





Grounding Exercise

Next is a grounding exercise like Mountain Pose, Tree Pose or Forward Fold. If you have practised yoga, you may be familiar with these poses.


Try This Exercise For Improving Eye Bags:

  • Look straight ahead. Open your mouth wide in an extended O. Feel a stretch under your eyes.

  • Without moving your forehead, look up with just your eyes

  • Hold for 5 seconds

  • Repeat 3 times

This can be difficult to do initially. Try resting your palm across your forehead to remind you to relax your forehead. Or you could place a strip of sellotape across your forehead to make you aware of how often you move the muscles in your forehead, particularly when moving your eyes.


Cool Down

After face yoga we have a cool down to help the skin and muscles relax. This will include some conscious breathing, mindful meditation and Corpse Pose.


Other Factors To Consider

Making sure you are well hydrated, that you use a sun screen, eat a well balanced diet, get enough sleep, manage your stress levels and exercise regularly, will all help to support the health of your skin and your appearance. Face Yoga is not intended to try to remove all lines from the face. Laughter lines show that you have laughed and loved and enjoyed life. We should be grateful to be growing older, to have that privilege which not everyone has. However, Face Yoga can help us to feel good about ourselves and to feel more confident.


Does It Work?

A study by Alam, et al. published in 2017 in JAMA Dermatology found that a regime of facial exercises seemed to improve mid-face and lower face fullness. Participants spent 30 mins per day, or every other day, doing a variety of facial exercises, over a 20 week period. Participants were able to tighten and lift the cheek area for a more youthful look. They concluded that this equated to approximately a 3 year decrease in age appearance. Participants were described as highly satisfied.


How Can I Join A Class?

Face Yoga is included in my Lu Jong Tibetan Yoga Five Elements Movement practice on a Tuesday and Thursday at 9.30am. Classes run for 30 minutes on Zoom.


If you'd like a taster of Face Yoga, 2 or 3 exercises are included as part of my Mind and Body Wellbeing classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, also at 9.30am on Zoom.


1:1 classes are available for individual Face Yoga practice.

Please contact me for more details.







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