We’ve all heard of the benefits of practicing yoga- peace of mind, enhanced wellbeing and perfect posture to name a few. But what about yoga for your face? Think less Downward Dog, more Baby Bird. According to the experts in this rather obscure field (many of whom can be found on Youtube), it is one of the most natural and inexpensive ways to achieve younger, more radiant looking skin from the comfort of your own home.
What is it?
Face yoga expert, Danielle Collins, describes the practice as a combination of facial exercises, massage, acupressure and relaxation techniques. It is said to work by toning the facial muscles, resulting in firmer skin and reduced wrinkles. Some also claim it improves the skins elasticity by stimulating collagen and elastin production through increased circulation of blood to the face. As with traditional yoga, there are a myriad of poses to choose from, from the Smiling Fish Face to the Satchmo and Baby Bird. Each exercise works a different combination of the 43 muscles in your face. Raising the eyebrows, puffing out the cheeks and vigorously pouting are all part and parcel of this practice. It is advised that one should perform these routines six times a week for at least 20 minutes in order to see the benefits.
What are the benefits?
Aside from the purported anti ageing properties, face yoga is said to bring about a number of other beneficial changes. Experts say it can give you a more sculpted visage by slimming the face and enhancing the prominence of the cheekbones and the jaw line as your muscles become more taut. Another positive result of carrying out facial exercise is the healthy post workout glow it gives the individual in response to increased blood flow to the face; over time, it is even said to improve the overall complexion of the skin. Similarly to standard yoga practice, the relaxation part helps to relieve stress and calm the mind which is key to staying youthful and looking your best.
In addition to all of its beautifying benefits, face yoga is also completely free of charge, can literally be performed anywhere and doesn’t require much physical exertion which is always a bonus!
Does it work?
Facial exercises have been popular amongst the beauty conscious for years, with many people preaching about the aesthetic advantages they boast. However, cosmetic professionals and scholars are yet to come to a firm conclusion about the effectiveness of this phenomenon. While some studies suggest that facial yoga does improve muscle tone, at present, there is not enough evidence to confirm this. Some even argue that excessive muscle movement can have a detrimental effect on the face, actually worsening wrinkles. It seems that until more conclusive scientific studies are carried out in this field, there will continue to be mixed opinions about its validity. However, its rumoured that age defying celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Katy Perry are all face yoga fans, so surely it can’t be a bad thing?
Is it worth it?
If you’re looking for a cheap way to achieve younger looking skin and a slimmer face (without having to contour) then it’s definitely worth giving it a go. Start off by checking out some videos online, such as those by Ranjana Khan or Danielle Collins. There is also a channel called ‘Face Yoga Method’ on Youtube that provides good introductory videos for newbies. The online gurus, who swear by it, say that it takes a couple of months to start reaping the rewards so try to persevere! If you’re feeling sceptical, it might be a good idea to take weekly photos of yourself to monitor your progression. You never know, it could be the answer to your prayers.