Yoga, the Indian practice of exercise, has been around for thousands of years and its positive effects on the body, soul and mind have been known for just as long. Numerous yoga practices and schools exist, and for a while there have also been increasing approaches to applying the principles of yoga to restricted areas of the body. There are, for example, yoga exercises for the face (face yoga) or special eye yoga.
The fundamentals of face yoga come primarily from Fumiko Takatsu (49), who has written the book “The Ultimate Guide To The Face Yoga Method”. Its exercises are designed to smooth and tighten the skin, diminish wrinkles and improve muscle tone. So, at our best, we just look and feel younger. Well, let’s take a look at a few simple exercises.
The Facial Muscles Should Be Trained Through Yoga
Face yoga is all based on a very simple concept. Like our body, our face is working and functioning through muscles. They can be trained and stimulated through tension and relaxation or massage. For each part of the face, for example forehead, cheeks or eye area, we have certain exercises. Below are three very simple examples that you can easily do anywhere without any tools.
Exercise for Tightening Cheeks and Lips
All exercises require that you clean your face and hands thoroughly beforehand – and then you’re ready to go. To do this exercise, first form a kissing mouth. Then pull the cheeks inwards and pucker the lips as much as you can. Maintain this position for about a minute. Afterwards, briefly puff air into the cheeks. This is followed by a short relaxation pause before repeating the exercise four more times.
This Exercise Tones the Cheeks and Strengthens the Jaw Muscles
“The Lion,” which is the name of this exercise, is also child’s play. You pull your mouth open as wide as you can, like you’re roaring. Next, stick out your tongue and stretch it as far as possible in the direction of your chin. Keep this position as long as you can, then relax. You can repeat the lion as many times as you like.
Massage Exercise Against Nasolabial Folds
The purpose of this exercise is to prevent the formation of nasolabial folds, which are deep wrinkles between the wings of the nose and the corners of the mouth. In fact, it’s super simple, too. Simply place the fingertips of your two hands next to your nostrils and slightly massage the mouth area and cheeks from the inside out. Again, you can repeat this as often as you like.
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One Study Confirms the Positive Effects of Facial Yoga
Dozens of such exercises have now been developed, and there are more being added all the time. Now the question is: Does facial yoga really work?
In a 2018 study by the American JAMA Dermatology Institute, which was published on their website the answer is yes. For the study, 33 women between the ages of 40 and 65 were instructed in 32 different exercises, which they subsequently practiced for half an hour a day for 20 weeks.
Subsequently, people who were shown their portrait photos judged them to be on average about three years younger than they really were. The female test subjects also confirmed the positive effects – so it seems to be working.
Facial Yoga: Smiling Makes You Happy!
That said, regular facial training also helps in other ways: In particular, when we are under a lot of pressure and often stressed in everyday life, we have a tendency to leave our facial features in a certain position: Hanging corners of the mouth, pinched eyebrows, wrinkled forehead. Doing so can make us appear annoyed, unsympathetic, and reserved.
On the other hand, if you regularly get your facial muscles going by making unusual grimaces, this will have a positive effect on your mood and on the people around you. Scientific evidence shows that positive facial expressions, such as a smile, have a positive effect on mood, at least to a small degree. There is also scientific evidence that laughter yoga has a positive effect against stress and depression.
Moreover, an alert and happy face can also make the people around you feel good. In fact, sometimes just a little smile is enough to make someone else’s day better. Face yoga can help you become more aware of your facial features in everyday life as well. Last but not least, it is often practiced as a relaxation technique.