LOVE YOUR SKIN WITH FACIAL YOGA

Facial Yoga has been practised through the centuries by many a famous face dating as far back as Cleopatra. Facial yoga – or facial fitness – helps to keep facial muscles firm, toned and healthy, in much the same way as traditional yoga improves the muscles of the body. The most effective way to achieve a balanced body is to combine a variety of exercise styles. The same is true of the face.

 THE BENEFITS

• Radiance

• Firmer facial contours

• Inner confidence

• Bright eyes

• A happy face – with a relaxed expression

 DOES IT WORK?

With practice and patience, yes. It’s about learning to isolate the muscles, something that takes time to learn. The muscles that control our facial expressions are small, delicate and move constantly throughout the day. As we age and the skin’s collagen and elastin production slows, it becomes less able to withstand the pull of gravity, so we develop lines and sagging. By strengthening the underlying structure, we can help the skin to look its best for longer. If you combine home facial yoga with professional treatments such as microcurrent, which work facial muscles to boost cell energy, you’ll really see results.

 THE ROUTINES

Start by doing them in front of a mirror. Remember to relax your face – even when doing yoga for the body, we can have a furrowed brow or clenched jaw as we try to hold a pose.

 1 . Jaw and side of face

Open your mouth and chew. Using firm finger

pressure massage ‘finger circles’ across the

jaw and cheek area to release the jaw while you

continue to chew.

Benefit: eases jaw and facial tension,

particularly for those who grind their teeth.

 2 . ‘ T h e f a c e – l i f t e r ’

Sit up straight, relax your shoulders and hold

your left arm out to the side about 45 degrees

away from your body. Take the right arm straight

up in the air towards the ceiling. Bend this arm

over your head to make contact with the left side

of the face. Relax your shoulders, breathe, then,

using your right hand, begin to stretch the head

away. You should feel a stretch in the left side of

your face and neck. Repeat on the other side.

Benefit: lifts the side of the face and reduces

facial tension.

 3 . ‘ The Big O’

Pull your lips tightly over your teeth and smile.

Close your eyes firmly without scrunching. Take

this one step further by massaging with a finger

(or fingers), making small circles around the

chin and top lip.

Benefit: smooths lip lines, lifts and firms

cheeks.

 4. Mouth and lips

‘Puffer fish’ Fill your cheeks and the area

around the mouth with air. Swap air from cheek

to cheek, holding for five seconds each time,

then blow out with a bumble bee lip vibration.

Benefit: softens the nasolabial lines, smooths

the appearance of the cheeks and plumps lips.

 5. Lip and line smoother

With wrists together, place your thumbs inside

your mouth. Push out with your thumbs, then

close your mouth firmly in an ‘O’ shape around

your thumbs. Hold and release five times.

Benefit: softens lip lines, nasolabial lines and

lost volume around the lips.

 6. Lower lip smoother

Place your middle and index fingers inside your

lower lip. Purse your lips around them, hold

and release as many times as you want.

Benefit: softens lines around the mouth and

nasolabial lines.

 7. Apples of cheeks

Place the pads of your fingers on the apples of

your cheeks, apply pressure and smile. Pulse

ten times.

Benefit: keeps your cheeks perky and helps

define cheekbones.

 8. Surprise eyes

Concentrate on holding your eyes open and not

wrinkling your brow.

Benefit: a major brow smoother, it also works

the muscles around the eyes.

 9. Crow’s feet smoother

Place flat fingers by the sides of your eyes and

support with tension. Blink without fully closing

your eyes; feel the lower lid tighten.

Benefit: smooths lines all around the eyes.

 10. Upper lid lift

Place your fingertips on each brow, lift slightly,

but not too high. Hold and blink your eyes

closed firmly, but without scrunching down.

Benefit: supports drooping eyelids and opens

the eyes.

 1 1 . Forehead

Brow lift: Hold flat fingers across your brow,

frown with pressure against the resistance, but

not deep enough to cause frown lines.

Benefit: smoothes the forehead.

 1 2 . U p p e r b r o w l i f t

Place the sides of flat fingers in your hair line,

lift, then frown against this pressure.

Benefit: lifts the entire frontalis forehead

muscle.

 13. Jowls and neck ‘Slack attack’

I created this routine in response to clients’

concerns about double chins and slackening

of the lower face and neck area. These moves

work perfectly as a home-care support alongside

radiofrequency treatments to firm and tone.

Place your fingertips just above the collarbone,

apply a little pressure (enough to support the

skin), look up, tilting your head backwards. You

should feel the stretch in the front of the neck.

Flatten your tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Hold and pulse your tongue against the roof of

the mouth five times.

Stick out your tongue, first to the left, then to the

middle and then to the right. Hold each position

for five seconds.

Take your lower lip over your top lip and hold;

turn to the left, turn to the right.

With your lower lip over your top lip, press your

tongue to the roof of your mouth.

Turn your head to the side, look up, then put your

tongue on the roof of your mouth and swallow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More skincare routines and anti-ageing tips in Abigail James’ Love Your Skin.

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