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.
• 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.
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
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
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
7. Apples of cheeks
Place the pads of your fingers on the apples of
your cheeks, apply pressure and smile. Pulse
Benefit: keeps your cheeks perky and helps
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
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
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.