Yoga has officially gone from being the hobby of mums to a full-time lifestyle trend – yoga is officially cool! But it’s no surprise; it’s healing for both your body and mind; there’s nothing to unwind your day like doing a quick Sun Salutations routine. But, did you know that you can treat your face to some of the ancient art’s therapeutic exercises? Okay, so we’re not going to make you attempt a downward dog with your nose, but these face poses relax and tone your muscles, just like yoga does for your body!
Why do you want to relax your muscles you ask? Well, that’s exactly what everyone’s fav anti-aging treatment, Botox, does – it effectively disables your muscles so you can’t create frown-inducing expressions. Therefore, more relaxed muscles, particularly in areas where you typically have tension, will mean that you’re less likely to create wrinkle-triggering frowns and expressions every day – less of those, equals fewer wrinkles.
Add these to your daily routine to help strengthen and tone your muscles, which in the long run will keep your skin looking tauter and more youthful. So, say “Namaste instant facelift!” with these quick face yoga tricks.
Minimize forehead lines:
Channel the facial expression you made when you first heard that Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a joint album. Widen your eyes as much as you can and raise your eyebrows – not so high that you get lots of creases. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat four more times. This pose exercises the muscles around your eyes and forehead.
Plump your pout:
Not strictly a ‘pout,’ but more of a fish face. Suck your cheeks in as much as you can while exposing your cheekbones and pursing your lips. This one takes some practice, but you’ll get there! Doing this exercise will enhance your pout and pump blood to the area – giving you great circulation as well as plump lips!
New York’s leading dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, is always telling us how as our collagen levels deplete, so does the fullness of our face – not ideal when full cheeks are a sign of youth. This is why the cheekbones are one of the most common areas targeted with filler for a quick anti-aging lift. Instead, try the face yoga fix: smile really wide and place your fingers on where your laughing lines are created (between your nose and your mouth), and lift to expose your gums. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat!
Avoid a sagging jawline
Also known as ‘The Blowfish,’ just puff your cheeks out as much as possible while passing the air from one cheek to the other. This strengthens your cheek muscles and helps prevent them from drooping or thinning. You may want to make sure you’re in an isolated area for this one; we got some weird looks from our HB fam trying this one out.
Dodge a saggy neck
As Gloria Swanson said: “The first feminine feature that goes, with advancing age, is the neck.” Well, not with this trick! To prevent your neck and chin from the effects of aging, Annelise Hagen, author of The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift, recommends the ‘ceiling kiss’ exercise. Ever since we read about it, we do it every morning and night while we moisturize our necks, and it takes five seconds! Just tilt your neck up to the ceiling so you can feel it stretching, and ‘kiss it’ five times, then turn your neck up and left and do the same ceiling kiss five times, then repeat on your right side.
Tighten your eyelids
Sagging lids? Don’t sweat it. For eyes that don’t carry a lot of excess baggage, try this: rest your index fingers under your eyes (on your lower eye-socket bone), look up, and blink as quickly as possible. Apply slight pressure with your fingers but don’t push – your lids are super sensitive and you need to be gentle with them.
And… relax: After a workout, it’s important to bring your face back to a relaxed state. Many of us scowl without realizing it, which causes premature wrinkles and those brow furrows that don’t exactly help your RBF. To beat this, close your eyes, and try to bring your mind away from what your face is doing – this will ensure you aren’t putting any strain or emphasis on a particular muscle or area. Focus on taking deep breaths and feeling your breath reach your lungs, then exit. If you struggle to maintain a neutral state, visualize the point between your eyes.