Earlier this year I attended a fabulous face yoga session at The Yoga Show in Manchester.
If you think about it a workout for your face makes complete sense. If you already workout to keep your body fit and toned then why neglect your face?
There are 42 muscles in the face and in order to remain healthy and toned they need regular exercise.
You might feel a bit silly to start with pulling faces at yourself in front of a mirror but you can really feel the benefits after just one session. The benefits include increased blood circulation in your face which allows more oxygen to reach the cells of the skin and flushes out toxins. Also tension is released from your face muscles which is great as a build up of tension in this area can sometimes lead to headaches.
Face yoga does require commitment though as the experts recommend that you do the exercises every day for at least twenty minutes before you will start to see any real benefits.
These are a few of the facial exercises that I have been doing on and off for years from a book by Lyn Marshall who first introduced yoga to many in the UK in the 1970’s.
One of my most favourite exercises (and perhaps the most silly) is called the lion. So called as it does somewhat resemble a lion roaring. Another benefit here is that you can’t really help smiling and/or laughing after you have done this movement! You need to sit on the floor for this one with the palms of your hand resting on your knees. Widen your eyes and stick your tongue right out and down as far as you can. Count to five holding still and repeat the movement five times in all.
Another great exercise is the jaw lift which exercises both jaw and face and disperses the fleshy deposit underneath the chin. The movement is divided into three parts. Gently drop your head back and let the jaw drop open. Then make the bottom of the jaw really jut out. Then take the bottom teeth right up and over the top teeth and lip and hold for a few seconds. Repeat the movement five times in all.
Finally an exercise to get the blood circulating freely in your scalp which is a must for healthy hair. Scalp tugs are easy to do and will keep both scalp and hair in good condition. Place your fingers at the temples and push them into your hair against the scalp. Make fists and grip the hair as close to the roots as possible otherwise you will end up pulling your hair (ouch) as opposed to moving your scalp. Move the scalp forward and backward slowly a few times and then repeat in the back section of your head.
This is a small selection of face yoga exercises to help get you started. There are many more movements that you can try for targeting different areas of the face.