Face Yoga Exercises to Try

face yogaMove over face creams, Botox, and facelifts, the newest craze in preventing wrinkles has arrived. Non invasive, inexpensive, and taking just a few minutes a day to try, face yoga has become the answer to a number of people’s prayers. While the jury is still out on whether or not these facial exercises actually work, there are numerous people who swear by them, both for their purported affect on aging, and for the calm, stress-free floating feeling that is said to accompany them.

What Is Face Yoga?

Nearly everyone has heard of yoga, and most people even know how to bust out a downward facing dog on command, but face yoga is different. This form of exercise targets just the muscles in the face – muscles that don’t normally get a workout either through yoga or while you’re at the gym.

The idea behind face yoga is that by exercising the muscles in your face, you’ll help to tighten and strengthen them, which in turn will stop the sagging and wrinkling of gravity. Believe it or not, however, this is not the only affect or benefit that most people derive from the practice. Just a few minutes a day of face yoga can also elevate your heart rate, and reduce stress. In fact, many people claim to experience a buzzing or peaceful feeling settling over them just a few minutes into the work out. And while those same feelings can be produced through taking any type of yoga class, most traditional yoga methods either don’t target the face at all, or merely target work on relaxing the facial muscles either during difficult poses, or during savasana.

Of course face yoga does have its detractors. Many doctors and plastic surgeons claim that face yoga will actually have the opposite effect that you desire on the face. They claim that it’s not the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles; it’s the skin itself. And that repeated creasing and pulling of the skin – like what you do during face yoga – is only going to lead to more and faster wrinkles, rather than the other way around.

No long term studies have been conducted on whether or not face yoga is the ticket to eternal youth, or whether you’re better off continuing to slather on expensive creams and treatments. The face yoga craze is continuing to sweep the globe, however, with many of its proponents claiming to see the results that they expect and desire from the treatment.

Face Yoga Exercises to Try

If you’re intrigued and want to try the practice for yourself, you’re in luck. Face yoga can be practiced anytime, anywhere, and it only takes a few minutes each day. Some people may find that they want to tack it on to the end of their traditional yoga courses to help ensure that they work every part of the body; other people may want to take a few minutes each day at their desk at work to run through them.

Keep in mind that you may feel – and look – a little silly doing some of these exercises for the first time. Many involve moving your face, neck, and tongue into positions you normally wouldn’t think of; plan on practicing with a mirror the first few times, and you may want to avoid doing these in the break room at work as well.

The V

The V targets the muscles around the eyes. It’s good for reducing puffiness and crow’s feet, as well as drooping eyelids.

To perform it:

  1. Make a V with the index and middle fingers of each hand.
  2. Press the pad of your middle finger into the inside corner of each eyebrow, while your index finger applies pressure to the outside corner of each eyebrow.
  3. Raise your eyes to look at the ceiling while you raise your lower eyelid up to squint.
  4. Relax and repeat 6 times.
  5. Finish by squinting your eyes shut tightly for 10 seconds.

The Cheek Smoother

This exercise works the cheeks around your mouth, smoothing out smile lines and a sagging jaw line.

face yogaTo perform it:

  1. Cover your teeth with your lips to form an O with your mouth.
  2. Smile widely while keeping your teeth covered with your lips. Relax and repeat five times.
  3. Smile again keeping your teeth covered and place an index finger on your chin. Tilt your head back slightly and move your jaw up and down. Repeat.

Brow Smoother

shutterstock_41563435The Brow Smoother works to smooth out the lines and wrinkles in your forehead and between your eyes. It’s a good alternative to Botox.

To perform it:

  1. Spread your fingers out slightly on both hands and place your finger tips in the center of your forehead running from hairline to brow line.
  2. Gently stroke and smooth your brow out to the sides from the center. Repeat.

The Eye Lifter

This exercise works the skin and muscles that surround your eyes, tightening and reducing any drooping areas.

To perform it:

  1. Place an index finger horizontally on each cheekbone just beneath the eyes.
  2. Pull your upper lip down to cover your teeth.
  3. Look up at the ceiling while you pull down slightly with your index fingers and flutter your eyelashes for 30 seconds.

The Neck Lifter

face yogaThis exercise helps to tone and strengthen the muscles in your neck and jaw, which can help tighten them and prevent them from sagging.

To perform it:

  1. Tip your head back toward the ceiling, stretching your neck upwards.
  2. Push your jaw forward to stretch and work the muscles on the front of your neck. Relax and repeat 10 times.
  3. Begin making jaw circles by pushing your jaw out to one side and up, over to the other side and down. Repeat 10 times, and then switch direction.

Surprise

face yogaThe Surprise works the muscles around your eyes, helping to tone and strengthen them.
To perform it:

  1. Look straight ahead with your face relaxed.
  2. Widen your eyes as much as you can while keeping your eyes completely steady.
  3. Hold until you feel your vision begin to waver.

face yogaPuffed Cheeks

This exercise helps to tone the cheek muscles, preventing sagging and smile lines.
To perform it:

  1. Close your lips together tightly and fill your cheeks with air, puffing them out.
  2. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, and repeat.

Tongue Stretcher

face yogaThis silly pose is a fun way to flush toxins from around your eyes, which helps to reduce puffiness.

To perform it:

  1. Open your mouth and jaw and stick out your tongue.
  2. Stretch your tongue downward toward your chin as far as you can.
  3. Hold until your eyes begin to water slightly.

Temple Eyes

This simple exercise works the muscles around face yogayour eyes, helping to tone them and prevent sagging.

To perform it:

  1. Look straight ahead.
  2. Keeping your face pointing ahead, shift your eyes as far to the right as possible. Hold for 5 seconds and release.
  3. Move your eyes to the left as far as possible and hold for 5 seconds. Release and repeat.

Fish Face

Fish face works the muscles under your jaw face yogato help prevent them from sagging.

To perform it:

  1. Pull your lips in, pursing them into a “fish lips” of “fish face” position.
  2. Hold your lips in this position while you smile with the corners of your mouth.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, release and repeat.

Scrunched Face

face yogaThis is a good exercise to do to help get out some frustrations.

To perform it:

  1. Inhale deeply through your nose.
  2. Clench your fists, close your eyes, and tightly contract all the muscles in your face.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds and release.
  4. Stick out your tongue, open your eyes, release your breath and open your hands.

face yogaPucker Up

Repeating puckering of the lips can help to strengthen them and the skin around them.

To perform it:

  1. Pucker your lips as if you were blowing a kiss.
  2. Release and repeat 10 times.

Buddha Face

After performing any face yoga exercises, you’ll want to relax your muscles and help get them back to a neutral, unlined state. Just like you’ll perform savasana – or final relaxation – at the end of any yoga course, you’ll want to perform Buddha face after face yoga. If you do decide to tie in your face yoga to a regular yoga course, you can do Buddha face and savasana at the same time.

To perform it:

  1. Close your eyes and lips lightly.
  2. Focus on relaxing the muscles in your face and neck, particularly around the eyes.
  3. Allow your tongue to fall away from the roof of your mouth so it remains suspended in the center.
  4. Unclench your jaw and allow your mind to wander for 30 seconds.

Strengthen Your Face

Face yoga may look and feel a little silly, but most people that try it swear by the results. Whether you’re after that buzzing, stress free feeling that accompanies it, or you’re just hoping to stave off nature’s advance for a few more years, consider giving face yoga a try. You may find that you love it so much, it inspires you to try a few different types of yoga or a yoga meditation course to see what results they can produce. Give face yoga a try and start strengthening every part of your body, including your face.