If you believe the best way to avoid wrinkles and droopy cheeks and jowls is to keep your emotions under wrap, think again. While your smiles and frowns can take their toll on your youthful appearance, it’s the everyday stress, lifestyle choices and the law of gravity that wreak the most havoc, says Hatha yoga instructor Rose Hong Tran. Without intervention, aging skin begins to lose its tone and resiliency -- and before you know it -- those dreaded lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Face muscles respond to resistance exercise just like the rest of your body, says Tran. And the ever-increasing number of face yoga enthusiasts seems to confirm her claims. While you may feel a bit foolish the first time you attempt to perform face yoga poses, your embarrassment will dissipate as quickly as it takes to see positive results. For best results, consult with an esthetician or facial fitness expert before beginning your facial yoga exercise program.
Make like a lion and roar. The traditional yoga Lion’s pose eases tension in your face and gives all of your facial muscles a workout. Include your best lion’s roar to the mix to improve circulation and prevent sagging jowls.
Toot your own horn. Fill your cheeks with air to simulate the facial movement of a trumpet player. Known as the Satchmo, this exercise works the buccinator muscles responsible for keeping your cheeks smooth and firm.
Tone and lift your cheeks with the Fish Face. While it may seem counter-intuitive, when you purse your lips and work those cheek muscles, you’re helping to smooth out the nasolabial folds, the “smile lines” that run from your nostrils to the outside corners of your mouth. Practice the Fish Face faithfully each day to prevent premature wrinkles and reduce the visible signs of aging.
- Sore facial muscles are a good indication that you are doing your exercises correctly.
- While advocates might claim that your appearance will improve after a single yoga session, face yoga instructors will encourage you to do your exercises for approximately 15 minutes daily.
Susan Brassard writes about natural health-related topics, complementary and alternative medicine and issues relative to a holistic approach to the aging process. Following a career in business and finance, she obtained a Master of Arts in gerontology and several certifications in energy therapies. She is the author of a workbook and resource guide for older adults.