Sarah Guerrero is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She has a degree in international business from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and writes about sustainable business practices and ethical living.
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I live in my head, and I’m notoriously disconnected from my body. I’ve learned to depend on small routines like earthing and facial massage. Yoga for the face isn’t new, but it’s a reminder to me to release the tension in the back of my neck and my jaw, relax my forehead...and just let some stuff GO!
Some people love facial yoga because it promises anti-aging benefits: relaxing wrinkles and plumping sagging skin. Others (like me) love it for the release of tension (after all, there are 42 muscles in your face alone!).
As with most things, the trick to facial yoga seems to be consistency. Most people don’t start seeing a change in appearance (glowing skin, stronger facial muscles) until at least two weeks. Though I don’t think you have to wait that long to experience the anti-stress benefits.
Want to try facial yoga? Here are three simple face yoga exercises that you can do right now!
According to this expert, saxophone players always have firm cheeks, because of how they play. And this yoga pose works the same way (minus the music).
Take a big breath and puff out your cheeks like a bullfrog or chipmunk. Then let out the air. Repeat.
British face yoga expert Danielle Collins says this exercise reduces and prevents lines on the lower half of your face (around your mouth and nose) and lifts the chin, cheek, and neck.
While you're smiling with your mouth open, pull the top lip and bottom lip over your teeth, and then make an “O” shape with your mouth. With your lips over your teeth, go back and forth from a smile to an “O” shape. Next, press your index finger in the middle of your chin. Tilt your head back and then bring it back down while you continue your smiling/”O” shape routine.
This exercise can help with the frown lines on your forehead in between your eyebrows; Melissa Murphy uses it as part of her facial yoga class, which focuses on self-acceptance and inner beauty rather than on outward “perfection” (whatever that means).
Hold your index finger on the top of your forehead, and then use your middle finger to gently smooth the skin from your brow line towards your eyes “down and out.” Melissa says to repeat this 50 times.
Consider using a serum or facial oil to help with the massage part of these exercises, and to keep skin from cracking if it’s dry.
And how often should you practice facial yoga? You can practice it whenever you want to feel better, but if you want to see results in your face, you should plan to spend 30 minutes a day practicing these exercises. Happy stretching!