Five Yoga Exercises for Your Face, Sounds Funny, Right?


When most people picture yoga in their mind, they envision poses, tranquility, and breathing. They're also usually aware that yoga can increase flexibility, enhance mindfulness, and develop toned muscles.

Less well-known are more obscure types of yoga, such as yoga for your face?


Wait....What? Yoga for your face? : / 


The first time we heard this, we were a little skeptical as well, but knowing the benefits of yoga for the rest of your body (muscles, joints and such), we decided to do a little exploring on the topic. 

Our face has muscles, right! Theoretically, we guess it could work at tightening up our facial tone???

In the 21st century, seemingly more then ever people are not just looking for ways to look younger, but ways to do this naturally, without surgeries and other non-natural exposures. 

According to Healthline, face yoga is about massages and exercises used to target your face, neck and shoulders that can work to thicken the muscles of the face, eliminating things like sunken cheeks and delivering a clearer complexion. It also works on the tissue drainage system or lymphatics

An article published on U.S. News states that, "face yoga involves strength training muscles in and around your face". As you work through some of the muscles, fingers are actually used to "act like weights or resistance".  There are also varying amounts of times that certain positions can be held for. 


Let's Explore the Research?

We were able to conjure up a few research studies that involved looking at the potential benefits of face "type" yoga. 

i. Published in 2018 was a pilot study that assess the association of a 20-week facial exercise program in middle aged women. The results of the study seemed less then definitive as to whether face yoga could improve facial appearance, stating that, "seemed to improve mid-face and lower face fullness". The study also described some limitations as well, which you can read more about by clicking on the link above. 

ii. Other research has been done looking at the effects of facial massage and blood flow, concluding that short term facial massage can increase facial blood flow, and long term use improved vascular dilatation response. Better blood flow means better nutrient delivery to muscles, such as oxygen. 

All-in-all, we think it's safe to say, more research is needed to assess some of these touted claims on facial yoga, but it's a cool thought nonetheless.

However here a 5 exercises that we found repeatedly when facial yoga was discussed. 


5 Common Techniques




 

Reducing Wrinkles of the Forehead

The first of these exercises for your face works to deliver pressure to your forehead and theoretically "reduce" the effects of wrinkles.

To do this, make a fist with both hands and place them on your forehead. Using your knuckles as points of contact, apply pressure to your forehead and slide them across slowly. You should start in the center of your forehead and end at or around your temples. (touted claim)


Jaw Stretching

As you go throughout your day, you might notice that you clench your jaws, and they become tight and sore. This exercise is to help remove jaw tension and may also aide in firming up your neck & chin area. (touted claim)

To perform this exercise, pucker your lips and try to hold them to one side of your face until you feel tension in your cheeks. Turn your head to the same side that you have puckered your lips on and tilt it until you feel a mild stretch in the neck. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then repeat for the opposite side of your face.


Palm Facelift

This exercise is touted to reduce smile lines and can help relieve tension that builds up in your face. Doing this exercise regularly, theoretically, may help will improve blood flow and circulation in your face, possibly leading to better complexion as toxins are moved away.

To do this exercise, make sure that your palms are flat and place them on your temples. Use the palms of your hand to lift your face by pushing backward while loosening your jaw and opening your mouth into a circle-shaped position. You can perform as many repetitions as you like, but you'll want to hold each iteration 5 to 10 seconds.

 

Lifting the Temples

Another exercise that certainly feels nice, and may help relieve tension, is performing temple lifts.

To do this exercise, lift one arm over your head and place your fingertips on your temple. Gently pull your head towards your shoulder so that it rests at a slight angle. You should feel the skin on your face become taught and also a mild stretch in the neck.

You should hold this position for a few moments and perform the same procedure on the other.

 

Eye Relief

This exercise is touted to smooth-out puffy areas under the eyes and reduce wrinkles that may accumulate over time. To perform this exercise, take your pointer and middle finger on each hand and form them into a peace sign. Then place them so that each finger rests at a corner of your eyebrows.

Next, while applying pressure, use your eyes to look towards the ceiling, but do not tilt your head. Then at the same time, attempt to squint so that you feel tension in your lower eyelids.

Afterward, close your eyes and hold them tightly for several seconds. The eye relief this exercise delivers, coupled with the reduction of wrinkles, make it one of the best yoga exercises for your face.



Final Thoughts:

This was an interesting post to say the least, but hey maybe with some of these exercises you can at least relieve some of that unwarranted tension that may build throughout your day. 

As always, share your experiences in the comments section on how yoga has changed or improved your life.


Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/face-yoga#definition

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/

- https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/does-face-yoga-really-work


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