We have heard about the benefits of yoga – how it helps you become more flexible, improves strength and balance and has an overall calming effect on your mental health as well. But have you heard of face yoga?
A recent beauty trend that has taken social media by a storm, face yoga is the use of gentle hand movements to work out the face and neck muscles.
The best time to practise face yoga is early in the morning, as soon as you wake up. To achieve a healthy complexion and see visible results, you can exercise once a day for 20-30 minutes six days a week. Ensure you use a moisturizer, serum or facial oil while practising these facial workouts as it makes it easier to do the movements, helps in better absorption of the product and also avoids wear and tear of the skin.
While its origins are debated, Aditi Shorewal, certified face yoga coach says “face yoga is a confluence of eastern practices and modern science that targets both health and aesthetics. It taps into the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and marma points as stimulating specific points on the face can enhance your health and beauty.”
This science-based beauty treatment has influences of ancient India along with traditional Chinese and Japanese techniques, says Vibhuti Arora, face yoga expert. She believes that face yoga became popular as “there was a gap in the market between traditional dermat treatments and salon facials. There was no holistic path to facial wellness for people who were tired of spending a lot of money on steroid-based treatments.”
How does it help?
If done correctly, face yoga can be very beneficial as these exercises stimulate the muscles around your cheeks, jawline, neck, eyelids, eyebrows and forehead and tones your face to make you look youthful as it lifts sagging or loosening skin and improves the blood circulation. It is activates the lymphatic system to help reduce puffiness, drains toxins, improves collagen production and skin elasticity says Dr Rinky Kapoor, dermatologist.
“Just like regular yoga helps you stay fit and sculpted, face yoga can help tighten facial muscles, contour your cheekbones. When toggled and nudged in the right direction, these muscles increase blood flow, improves fine lines and early signs of ageing while strengthening your jawline and neck,” advises Dr Sushma Yadav, Dermatologist.
Experts warn that you won’t see results overnight and these exercises need to be done for atleast a month before you see visible differences. Setting unrealistic expectations of a botox-like lift or being inconsistent won’t give you the results you are looking for.
Are there any negative effects?
Like any exercise, if you do not get the technique right or overdo it, there can be repercussions. This applies to face yoga as well and Kapoor agrees. “If not done correctly, face yoga can cause more wrinkles and lines,” she adds. It can also cause self-inflected facial sagging or puffiness if you use the wrong techniques or tug the wrong muscles or skin warns Arora.
Shorewal disagrees as she believes there are no side effects and everyone can enjoy it as the exercise can be adapted to a person’s medical issues or skin conditions. “Even if you get out of the habit and stop doing it, you won’t experience any damage,” she adds.
One thing all the experts agreed on is learning the correct movements from an expert and focusing on not just your face but your entire body – both internally and externally.
Try these exercises to work out your facial muscles
Inputs from Aditi Shorewal, certified face yoga coach
Puff out your cheeks as though your mouth were full of water and close your lips together. Start breathing in and out deeply through your nose. Then start to transfer air from cheek to cheek. Continue for up to 30 seconds and, if comfortable, extend it for up to one minute. It will address sagging cheeks, loss of volume on cheeks and nasal labial folds.
Place the tips of your fingers of one hand under your chin. Rest your elbow of the same arm on the palm of your other hand. Create resistance by pushing your chin into the tips of your fingers. Hold for three breaths. Then, using the tops of the fingers of both hands gently tap the lower chin, alternating between each hand for 15 seconds. The first part is great for firming and sculpting jowls. The second part is wonderful for boosting collagen and elastin.
Things to keep in mind before, during and after doing face yoga
Inputs by Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Cosmetic Dermatologist
Before starting, make sure to clean your face and hands.
If you have had a cosmetic procedure recently, avoid facial yoga exercises.
Use slow and controlled moments.
Doing just one exercise or focusing on one problem area will not do the trick. Face yoga is a holistic process and must be done in a sequence.
If you see lines forming during the exercise routine, soothe them out.