How to Fall in Love with Your Reflection
Introducing Yoga for Your Face
Watch this video- in it I tell you a bit about why I love facial yoga, but more importantly, I demonstrate all my favorite postures! Watch it and then take a read- in this blog I tell you more about the healing powers of yoga for your face.
Why Do Yoga for Your Face?
Facial yoga is promoted as a way to turn back time, but there are many more reasons to get on board with this practice. We practice yoga to maintain fit and flexible bodies to carry us around. We practice meditation and breath work to build mental clarity and alertness. To me it makes sense show a little love to my face with awareness and movement.
Our face hosts our sense organs. Our brain processes input from our senses to create our perceptions and beliefs. Strong muscles in our face take care of our sensory organs, enhance our sensory inputs, and improve communication. Weak muscles can hurt or confuse our sensory inputs and detract from our ability to have impact in our world.
Facial Yoga moves blood and lymph to nourish the muscles our face and clear out waste products. Movement can make a huge difference in how our facial muscles work and how our face appears to others. Facial yoga builds muscle tone.
Emotion paints our experience on our face- patterns become etched in our faces as we age. What emotions are your go-to each day? Frustration, anxiety or gaiety all create their own facial patterns. With facial yoga we get to soften the effects of the brush strokes.
I teach face yoga techniques to students who inquire and at workshops. Recently one of my students asked if I was doing facial yoga out of vanity. I had to think about it before I replied. “Not really,” I thought. I am okay with being 60. My hair is a natural salt and pepper, and I don’t wear makeup. Ayurveda has taught me to understand and like who I am.
Facial Yoga Helped Me Heal
When I got Lyme disease I had the classic symptom of Bells Palsy. The nerve that feeds one side of my face was impacted and I experienced significant droop. I used facial yoga to help regain symmetry between the two sides of my face. It is not perfect, but close enough.
Then a couple of years later I was bitten by black flies. I had 6 bites across my forehead. These biting flies plaque New England in the spring. They carry infections and I got one that closed my eye almost shut. I couldn’t see at all out of the eye. Again I used medical treatment, eye care and facial yoga to strengthen my eye and eyelid muscles. I really appreciate being able to open both my eyes wide!
I don’t need to look like anything other than myself, but I want to look more and more like my best-self – a person who loves and takes care of herself. How about You? Facial Yoga can help.
Face Circulation Support
Good circulation is key for healthy muscles. Here are a few ideas to improve circulation in your face.
- Hydration Sipping warm water has many benefits.
- Collagen and Elastin- my main source is bone broth.
- Yoga to support blood flow to the face.
- Legs up the Wall Viparati Karini
- Adho Mukha Svasana
Facial Yoga Lifts and Smooths 3 Problem Places
Start slow and easy with face workouts. If the muscles get overtired your whole face might droop in fatigue rather than lift and tone. 3 reps of an exercise for 10 seconds each can be plenty to start.
Crows Feet bother people when they look in the mirror and see them. Gosh, people are shooting botox- aka botulism toxin- into their face to paralyze muscles so crows feet won’t show. You see a lot of frozen foreheads on TV. This scares me a little! Here is a great little practice to banish crows feet and ditto for liver and spleen lines. Morning Senses Prayer.
Thinning Lips trouble people to the point where they get collagen injections to puff things back up. Issues include bumps and bruises as well as having to go for injections every 6 months to a year. I prefer the tongue tracing pose as a great alternative.
“Jowls” and “Turkey Neck” are a favorite target for plastic surgeons, but a lot can be done without going under the knife. Check out the Jowl exercise from Facial Magic that I demonstrate in the video for a simple way to address this.
Facial Muscle Movement
The Yoga Face by Annelise Hagen is a book about how yoga in general and facial yoga, in particular, helps people. It shows pictures and gives descriptions of a variety of poses to support muscle tone in the face. It includes sequences of poses to support facial tone and appearance.
Facial Magic by Cynthia Rowland is a program that includes an exercise video and booklet, that builds a routine for the whole face over a number of weeks. This is a simple set of exercise that really work. The program comes with a great video demonstration for each exercise and a booklet for quick regular practice. Maintenance is two or three times a week.
Do you have a favorite yoga pose for your face or facial yoga resource? Share it with our community. Take good care of the seat of your senses. Love your beautiful face. A 10 minute morning practice a couple times a week can work wonders. Do the work to build strength and flexibility that you have in a yoga body to create a yoga face.
About the Yoga Health Coaching Blogger
Mary Sullivan MS, KRM, AYS is a writer teacher and researcher by education and experience. Mary is a long time member of the Yoga Healer Community. Mary helps people identify and implement daily practices, habits and paradigms that build their wellness and resiliency. She writes and teaches classes on lifestyle medicine for people with Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses. Mary began Dare to Self Care in 2013, as an outlet to help others. Connect with Mary on her website and facebook page.
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