The pandemic has made us all realise the importance of being fit and healthy. More and more people are finding time to fit an exercise or yoga routine into their lives. With all the latest fitness trends that are making news, there is one more that is quickly gaining popularity, and that is Face Yoga, says Delna Mistry Anand. Right from the celebrities who constantly face the cameras (and those who are ready to try every anti aging treatment), to people who simply want to look and feel fit, everybody is going crazy for face yoga, especially because it is so simple. Did you just raise your eyebrow while reading this? Well, you just did one asana of face yoga already (sort of!).
Face yoga is a series of exercises that promise to do for your face what yoga does for your body: relax and tone muscles, which ultimately smooths those tension-filled expressions we make every day without even realizing it. And simply by relaxing those stressed facial muscles gives us a natural face lift. The best part is that you don’t need too much time to do these. You can do it whilst watching television at home, or when you need a short break from your office desk– but I’d suggest you do them in private (let me warn you, some of the face-asanas aren’t going to look very flattering!)
So here are some asanas that will help you tone and relax your chin and jaw muscles and knock off the double chin.
Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or on a chair with your spine erect, and take in a few long breaths.
Neck stretch back – Point chin towards the sky. Keeping your head back, gently open and close your mouth. When you close your mouth, try to stretch your lower lip over your upper lip. Repeat 10 times, and bring your head to centre.
Side to Side – Now gently drop your head to the right shoulder. To add slight pressure, you could use your right hand to hold your head. Hold for 3-4 breaths and repeat on the left shoulder. You can repeat the process a few more times on each side, and bring head back to centre.
Neck Stretch – Leading with the chin, gently drop your head back and then down letting the chin touch your chest. Do this as slowly as you can, 5-10 times.
Upward Facing Dog
Lie on your mat with your stomach facing the floor. Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet on the floor. Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor beside your waist so that your forearms are relatively perpendicular to the floor. Inhale and press your inner hands firmly into the floor and slightly back, as if you were trying to push yourself forward along the floor. Then straighten your arms and simultaneously lift your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor on an inhalation. Keep the thighs firm and slightly turned inward, the arms firm and turned out so the elbow creases face forward. Firm the shoulder blades against the back and puff the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward. Look straight ahead or tip the head back slightly, but take care not to compress the back of the neck and harden the throat. Lift your hips slightly off the mat. Hold from 15-20 seconds, and keep breathing normally. Release back to the floor with an exhale and lie down on your back. End the session with Shavasana – lying on your back, arms by your side, palms facing the sky and legs and feet relaxed.
The results may not be dramatic overnight, like every exercise, you need to be regular with it. But if it makes your face look a little more youthful and relaxed and toned, I’d say it’s definitely worth a try.
Image Courtesy : Hemaxi Jari