Face Yoga – beauty, inside and out!

I have been interested in the connection between yoga and beauty for several years, studying the work of Annelise Hagen and Danielle Collins out of an interest for how yoga and facial exercises can benefit our outer appearance. Yoga has always given me a more relaxed countenance and a more glowing skin, but was there any truth to the idea that we can actually reduce aging and create a more beautiful appearance through face yoga and massage?

After completing Annelise Hagen’s training in January (which I highly recommend!) and continuing to study the various approaches to facial exercises, gua sha and massage techniques, I’m more convinced than ever of their effectiveness for both outer and inner loveliness.

What is face yoga?

In the words of the luminous Annelise Hagen (my trainer), ALL yoga is face yoga. Doing any kind of yoga will promote relaxation, release tension in the face muscles and bring fresh circulation to the skin. There are even traditional postures that directly enhance skin by giving you a rosy glow (think inversions and Breathwork) and working muscles in the face (Lion’s Face pose).

Face yoga may also include facial exercises, massage techniques, acupressure, and the use of tools like gua sha and facial rollers.

Why practice face yoga?

Think about how your forehead furrows when you are worried or how your skin can feel tired and lacklustre after a night of bad sleep. Our faces are the reflection of our inner state, holding onto tension and feeling the effects of dehydration, stress and even the expressions we fall into like frowning and glaring.

By incorporating the elements of face yoga into our daily routines, we can:

  • Soften lines by relaxing tension in the forehead, jaw and other areas in the face that hold stress
  • Bring fresh blood flow to the face, for rosier cheeks and brighter skin.
  • Give our skin some loving attention through touch, massage and the application of natural oils and serums.
  • Boost confidence in our own inner and outer beauty.

Amazing benefits for a routine that can take just a few minutes and feel beautiful to practice!

What are some easy ways to add face yoga to your day?

  • After you cleanse your face at night (I just use Dove soap), apply a few drops of serum or a natural oil to your face and take some time to gently massage. You can do this intuitively or follow a video from facialist Abigail James who has quite literally written the book about facial massage.
  • Throughout the day, take opportunities to relax tension in the face. Close your eyes and soften your eye gaze as you take some deep belly breaths. Gently massage your jaw with your index and middle fingers and do some gentle neck stretches. Circle the shoulders and really become aware of how tension builds in your facial muscles.
  • A very simple exercise to relieve eye strain is to relax your gaze and then make shapes with your eye gaze – circles, diamonds and then focusing on a spot in the distance and then back to a finger in front of your face. This will help to strengthen the orbicularis oculi muscles around the eyes.

If you have any questions about face yoga, please let me know! You can try out my Face Yoga video for forehead tension here:

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