If you practiced every yoga in existence except for facial yoga, then no, you haven’t been taking care of your skin the right way, sorry. That’s right, face yoga is an essential ritual you must add to your beauty routine. It doesn’t just help relaxation, it also replenishes your skin and your facial muscles, gifting your skin with a beautiful shine, smoothing out all the creases. It became very popular in the US because its results are similar to those you get from Botox, only, it doesn’t involve surgery.
Aveda gave me the chance to follow a class with Silvia Salvarani, personal trainer and facial yoga coach — a true facial yoga expert. The first thing that she felt she should remind us of was that our personality and our emotions tend to change the skin on our face: thinking negatively and looking thoughtful creates tension on our face, and this is where lines come from. So, the first — and most important — step is to get up and SMILE. Smiling doesn’t involve any physical exertion, all it involves is being happy and feeling good: smiling is also proven to be good for your health, since it encourages endorphin production, decreases your blood pressure and slows down your heartbeat, while stimulating your creativity and giving you an extra energy boost. So… Remember to smile more!
The second step is preparing and warming up your hands: rub them together until you feel the heat, and place them on your eyes, to shelter them from sunlight. After that, softly press with your fingers and hands. To warm up your neck muscles, too, put your hand on your ear and press towards your face: once you touch your neck with your other hand, you will feel the tense muscle with your hand.
And now, for actual exercise. First we will focus on two body parts we don’t really usually consider, but that need a lot of care, especially when trying to prevent lines: your neck, and your décolleté. Flash a forced smile, but don’t let the corners of your mouth go up, make a fist and place your hands underneath your chin. While smiling more and more, try to put some pressure on the hands. Hold this isometric position for as long as you can. Here are two other fun exercises: the first one, click your tongue while pushing your chin out, as if you were trying to make a trotting horse sound; the second one, pull your tongue out, with your tongue resting over your lower lip.
And now for your lips: put the tips of your index fingers into your mouth, around the corners, and try to make it wider and wider, applying some pressure. Another less challenging exercise: Make an “O” shape with your mouth, and pull your lips towards the inside. As for your cheeks… All you need to do is smile! Or, puff them up, and apply a little pressure on them and on your lips at the same time, as if you wanted to blow out and keep the air inside your mouth at the same time.
It’s time to take care of the area around your eyes: lightly place your index fingers underneath your eyebrows, your thumbs underneath your eyes, look up and lift your lower lids as if you wanted to close your eyes. After that, close your upper and lower lids, and repeat.
Finally, let’s work on your forehead, with two very easy exercises: the first one involves blocking the top of your eyebrows with your index fingers, and then pulling the corners of your eyebrows up and towards your temples as if you were trying to frown. The second exercise involves holding your hairline with your index fingers and frowning.
To finish with a bit of relaxation, bend your head down and softly pinch your face, then look up, and knead your skin, lifting it by stroking it vigorously from the bottom towards your temples. And voila! Your face will look radiant and fresh. Try it, you’ll see!
You can sit or stand for this skincare ritual, as long as you’re relaxed, and to finish it in the best way possible, apply some moisturiser. So, do you feel like trying? Get inspiration from the gallery, follow the exercises we will show you there, and most of all… Smile!