It's inevitable that everyone gets older, but that doesn't mean you have to look like you're getting older. Yoga instructor Annelise Hagen, author of "The Yoga Face," helps her students turn back the clock with yoga poses and exercises not only for the body but also the face. While Lion pose may be the only true yoga pose that helps combat sagging face muscles and wrinkles, Hagen has developed several yoga facial exercises to help improve your skin tone, reduce lines and increase circulation. Positive results should be noticed after three or four weeks of continuous exercise.
Roar Like a Lion
Typically performed while kneeling and sitting back on your heels, the facial portion of the traditional Lion pose can be performed on its own to help improve blood circulation and relieve tension in your facial muscles. Whether you choose to sit in a chair, cross-legged on the floor or stand, start by inhaling through your nose. Then, open your mouth as wide as you can, lower your jaw, stick your tongue out and curl its tip toward your chin. Open your eyes wide, look toward the ceiling and exhale through your mouth with a "haaaa" sound. Relax and repeat three times.
Lift and Tone Your Cheeks
The Satchmo and the Puppet Face, created by Hagen, can help tone your cheek muscles and the area around the cheekbone. To perform the Satchmo, inhale through your nose, puff out your cheeks and move the air from cheek to cheek. After 10 to 15 seconds, exhale and repeat two or three times. The Puppet Face helps smooth out the marionette lines that run from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. To do this exercise, put your index and middle fingers along the lines, apply a little pressure for resistance and smile. Briefly hold the smile, relax and repeat 20 times.
Dewrinkle Your Forehead
Hagen recommends the Surprise Me exercise to help work the frontalis muscles of your forehead and smooth out the wrinkles. Open your eyes as wide as you comfortably can, like you're surprised, and try not to wrinkle your brow. Focus on an object straight ahead of you and hold this position for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat five times. To smooth out the frown lines between your eyebrows, purposely scowl, place your index fingers just above and midway along your eyebrow, and resist the scowl by pulling your fingers to the sides. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat.
To develop fuller lips, Hagen recommends working the ring muscles around your lips with the Marilyn Monroe exercise. Place your index, middle and ring fingers against your lips, apply a little pressure to create resistance, pucker and pretend to blow a kiss. Repeat several times.
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Basic Facial Exercises
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