Face Yoga: Why It’s a Thing and the 5 Best Exercises

face yoga exercises
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Andrea Piacquadio

Face yoga has been making a name for itself as the natural alternative to plastic surgery. It’s supposed to be relaxing, fun, and act as a natural wrinkle remover. We’ll take a look at how it works, some face yoga exercises, and whether or not it actually delivers on its promises.

How Does Face Yoga Work?

The term face yoga covers various exercises that work the facial muscles. If you do the exercises regularly, they should help with wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes. Regular training is also said to strengthen the facial muscles, which in turn, counteract sagging skin.

A group of Chicago-based researchers examined the effects of facial yoga on women aged 40 to 65 in a study. They concluded that a 30-minute workout of the facial muscles, performed daily or every other day, could make facial features look younger after about 5 months. Other studies that provide sufficient scientific evidence of the anti-aging effect of facial yoga are still lacking.

Is Face Yoga Effective?

face yoga
Laughter is the best medicine for the soul…but also for your face. Improve your mood and the mood of those around you by smiling and laughing more. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Andrea Piacquadio)

Even if it doesn’t have a botox effect, regular facial training also helps in other ways. When under high pressure and stress in everyday life, we tend to have default facial expressions: Drooping corners of the mouth, pinched eyebrows, furrowed brow. These make us appear annoyed and reserved to other people.

If you regularly get your facial muscles moving by making unusual expressions, this has a positive effect on your mood and the people around you. After all, a smile is contagious! It has been scientifically proven that positive facial expressions, such as a smile, can have a positive effect on your mood. It is also scientifically proven that laughter yoga (prolonged, voluntary laughter) has a positive effect against stress and depression.

A happy face can also make the people around you feel good. Sometimes just a small smile is enough to brighten someone else’s day. Facial yoga can help you become more aware of your facial expressions in everyday life and allow you to relax your features.

5 Best Face Yoya Exercises

When getting ready for a face yoga session, start off by relaxing all your features. It may shock you to see how much tension you hold in your face! Try out our favorite face yoga exercises and let your face relax.

1. Kissy Face

Use this exercise to train the lower facial muscles in your cheeks, lips and chin.

  • Pucker your lips, pulling your cheeks inward.
  • Hold this position for one to two minutes.
  • Then take a deep breath in and hold it, with your cheeks puffed out
  • Hold this position for ten to 20 seconds.

Repeat both exercises alternately two to four times. 

2. Lion Face

facial exercises
This face yoga pose is inspired by the king of the jungle. Don’t forget to let your best roar out when releasing the tension. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Rachel Claire )

This face yoga exercise is great after a stressful day – use it to release all your pent-up tension and negative feelings. This face yoga move helps with lengthening and strengthening facial muscles. 

  • Open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue. Stick your tongue down as far as you can.
  • Breathe in deeply through your mouth and yell once as loud as you can on the exhale.

Continue this exercise as many times as you feel necessary.

3. Spit it Out

While it may remind you of your dental hygiene routine, this exercise is meant to help keep cheeks plump and reduce likelihood of excess skin around the chin. 

  • Puff your cheeks out like you have a mouthful of water.
  • Swish the air around in your cheeks just like you would when using mouthwash. 
  • Continue for 2 minutes.

Aim for three repeats of this exercise.

4. Grin and Bear It

facial exercises
Take inspiration from children for this one. It’s just like telling children to say “cheese” when posing for the camera. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Pexels)

This face yoga exercise involves consciously tensing as many facial muscles as possible and then relaxing them again.

  • Squeeze your eyes as tightly as possible and grin broadly, making sure the corners of your mouth are pulled tight.
  • Hold this position for one to two minutes.
  • Relax your facial muscles and let them hang down expressionlessly.

Try to do this exercise two to three times per session.

5. Smooth Worry Lines

This exercise is supposed to prevent wrinkles by smoothing the skin, however it’s debatable as to if it actually works. Regardless, this popular face yoga exercise can be quite relaxing. 

  • Open your mouth and form an O shape. Relax and let your chin drop down.
  • Place your palms on the outside of your face so that your fingertips are at the level of your temples.
  • Using your hands, gently pull your skin back and up.
  • Hold the position for at least 30 seconds.

Let your facial features relax briefly and then repeat the exercise two or three more times.

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Gesichtsyoga: Wirkung und die wichtigsten Übungen

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