HEALTH & WELLNESS
What if you could come out of this confinement looking years younger? Well, we certainly can't promise anything, but followers swear by this method to tighten and tone their face. Local ex-pat, Eva Lu, is a licenced acupuncturist from California and is certified in Face Yoga Method and Sculptural Face Lifting. From lockdown in Golfe-Juan, she has been hosting a series of free online Face Yoga sessions. Here, we bring you an article she did for Riviera Insider's Wellness special.
Shed years with Face Yoga
Ageing gracefully and naturally is not just a trend, it’s a lifestyle shift for the mind, body, and spirit. People all over the world are looking for ways to rejuvenate their face, to maintain their youth, or to age gracefully without undergoing the knife or injections. Fortunately, Face Yoga is one of the ways that offers long term rejuvenation and nurturing for those who are searching for a natural way to embrace and work with the body’s natural process of ageing.
What is Face Yoga?
Just like it sounds, Face Yoga is a series of exercises to sculpt the facial muscles through breath-work, isolating facial muscles through relaxation and contraction. Face Yoga is a method to add suppleness and tone to the geography of the face as it changes due to the natural loss of bone density, fatty deposits, and muscle integrity. Effective at building facial symmetry and retraining the expressions of the face, Face Yoga can be done anywhere, at any time, and only takes a few minutes to do each day. It can be a fun way to relax the mind and body while bringing more awareness and oxygen into your cells with each pose. Consistency is key to real and lasting results.
Consider the face as a map. “Ageing” of the face tells the story of one’s experiences throughout life, and essentially, it is like an open book, a collection of the habitual emotions and expressions that can imprint and manifest into physical signs like uneven skin tone, hollowness, dryness, puffiness, lines, redness, patchiness, and skin eruptions. These external signs can show to the trained eye the internal mental, physical, and emotional story. In practice, I observe the features of the face and also assess what the Chinese call “shen” to develop customised sessions for clients. Shen is the life force that can be observed from the colouring of the complexion, the awareness and clarity in the eyes, and the soul that emanates from within – or in a word, GLOW.
Face Yoga empowers users to age gracefully through self-awareness while reconditioning muscles and facial expressions to prevent and smooth out the skin with simple exercises. By stimulating blood circulation for a glowing complexion, it encourages lymphatic drainage for detoxifying the face; decreases puffiness; and increases the natural production of the skin-plumping proteins, collagen and elastin.
Face Yoga coaxes and opens the radiance of one’s soul through the face, like a blossoming flower. This method retrains habitual movements and expressions by waking up and relaxing the muscles, similar to exercising the body. On the psycho-somatic level of treating the mind, body, and spirit, Face Yoga helps to release stagnation from trauma and unexpressed emotions that get stuck in the face and body.
Subtle changes can be experienced after the first session, including softening of the nasolabial folds, relaxing of the forehead and lengthening of the neck and jawline. Practising the poses a few minutes a day is the way to reap the lasting and long-haul benefits of Face Yoga and to change the overall facial landscape.
Face Yoga may be used safely after injections of Botox and fillers have settled down into the treated muscles (after 5 to 6 weeks). Some people also turn to it for rehabilitating the muscles after facial trauma, stroke or Botox damage. It can also help reduce inflammation and stagnation after surgical procedures by increasing blood flow to nourish the muscles and to maintain their tone and integrity. Caution with pregnancy and a history of certain medical conditions; if you are at risk, please consult your doctor before starting any of these treatments. As with any exercise program, it is best to establish a routine and build upon the foundation over time with a trainer who specialises in Face Yoga.
Exercises for lifting the neck and jawline
Begin by sitting or standing with both feet planted on the ground. Close your eyes. Inhale slowly and gently through your nose, filling your chest and abdomen for five counts and exhale slowly through your nose for five counts. Repeat five times. Open your eyes.
1) Platysma Stretch (contraindicated with neck pain or injury): Gently anchor skin below your collar bone with the palms of your hands, one hand over the other hand. Place your chin to chest. Slowly lift and follow your gaze toward the sky with your chin. Challenge: Rest your tongue at the roof of your mouth. Keep the neck neutral without overextension. Hold this pose for five rounds of breath – inhale, exhale through the nose. Effective for lengthening and lifting the neck and jawline!
2) Big O: Drop your jaw as if you are yawning; you can use the pads of your fingers to tap gently around your jaw and neck in this pose. Remember to breathe! Hold this pose for 3 rounds of breath. Keep your neck neutral. Challenge: Lift your gaze upward to the sky. Great for relaxing tight jaws.
Perform this sequence one to two times per day and relax your forehead and shoulders throughout the poses.
Follow Eva on Instagram @faceyogawitheva or visit her website: https://evaluintegrativewellness.com/