Face Yoga

“A face that is open and friendly has a positive effect on your interactions with those around you. It has an effect on our inner world, creating feelings of optimism and fun”

Face yoga is coming to Yoga Dharma and it has prompted me to research what it is all about. The most references I have so far come across are about looking younger, an alternative to surgical facelift or Botox. I think that’s a shame as it will give the wrong signals once again what yoga really is. I think it’s fair to say that practising face yoga will as a by-product keep the face young and healthy because yoga works on many levels, not the other way around.

I remember when I was quite young in the mid-sixties seeing an older woman demonstrating exercises for the face on TV, with no mention of yoga. It’s just the same as exercises for the body, there is a world of difference between that and yoga. One system makes the body fit and healthy, the other is a path of self-transformation, and as a result the body becomes fit and healthy.

The face will benefit from exercises, but at the same time it needs to relax. I can see face yoga becoming very big, and as usual people will OD on face yoga causing more harm than good. You only need to look around at fads like hot yoga, which will one-day result in some one being seriously damaged, if it hasn’t happened already.

So let’s discount most of what is available on the net and make it a part of a balanced practice that involves the breath and complete awareness. I think a big part of face yoga be must learning the art of relaxation, coupled with a very good pranayama practice. One of the bodies most efficient means of detoxifying itself is the breath. Every time we draw in new breath and distribute it around the body, we receive new life. The better and more efficient the inhale the more toxins we release on the exhale, therefore work on your cardiovascular system as well.

Stretching the body will release tension in the soft tissue allowing the body to relax. Practising your asanas with care for alignment will enable us to hold our frame with ease, and this will allow us to communicate calmly and efficiently with the outside world. Working on good core stability has an amazing effect on our inner confidence and inner strength. I don’t mean arrogance, but an inner calm that shows we are confident to the world out there. We then draw new experiences into our lives bringing about the transformation that yoga really is.

That all said what are the benefits of adding face yoga to your practice. I have noticed as I get older my face is beginning to drop, as you would expect. I do make an effort to keep my face open and friendly (not sure everyone would agree with that). A face that is open and friendly has a positive effect on your interactions with those around you. It has an effect on our inner world, creating feelings of optimism and fun. Just like my body my face needs to be looked after, so I will be adding face yoga to my practice.

The benefits of exercising and relaxing of the face muscles will help to stop the scowling or tense face. We may not always be aware of it but the face reflects our inner world, so making a conscious decision to work on the outer manifestation of our inner tension will eventually feedback with positive results.

Some of the techniques of face yoga will stimulate blood supply improving oxygen supply which will help stimulate collagen.

Martin Thompson