A fitness regime forms part of almost everyone’s daily routine these days. Gyms, yoga and dancercise classes are full of enthusiasts wanting to be shipshape. The entire focus is on the body, while the face — which is one of the first areas to give off signs of ageing — is completely ignored. Those who can afford it, resort to expensive techniques such as Botox and other cosmetic treatments. The rest try to cover up with make-up tricks.
‘Prevention is better than cure’ holds good for facial ageing too. If we are willing to contort and twist our body to achieve the perfect frame, why not do the same for the face to keep looking young and radiant?
There are simple exercises for the face to de-stress, relax and tone the facial muscles, and to preserve a youthful look.
While ‘facial yoga’, as it is popularly known, cannot stop ageing, it can definitely delay the process. The workout improves blood circulation and makes the face glow. It helps delay/ reduce fine lines and wrinkles, correct a sagging jawline and a double chin, remove puffiness of the eyes and a ‘hung-over’ look, and improve the contouring of the face.
There are about 50 facial yoga exercises — for the forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, lips, jaw, chin and neck. It is advisable to practise all 50 at least once a week, while on a daily basis, one can choose 10 exercises that are most relevant to one’s requirement.
Though the routine can be done at any time individually, done in a group, it has the additional benefit of invoking laughter — the best medicine — as the exercises make one look very funny.
Practised by both women and men, facial yoga has proved to take years off the face. The earlier one starts, the better. A workout that does not take more than 15 minutes per day, goes a long way. Start today, and as with any goal, persist till you see the fruits of your labour. You will no longer need to fish for compliments — heads will turn in awe at a radiant, younger-looking you!
FIVE SIMPLE FACIAL YOGA EXERCISES
It is important to moisturise the face and neck with a cream before starting the workout, as stretching dry skin can cause wrinkles. After each exercise, rub your palms and place them over the area you have worked on.
1. To delay/ reduce fine lines on the forehead and to ease tension/stress/headache:
Slide the fingers (held close together) applying light pressure, from the centre of the forehead to the temples, raising the eyebrows while doing so. Relax. Repeat 20-40 times.
2. To reduce puffiness of the eyes:
(a) Place the three middle fingers under the eyes and pull downwards, keeping the eyes open. Now, close the eyes for 2-3 seconds. Relax. Repeat 20-40 times.
(b) Place the forefingers under the eyebrow centre and push up. Now look down. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Relax. Repeat 20-40 times.
3. To correct a sagging jawline, to reduce a double chin and to reduce wrinkles/ fine lines on the neck:
Pout the lips and touch them to the nose. Now look up at the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 20-40 times.
4. To tone the cheeks and to reduce puffiness:
Breathe in through the nose and blow up your cheeks and upper lip. Now move the air from side to side 20 times on each side at one go. Exhale through the mouth.
5. To keep the lips smooth and supple:
Pucker the lips like a fish and smile. Relax. Repeat 20-40 times.
(The author is a fitness instructor. She conducts individual and group sessions on facial yoga and can be contacted at: email@example.com)