Bothered by wrinkles? Why not get a yoga facial? Practitioners claim it can help tone, smooth, and soothe the skin.
For thousands of years, yoga has helped countless people achieve physical and spiritual well-being through its unique exercise system that stretches and strengthens the body. Now promoters say it can also make you look younger.
That may be good news to those who shun Botox and other expensive cosmetic procedures. The question is: does it work?
Ask Annelise Hagen, a yoga instructor in Manhattan’s wealthy Upper East Side who teaches facial exercises, and she’ll say it does. Hagen is the author of “The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift.” She believes a yoga facial can improve your appearance since it improves the circulation of weak and flabby facial muscles.
“The face carries a great deal of tension and energy. As a primary mode of expression, the face may form into hundreds of poses a day reflecting anger, happiness, sorrow, or a range of other emotions. Most individuals have at least a few tense muscles in the face which could benefit from facial exercises designed to loosen and free the muscles,” said S.E. Smith in WiseGeek.com.
“It uses the same principles of exercise you would use for any other parts of your body. Facial muscles also become more toned, so it is a natural way of getting a lift,” Hagen added.
Hagen claims a yoga facial can help people find inner and outer beauty and her students seem to agree as they go through the exercises. In one called “The Lion”, the mouth and eyes are opened as wide as possible with the tongue sticking out. This supposedly improves circulation and releases tension.
In “Satchmo”, the cheeks are blown out like a saxophone player while in “Marilyn” you blow kisses for full and firm lips. These exercises may be combined with a gentle facial massage.
“Running through all of the exercises which comprise a yoga facial takes approximately 15 minutes, and according to advocates should be done once a day. Long term effects are supposed to include a reduction in tension, an increase in circulation, and less tension related headaches. A yoga facial will also tone and improve the general condition of the skin. In combination with a regular yoga practice, it could bring balance and focus to your life, especially if you rarely take time to take care of your body,” Smith said.
However, not everyone is convinced of their worth. Dermatologists said the face already gets enough exercise from smiling, eating, and talking so there’s no need to add to this burden. Furthermore, some facial exercises can cause wrinkles since they force the face into unnatural expressions.
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