The Facial Exercises for Your Beauty
Your face is your emotional canvas. It is your brand: the label, or logo, by which others identify who you are. Like it or not, your face carries all your thoughts, feelings, and impressions, and then transmits them to the world instantaneously. The face also acts as an archive, or record bank, of your emotions, which is why the more one ages, the more one’s character is revealed.
You may be in the habit of scrunching your brow in response to life’s frustrations, which will in time show up as a pinched line between the brows. Or you may have a habitual tendency to “swallow rage,” rather than express your feelings, which may manifest in your jaw’s becoming clenched and your shoulders hunched.
Similarly, fear can cause the corners of the mouth to downturn in a grimacing frown. Whatever your predominant emotions, they will be reflected in your facial appearance. As an experiment, observe other people’s faces in public, perhaps when you are on the train to work or dining in a restaurant. Most telling are the faces that are alone in silent reverie—the unguarded expressions of strangers who don’t know they are being observed speak volumes. When people forget they are in public, all sorts of interesting facial habits can be witnessed. I am always shocked at the sad, angry, or lonely expressions I see in the faces of those around me.
Your face is a mirror of your soul
Little scowls, twitches from tension, puckered lips, and furrowed brows are all evidence of the myriad emotions that play out on our faces unbeknown to ourselves. Even if a person is not upset, concentration can cause all kinds of puckers and frowns on the face, which when repeated over and over will start to show up as permanent expressions in the form of wrinkles. But don’t despair! You do have control over what your face transmits. Contrary to what many think, the face is not a static mask, nor is it —in its present condition—something you are stuck with. With conscious practice and exercise, the face is quite malleable.
Plastic surgeons have often referred to the sculptural quality of their work, and are quite right in regarding the face as raw material. You can change your face. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes I used to catch myself off guard when I would see my reflection in a shop window— and I’d crack up at the silly scowl contorting my face. Now I have trained myself to maintain a neutral expression with a small smile of contentment as I walk through my daily tasks. If I do catch my reflection in a window, it tends to be more serene, and my facial appearance has smoothed considerably through this easy yet effective form of muscular training. And because I look pleasantly relaxed, I find that people treat me more congenially and life flows more easily.
Yoga Face will help you to become more beautiful
Doors open, both literally and metaphorically! Through the practice of the Yoga Face, you can positively transform your face without any surgery at all. Think of this as a creative act: have fun with the process, and get ready to create a masterpiece on the canvas of your skin. Gently guiding your facial muscles through daily reminders to smile or at least be neutral rather than puckering, frowning, or scowling will go a long way in erasing or easing emotional patterns that have become part of your facial expression. And there is a very active tool you can use as well: facial exercise! The following exercises are facial isolations that can be used as a sequence. Or you may pick and choose the ones you think are best for your face. For instance, if you have begun to notice signs of wrinkles in your brows or forehead, refer to the brow and forehead exercises in this chapter.
If you are concerned about keeping your lips firm and full, use the Marilyn exercise on a daily basis. If it’s your throat or jaw area that seems in need of firming and sculpting, use the Baby Bird or another exercise from the cluster that deals with this area. Each exercise cluster deals with a different part of the face, though if you want to keep your face in the best possible condition, I suggest you do all of these exercises daily. Once you achieve mastery of them, they won’t take more than six to eight minutes in total to practice. Do these exercises after a face cleansing, when you have applied some light moisturizer and the skin is a little slick. Morning or evening is fine— whichever you prefer.
Your facial agility depends on you and only on you
Think of these exercises as the scales a musician practices daily to stay in shape—only with you, your expressive instrument is your face and its muscles. You will notice that as you practice these “scales” more frequently, your facial agility will improve, and your range of expression will improve with your increased “face-ility.” While the exercises are effective because they engage the facial muscles, they also facilitate emotional release. Thus, letting go of tension and worry in the face is also an instant rejuvenator.
Exercise Cluster: Cheeks and Lips
This exercise is named after the inimitable Louis Armstrong. If you observe photographs of his cheeks, or any other trumpet player’s cheeks, you will see that they are firm and strong, long into old age. Years of engaging these muscles keeps them resilient. The muscles used to blow are the buccinators (they are the “apples” that form when you smile, lifting your cheeks up). If you exercise yours, they will stay strong and supple as well. Recall the joyful exuberance of Satchmo’s face as he played his horn, and use that ebullience as you firm your cheeks. Mechanics: Puff up both cheeks with air, then transfer air from cheek to cheek. Alternate back and forth until you are out of breath. Repeat three or four times.
This exercise will strengthen the ring muscles around the mouth and create stronger, firmer lips. It is also a mood elevator. As you blow glamorous kisses, visualize throngs of admiring fans. Mechanics: While keeping your brow smooth and unruffled, isolate your facial muscles to blow kisses. Repeat three or four times. Now add resistance by pressing your lips to your first two fingers. Pucker your lips and press lightly into the fingertips. Do three or four repetitions.
3. Sphinx Smile
Now is the time to examine your smile. Smiling and laughing invariably create grooves in the skin through their constant repetition, but if you observe your smile in the mirror, you can eradicate tendencies to inadvertently groove unnecessary lines into the face. Mechanics: Smile by lifting the corners of your mouth up and across, but keep your eyes neutral. Keep relaxed and smooth as you smile. Imagine you possess a mysterious secret—perhaps the answer to a long unsolved riddle! Do this three or four times, and ingrain the feeling of this smile into your muscle memory.
4. Tongue Tracing
This exercise will help keep your lips plump and your cheeks firm. It tones the neck and throat as well. It will also facilitate jaw release. Mechanics: Open your mouth in a perfect “O” shape. Trace your tongue around the entire circumference of your lips, first one direction, and then in the opposite direction.
5. Smiling Fish Face
At some point, celebrities must have examined their faces and made a conscious decision to combine a smile with a pout (a “smout”) for the camera. Probably they did this consciously to mold their faces for the paparazzi, knowing the photos were being transmitted to millions of viewers. This exercise will help firm and tone your cheeks and lips, so that you, too, will be ready for the paparazzi! Mechanics: Smile while slightly pursing your lips. Withdraw and pinch your cheeks into the hollows of your face slightly as you do so, observing the enhanced cheekbones this pose creates. Repeat four to five times, or for a total of ten to fifteen seconds. I do not recommend habitually posing like this, as it is rather affected, but it is a good exercise for the mirror, and it will work the ring muscles of the mouth as well as the buccinators.
6. Puppet Face
This exercise smooths and lifts marionette lines, the lines between the nose and lips. It works the muscles that lift the lips up in a smile, preventing and smoothing jowls. Mechanics: Smile and press your fingertips into the crease that forms between the lips and nose. Perform repetitions by lifting these muscles up in a smiling action, while pressing the fingertips down on the area for resistance. Repeat twenty to thirty times. Notice the increased circulation manifesting as rosiness in the area when you have finished.
This is a great jaw, neck, and throat firmer. It also helps plump the lips and keep them firm and full. Mechanics: Standing, tilt your head slightly back and try to “kiss the ceiling.” Stretch the lips and pucker up. Repeat this four times.
To be continued…
Annelise Hagen «The Yoga Face»
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