As you age, the natural layer of fat under your facial skin diminishes. The skin begins to sag as facial muscles lose their tone. Just as the body's muscles require exercise, the muscles in your face need toning, too. Facial workouts have the same effect on your face as crunches have on your abs, observes Dr. Michelle Yagoda, Plastic Surgeon. Facial yoga exercises improve circulation and allow more oxygen and nutrients to reach facial skin cells. They target certain muscles of your face to help keep them toned.
This movement brings more circulation to the forehead and brow area and may help to tone the muscles around your eyes. Open your eyes very wide, as you would in a state of shock or surprise. Gaze at a point straight in front of you. Keep the brow area relaxed and try not to raise the eyebrows, as you hold the eyes open wide for 10 seconds. Do four more repetitions.
The Trumpet Player
For toning the cheek muscles, this exercise is recommended by Annelise Hagen, yoga instructor and author of “The Yoga Face.” Hagen calls this exercise “The Satchmo,” in honor of renowned trumpet player Louis Armstrong. Inhale and then puff out your cheeks like you are blowing a trumpet. Transfer the air back and forth between your cheeks for 10 seconds. Rest for one breath between each repetition. Do four more reps.
Kiss The Sky
To help tone the muscles around your lips, try the Kiss the Sky exercise. It is done sitting up straight in a comfortable chair with your head tilted back. Look toward the sky or ceiling. Pucker your lips and push them upward without moving your head, as if you're trying to kiss the sky. Relax your shoulders and hold the pucker as you breathe in and out three times. Do five more repetitions, resting for a breath between each one.
Sit comfortably with a tall, straight spine. Inhale deeply through your nose and then open your mouth very wide and stretch your tongue out, curling its tip down toward your chin. Open your eyes wide, contract the muscles on the front of your neck and exhale your breath out slowly through your mouth with a distinct "ha" sound. This yoga pose relieves tension in your chest and face. It stimulates your platysma muscle, located on the front of your neck. Lion Pose helps to keep the platysma toned as we age, according to Yoga Journal.
Practice for Results
For good results, practice facial yoga exercises five days a week, for at least 10 minutes per session. Once you are familiar with the exercises, you can get a good facial workout in eight minutes or less. In addition to toning the targeted muscles, facial yoga rejuvenates you by reducing stress. This is achieved as the stretching and enhanced circulation help to reduce excess tension in your facial muscles.