We rarely think about the facial muscles but exercising the face can strengthen and tone those muscles in the same way that a workout builds the muscles in our bodies.
Many people are surprised when they try Face Yoga for the first time and realise how much they can feel the muscles in their face working.
As the facial muscles become stronger and more toned, the skin attached to them is also lifted, tightened, and tautened. Doing face yoga exercises regularly over time will give you a natural facelift.
In today’s post, I’m focusing on some simple facial exercises that lift and tone the face naturally. The full sequence is just five techniques and only takes around 10 minutes to complete. Hopefully, that means it will be easy to incorporate it into your daily routine, even on busy days.
Of course, Face Yoga has plenty of other benefits for our faces too. It boosts the circulation, releases stress and tension, and encourages lymphatic drainage.
Several of these poses are also great for reducing and preventing the lines and wrinkles that start to appear as we get older.
Before you start this sequence of facial exercises, make sure your hands and face are clean. Many people like to do face yoga routines like this first thing in the morning or last thing at night, as part of their usual skincare routine.
If you are doing the sequence at these times of day, I suggest running through the exercises after you apply your moisturiser or serum.
Personally, I prefer to apply some of the Fusion by Danielle Collins face serum – it can be used in place of your usual moisturiser as it is deeply nourishing and hydrating. It is also specially formulated for use with Face Yoga.
Before you begin the exercises themselves, take a moment to make yourself comfortable. You can sit or stand, whichever works best for you. As we go through the sequence, remember to work at your own pace with every move.
Take some long, deep breaths through your nose. Feel your abdomen rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. On each exhale, concentrate on relaxing your face and releasing any tension you are holding.
Step 1: Eyes and Forehead
Place both your hands on your forehead. As you do this Face Yoga exercise, use your hands to keep your forehead as still as you can.
Moving just your eyes, look up towards the ceiling. Imagine you are looking at the number 12 on a clock. Slowly move your eyes around as though you were looking at each number on a clock face.
When you get back to the number 12 position at the top, repeat the move in the other direction. Then, find a spot in front of you to focus on. Widen your eyes, keeping your forehead still.
This facial exercise has two main benefits. Firstly, it works the muscles all around your eyes, strengthening and toning this area to give you a natural facelift.
Secondly, it retrains you to use your forehead less when you express and your eyes more. We all tend to use our forehead and eyebrows a lot when we make facial expressions. As we learn to use our eyes instead, we reduce and prevent forehead lines.
Step 2: Eye Muscles
We’re continuing to work with the eye area for our second technique, which lifts the eye area by working the muscles underneath and to the side of our eyes.
This is a lovely exercise for reducing and preventing crows’ feet too.
Take your middle fingers to the inside corner of your eyes. You should feel a small indent there. Then, place your index fingers to the outer edge of your eye, making a V shape.
You may need to bend your fingers slightly to get them in the right place. Keep the pressure light.
Raise your eyes to look up towards the ceiling, keeping your eyebrows and forehead still. Then, half-close your eyes. Hold this until you feel a little shake in the muscle underneath your index finger, then release.
Repeat this move another five times.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel that little tremor under your index finger at first. It takes practice. The more you do this move, the more your muscles fire up. And as they get stronger, they also tighten the skin attached, giving you a natural eyelift.
Step 3: Cheeks and Lips
This Face Yoga exercise targets the cheeks and gives a natural lift to the lips.
Tuck your lips around your teeth and raise the corners of your mouth up.
As you hold this position, you might feel or see lines appearing above your upper lip. But in Face Yoga we are all about reducing lines, not creating new ones. So, use your fingers to smooth out the area above your lips. Keep your fingers there while you hold the pose for 10 seconds.
Release your mouth and hands. Then take this pose again twice more, holding for 10 seconds each time.
Step 4: Cheek and Jaw
Form your hands into fists and place your middle knuckles under your cheekbones. Your index fingers should be quite close to the corner of your face.
As you press your knuckles against your face, slowly open and close your mouth. You should feel some resistance as you work against the pressure from your hands.
Continue to open and close your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute.
This facial exercise is wonderful for lifting the cheek area and toning the muscles in the lower face. It is also a lovely one for anyone who holds a lot of tension and tightness in the jaw area. As you open and close your mouth, you should feel a beautiful release at the sides of your jaw.
Step 5: Neck and Jaw
For our final Face Yoga exercise, we’re working on lifting the neck and jaw area, helping to prevent sagging and turkey neck.
Turn your head to one side and tilt your chin slightly up. Then, stick out your tongue as far as it will go, reaching it up towards the tip of your nose.
You should feel this exercise working the muscles on the opposite side of your neck.
Hold the position for 20 seconds. Release and then repeat on the other side.
As you hold the pose, concentrate on grounding down through your feet and lengthening through your spine.
To finish off the sequence, rub your palms briskly together to generate heat and energy. Then hold them just in front of your face so that you can feel their warmth.
Take deep, calm breaths as you concentrate on relaxing and releasing tension from your whole face.
With one last deep breath, release your hands. And you are all done!
This simple and quick Face Yoga routine will strengthen the facial muscles, tighten the skin, and give you a natural facelift. But like all forms of exercise, it isn’t a magic bullet. If you want to see results, you’ll need to use these exercises regularly.
To help you stay on track and make Face Yoga a daily habit, I’ve recently published my second book, the Face Yoga Journal.
Not only is it packed full of Face Yoga exercises and wellness hacks, but it also has plenty of space for you to record your own progress, make notes, and track how you feel.
You can order the book now via Amazon. Visit my shop for the link and to see the other resources I have available to support you on your journey to wellness.