In this blog post, I’m taking you through a lovely, calming sequence to soothe tired skin and help you feel awake and energised again. It’s a real feel-good routine that leaves you feeling pampered and cared for.
This sequence is inspired by my newest book, the Face Yoga Journal. The book is split into four sections (or seasons, since the book is designed to cover a full year). The last one concentrates on soothing the skin, which is also the focus of today’s post.
All the moves I discuss in this post are detailed in the book, along with loads more face yoga techniques, affirmations, wellness hacks, and space for you to record your own thoughts and progress as you work through.
I taught this routine recently as an Instagram Live. If you missed it, you can catch up on YouTube – as well as the moves discussed below, I also answered questions from the audience about face yoga and wellness, so it is well worth a watch.
Before You Begin
This face yoga sequence is designed to soothe and calm, so get cosy in your comfiest clothes and find a comfortable spot to sit – perhaps your bed or your favourite armchair.
Make sure your hands and face are clean before you begin. Apply a few drops of my Fusion by Danielle Collins facial moisturising serum, which nourishes your skin and helps your hands to glide easily over your face.
This sequence should last around 10-15 minutes, depending on how long you spend on each move. Work to your own level with each technique and find a pressure and speed that feels right to you.
Breathe and Stretch
Start by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths through your nose. Feel your abdomen rise and fall as you fill and empty your lungs. Try to make your exhale longer than your inhale – breathe in for a count of four and out for a count of six.
As we move through the face yoga sequence, try to keep that long, nourishing breath going.
We’re also going to take a moment to stretch and relax the upper body. Tension in your shoulders and neck soon radiates up to your face. Over time, that tension creates lines and wrinkles, especially as we get older and our skin starts to produce less collagen and elastin. So, it is worth spending a few minutes releasing the shoulders and neck before we start the face yoga.
Ground down through your root chakra (at the base of your spine). At the same time, lengthen up and out through your spine. Imagine that you have a string running up your centre and out of your head, pulling you upwards.
Relax your shoulders and release your neck by turning it gently from side to side. Then turn to one side and tilt your chin up and slightly back, feeling the stretch in the side of your neck. Repeat this on the other side.
Next, tuck your chin in and move it slowly from side to side. If it feels OK on your neck, you can then move to full circles – do three in one direction and three in the other. Go nice and slowly, feeling the release in your neck.
Finally, make some circles with your shoulders to loosen them up and release tension.
Relax your shoulders back down. We’re ready to get started on the Face Yoga.
1. Forehead Slowing
This technique comes from Week 41 of the Face Yoga Journal. It releases tension from your forehead, reducing lines and wrinkles and helping your skin to look bright and glowing.
Make your hands into fists and place the middle knuckles against your forehead, just above your eyebrows.
Keeping contact with your skin, massage in a circular motion, slowly working your way up your forehead to your hairline. Lift off and replace your knuckles above your eyebrows to repeat the move.
2. Eye Clearing
This clearing technique is great for anyone who struggles with puffiness and dark circles around their eyes. It gently stimulates lymphatic drainage, helping to rid your face of toxins and waste. It comes from week 12 of the Face Yoga Journal.
Place three fingers under each eye and gently pulse them for around a minute.
We really don’t need to go hard here. The lymphatic drainage system is just beneath the surface of the skin, so we’re not even trying to get down into the muscle. Gentle is better.
This technique can give instant results, so it is a brilliant one to do when you first wake up.
Give your arms a shake out at the end to release any tension that has built up.
3. Mouth Admiring
This technique from week 44 of the Face Yoga Journal targets nasolabial folds and marionette lines, smoothing out the skin around your mouth.
Place two fingers on your jaw, just to the side of your chin. Using the index finger of your other hand, stroke up from the fingers on your jaw to your nose. Do this for 30 seconds on each side.
The two fingers on your jaw are there to provide a bit of tension, holding your skin taut as you stroke up to your nose.
This simple movement smooths lines, boosts blood circulation, and gets the prana (lifeforce) flowing freely.
It’s also a great technique for releasing tension. Many of us hold a lot of tension in our jaws and around our mouths, especially when we’re stressed. Over time, this creates lines that etch into the skin. Releasing some of that tension helps to reduce and prevent these lines.
4. Jaw Elevating
Our next move focuses on strengthening and toning the muscles of the jaw. In turn, this lifts and firms the lower face.
Place your thumbs beneath your chin, pressing upwards. At the same time, push your chin down with an equal force, so your chin stays where it is but you have a sense of effort.
Open and close your mouth very slowly. Continue for around a minute.
This comes from week 45 of the Face Yoga Journal.
5. Neck Nourishing
Our final technique is wonderful for releasing tension in your shoulders and neck. Not only does this make your upper body feel more comfortable, but it also has aesthetic benefits for your face.
Releasing tension from your shoulders helps your face to relax – it is all so interconnected. You can’t have an open, relaxed face if your shoulders are tense, or your posture is bad.
Just a quick heads up – if you are pregnant, it is best to skip this move. It uses an acupressure point that is sometimes used to stimulate labour. Instead, you can just squeeze along the top of your shoulder from your neck to the top of your arm.
For everyone else, we’re looking for the acupressure point in the meaty part of your shoulder, about midway between your neck and your arm.
You might find it helps to hunch your shoulder up – you should feel a natural indent where this acupressure point lies. It is often sore and tight too, which can help you locate it! Don’t worry too much about finding the exact location, as long as you are in the right area.
Place two fingers on the point. Start by just pressing gently. Bring your focus back to your breathing. Then, massage the point in a small circular motion, first in one direction and then in the other.
Repeat on the other side.
To finish off the face yoga sequence, take a few Lion’s Breaths. Close your eyes and bring your hands up beside your face in fists. Screw up your face a little as you inhale.
Exhale forcefully through your mouth as you stick out your tongue, making a ‘ha’ sound to mimic the lion’s roar. Open your hands and eyes at the same time.
This is a fantastic way to release stress, anger, and frustration, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.
Repeat it up to five times. And we’re all done.
You can order your own copy of the Face Yoga Journal now via Amazon. It’s un-dated, so you can start at any time. There are 52 face yoga techniques to take you through the whole year. You’ll also find wellness hacks, affirmations, and other ideas to inspire you on your journey.