I may be a yogi who regularly works at letting go of attachment, but I admit that I still possess a certain level of vanity. When I heard that doing “facial yoga” could potentially take years off my appearance, I had to investigate. Happily, it didn’t take too much detective work to locate some promising research and to learn that practicing facial yoga just a few times a week can make you look up to three years younger!
What Is Facial Yoga?
Facial yoga isn’t a new phenomenon, but a rebranded one. Various forms of facial exercise, sometimes known as face aerobics, have existed since at least the 1990s. Now the practice has been brought back en vogue by yogis like Fumiko Takatsu, Danielle Collins, and Gary Sikorski, the creator of Happy Face Yoga.
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Does Facial Yoga Really Work?
Gary Sikorski’s Happy Face Yoga program was the subject of a 2018 research study, in which 27 middle-aged women practiced facial yoga for five months. The women were taught 32 different Happy Face Yoga exercises and instructed to practice them for 30 minutes daily for eight weeks, then every other day for the rest of the trial. 16 of the women successfully completed the trial.
While the study was limited in size and scope, the results were very positive. The participants were photographed at the start, mid-point, and end of the study. Their photos were shown to dermatologists who assessed 19 different facial features to estimate each woman’s age. The dermatologists noted significant improvements to cheek fullness and the average estimated age decreased from 50.8 years to 48.1 years throughout the course of the study.
The study participants also noticed improvements to almost all of the facial features being studied and reported that they felt satisfied with their results.
Give Facial Yoga a Try
Like any muscle in the body, when we consistently work our facial muscles, they grow, creating more firmness under the skin. Facial exercises also increase blood flow to the face, creating a plumper, more taut appearance.
Since facial yoga is free to try and is non-invasive with no potential side effects, why not give it a try? We recommend starting with one of the basics: cheek push-ups.
Begin the cheek ‘push up’ by opening the mouth wide in an O shape. Place your index fingertips at the tops of both cheeks, wrap the top lip down over the top teeth, then smile with the mouth still open, feeling the cheeks rise. Then relax. You’ve completed one cheek push up! Repeat ten times.
You can find additional poses and further information about facial yoga in The Ultimate Guide To The Face Yoga Method or in free videos like the one below:
What’s the harm in looking a little silly if it might shave years off your appearance? If you need me, I’ll be somewhere making faces.