In New York City, Annelise Hagen, a devoted yogi, former actress and author of The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift, runs a weekly facial yoga class. Hagen says she started to develop her face-based technique when she realized that her students, mostly well-to-do, well-educated professionals, were practicing yoga but getting Botox injections during their lunch breaks. “It didn’t seem to be in the spirit of yoga to me,” she says.
Below is a collection of Facial Yoga poses to try. Exercising your face muscles tightens, tones and, according to practitioners, combats aging. Annelise Hagen offers a gallery of some of the more intriguing poses.
As Mae West said, “You are never too old to become younger.” And if it is fun and almost as easy as puffy up my cheeks I’m all for it.
Free Your Tongue: It is recommended that you hold this pose for 60 seconds. It is good if your eyes water; that flushes the toxins that may have accumulated there.
Temple Dancer Eyes: This exercise works on the ring muscles of the eyes to prevent sagging skin and crow’s feet.
Surprise Me: Widen your eyes, as though surprised, but try not to wrinkle the brow. Focus on a point in front of you for about five to ten seconds. Then repeat, four times.
Smiling Fish Face: Smile while pursing your lips. This pose is modeled after the look celebrities often give the paparazzi.
Lion Face, Part I: Inhale through your nose, make fists and squeeze all your facial muscles…
Lion Face, Part II: Now exhale through your mouth, stick out your tongue, roll your eyes up and open your hands. Repeat three times.
Satchmo: Named for Louis Armstrong, this poses mimics the cheeks of a trumpet player.
Marilyn: The repetitive puckering and blowing creates stronger, firmer lips.
Baby Bird: Swallow while pressing the tip of the tongue to the roof of your mouth. Then tilt your head slightly to the left and swallow. Then repeat, towards the right. This exercise helps jowls from forming.
Buddha Face: Close your eyes, relax and imagine a point between the brows. Hold for one minute, or longer.