Discover the power of facial yoga

Apr 25, 2013 at 8:01 a.m. ET

When we think of exercise the face rarely gets a look-in, even though it's the body part most on show. We tend to look for quick-fix solutions: lotions, potions and injections that will transform tired, ageing complexions into radiant, glowing skin. Instead, why not try face yoga and give your face the attention it deserves, naturally.

Surely pulling faces and having fun aren't techniques for looking younger? Well here is a natural solution to younger-looking skin that involves just that. So, before considering the new "miracle" cream, a chemical peel or, worse still, botox, try face yoga.

The face is the portal to emotional expression and it receives constant daily strain from environmental damage. Therefore, it deserves to be treated with the upmost care. Yoga has been said for centuries to have powerful anti-ageing effects yet it's rarely promoted as an exercise for the face.

Face yoga, a completely natural facial care system, has been advocated by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston. Here's how to keep your face in shape.

You can also try spring cleaning your skin care routine >>

What is face yoga

Face yoga is a programme that works to strengthen facial muscles and increase blood flow, which is said to leave skin with reduced lines and wrinkles and a natural healthy glow.

"The 18 face exercises within the Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method are designed to do this. Muscles in the face and neck respond to exercise in the same way as your biceps, abdominals or glutes do: muscles firm up and the skin surrounding them smoothes out, thus eliminating lines and wrinkles."

Anna Reich is a face yoga practitioner using the Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method. She says: "I'm a personal trainer so I believe in anatomy and physiology — the inevitability of muscles getting stronger and more toned if you exercise them."

The method is the brainchild of the U.K.'s leading face yoga expert, Danielle Collins, who is also an internationally respected yoga teacher and writer. The method should be used once a day for 20 minutes, six days a week and combines:

Face exercises: There are 57 muscles in the face and neck and, just like the body, each one can be exercised to increase tone, thereby reducing lines and wrinkles.

Face massage: This will increase the circulation and lymph flow and remove toxins. It will reduce poor skin tone, puffiness and dark circles and allow the skin to look healthier and more youthful. The massage techniques will also increase collagen and elastin, the skin's natural plumping agents, which will mean a firmer and healthier complexion.

You could also try these 5 steps to younger-looking skin >>

Face acupressure: This age-old technique works by pressing on certain points on the face. This can increase the flow of energy in the face reducing tension, increasing circulation and giving a healthy glow.

Relaxation: By learning to relax tension in the face this will help to reduce and prevent the deep set lines and wrinkles caused by stress, squinting or grimacing. Face Yoga allows you to relax the face correctly giving it a more open, youthful look.

Well-being: Like all yoga practice there is a focus on aligning mind, body and spirit through calming the mind. The method contains exercises to increase our natural state for well-being.

Find out More

If you want to find out more about the programme or try the exercises at home you can buy a wall chart and CD from the website here.

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