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What is Face Yoga? We Break Down How and Why You Should Do It

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5 min read

As someone who was born and raised in Japan, I am more familiar with Face Yoga than the average American. In Japan, Face yoga is a common practice for beauty conscious people—including myself!

Why You Should Use Face Yoga

At the age of 27 years old, I had a plastic surgery failure. A surgeon advised me to add an implant into my chin to make it a bit more pointy. I was told that I could easily have it removed, if I didn’t like it. So I had the implant, didn’t like it—and had it removed. But my chin has never been the same. In fact, it’s now a bit asymmetrical, but it’s how I started learning about Face Yoga.

Face Yoga is a great natural solution to to regain a youthful appearance. There are two kinds of facial muscles that Face Yoga targets. 1) You wake up sleeping muscles in the face to lift up the skin, and 2) you relax over-working muscles for wrinkle reduction. It is a perfect natural alternative to botox or plastic surgery!

Three Face Yoga Exercises You Can Do At Home

Exercise 1: Warm-Up/Stress Releaser

It’s hard to relax your facial muscles because facial muscles are close to the brain. As long as our brains are working, tension is distributed to the facial muscles—and tense muscles can create unattractive facial symptoms, such as wrinkles or an asymmetrical face.

The easiest way to relax the facial muscles that I do many times every day is to vibrate the cheeks. Here’s how:

  1. Inhale from the stomach.
  2. Exhale from the mouth as hard as possible while vibrating your cheeks.

Tip: The point is to vibrate not just the lips but the cheeks. The bigger the vibration in the cheeks, the better. 

How often should I do this? Personally, I do this three to five times every day, every time I feel my face is tired or I am stressed. Lip muscles are core muscles for the face, and many muscles are connected from the lips, so by relaxing the lip area, the connected muscles are relaxed too.

Exercise 2: Anti-Bulldog Face

Disclaimer: I am not against bulldogs. They are so cute with their saggy cheeks. But saggy cheeks are not cute for humans.

Sagging is a big culprit in causing skin to look older. You might be concerned about small wrinkles or spots, but those are very tiny. Other people don’t really notice those small spots that you do, but sagging skin can cause dark shades, which are more noticeable. Also, due to many hours of phone use, our faces are receiving gravity, which can cause additional sagging. Here’s how to avoid it:

  1. Simply slide your face to one side as much as possible.
  2. Hold it for 10 seconds.
  3. Do the same on the other cheek.

Tip: If you are concerned at lines on the other cheek when you do the pose, use your fingers to prevent the lines. 

How often should I do this? When I was working for a corporation in Japan before I moved to the States, I was doing this exercise every time I went to the restroom. That’s how I got slimmer face, even though the weight of it is same as before.

Exercise 3: Face Posture®

This is not so much an exercise, but a basic posture for the face. As you might care about your body posture, it is very important to keep good face posture when your face is resting. It is actually more important than any Face Yoga exercises.

Your Face Yoga exercises only take a couple of minutes per day. Your face posture is more important because it’s your resting face—you can do all the face exercises you want, but if your face posture is bad, you won’t see great results. Here’s how to have good face posture:

  1. Keep good body posture. Your body and face are connected through spine. You can never do good face posture with keeping bad body posture.
  2. Keep you tongue up on the palate in your mouth. By keeping the tongue up on the palate, you are lifting up your heavy skull up and lifting up your face. Also, you should feel slight tension in the cheek areas as cheek muscles are sleeping.
  3. Make sure your upper teeth and lower teeth are not touching each other. If you suffer from TMJ pain in your jaw areas, you might also be suffering from Teeth Contacting Habit (TCH). Some dentists say TCH is worse than grinding, because grinding is usually at most 40 minuets per night, but if you are doing TCH for hours when you are awake, it is much longer than that grinding time, even though the pressure you’re putting on your jaw is less.
  4. Keep a tiny smile. To prevent sagging, keeping a tiny smile is the easiest solution. But your smile should be very little so your mouth corners are in one straight line or slight ‘U’ curve. If your smile is too big, the skin is stretched too much, which results in excess skin (= jowels). 
  5. Relax the ’11’ lines between eyebrows. These frown lines are caused by over-working muscles, so it is important to relax the area all the time.
  6. Slightly tuck your chin. Sticking out your chin stretches the upper neck, which results in double chin.

Paying attention to your face posture and giving your face muscles a break with these exercises will help you keep the skin on your face in its best condition.

Interested in seeing a few before an after photos? Check out Koko’s website, YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook, and join her in our VIP session at WELL Summit on Friday, Oct. 18 in Brooklyn, NY.

About The Author

Koko Hayashi

Koko Hayashi

Born and grown up in Japan where Face Yoga has been popular, Koko Hayashi has been practicing Face Yoga personally over a decade and started teaching in the States since 2018. Her clients include A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and class was selected as the most popular yoga class at The Yoga Expo 2019.

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