What are the benefits of funny face yoga?
Oh, wait, you haven’t heard of it?
Most of us are fairly familiar with the many benefits associated with a regular yoga practice: by improving everything from your mood to your cardiovascular health, yoga has been seen as the pinnacle of combining both mental and physical well-being for centuries, but yoga doesn’t just start and end with meditation and a few complex poses.
For some people yoga extends beyond the main body… and up to the face.
If you’ve spent time exploring yoga you’ve probably come across several teachers who remind you to relax the space between your eyebrows and the corners of your mouth during your practice, or during savasana following, that was just a tiny taste of the control you have over your facial muscles.
Facial yoga, known colloquially as “funny face yoga,” has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its unrivaled natural ability to slow down and sometimes even reverse the signs of aging in the faces of those who practice. Hollywood stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Anniston are just a few of the many celebrities that have given yoga credit for their youthful glow to this timeless practice.
While some claims made about facial yoga can seem a little far-fetched, it’s hard to ignore the thousands of people who swear by their 15 minutes of funny faces every day.
From making kissing faces at the ceiling to pretending to swish around mouthwash for a minute or two, the expressions used in facial yoga are sure to earn you some funny looks if done in public, however, the minimal amount of time needed to get in a good facial work-out makes it easy to cram in a session during your morning shower or your daily commute.
So, what are the benefits of funny face yoga?
Appearance of agelessness
The benefits that people claim to have experienced while practicing facial yoga are numerous, and many of them can be traced back to the same source: improved circulation. Increased blood flow throughout the face stimulates collagen production, renewing your skin’s elasticity and giving your face a natural lift. The result isappearance of agelessness.
As the skin and the flesh underneath become healthier the skin tightens, easing away fine lines and giving more harsh wrinkles a softer appearance. The relaxed muscles release tension returning some of the youthful plumpness to your skin. This change doesn’t just affect appearances, but also the feel of your skin: It becomes less papery and more firm as your face is rejuvenated.
Defined bone structure
Along with reducing wrinkles, the tightening of the skin and the toning of facial muscles has another bonus: A more defined bone structure. Over time, frequent facial exercises help to sculpt a slim face with a defined brow and jawline. Cheek bones are emphasized as the skin naturally pulls in around them, and the nose slims down as the surrounding tissue firms.
Decrease of a double chin
While it may be called Funny Face yoga, the expressions you’re making aren’t just improving your face. As you move and pull and breathe, the movements are improving the muscles in your neck as well, providing even more benefits. People who regularly practice funny face yoga often see a decrease in the appearance of a double chin, and a more defined décolletage, adding even more youthful beauty.
But does this practice have any sort of practical solution?
The answer looks positive. Doing facial yoga isn’t just for aesthetics. It can help with a pretty major internal issue as well: headaches. People who suffer from headaches or chronic migraines can benefit greatly from the stretching of the facial muscles.
One of the craziest faces you can pull, referred to as lion face (mouth open wide, tongue sticking out, eyes staring as far up and back as possible), has even been recommended by some doctors as a way to lessen the pain of or even stop a fully-fledged migraine!
So, How Does It Work?
There’s been a lot of back and forth in the science community about whether or not facial yoga is worth the hype. Some scientists say that facial yoga could do nothing but speed up the aging process, due to the excessive movements and stretching of the skin, which they believe could only increase the number of fine lines on the face.
They are often rebutted by those who practice, many of whom believe that it is not the exercises themselves that prevent aging, but rather the result of them: increasingly relaxed facial muscles.
Much like in the practice of yoga in general, the gentle stretching and toning of often tight muscles and tendons leads to an increased sense of relaxation, credited to focusing on tense and sore muscles that rarely get the attention they need in order to properly release.
The benefits of funny face yoga are many, and no two individuals experience the exact same results. From a more even complexion to a reduction in anxiety, the possibilities are endless. So why not give it a try? What will your benefits be?