How to minimize wrinkles around the eyes with face yoga

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Yoga works wonders for the muscles of your body, so why not your facial muscles, too? That's the theory behind Face Yoga. Yoga teacher Annelise Hagen, author of The Yoga Face, demonstrates techniques to minimize wrinkles and sagging muscles around the eyes.

How to minimize wrinkles around the eyes with face yoga

Face yoga is designed to help reduce and even prevent wrinkles on your face. These exercises are designed to loosen wrinkles around your eyes.

How does face yoga work?

  • Exercising the muscles in your face will help tone them (just like exercising the muscles in your body) and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It plumps the muscles under the skin, and lifts the skin along with it.
  • Performing these exercises with face yoga can help you control the way your face shapes itself.

Could facial exercises/repetitive motion actually increase wrinkles?

  • No, the facial muscles are involuntary muscles, so doing a program of trained repetitions can actually reduce the wrinkles.
  • Facial expressions that you constantly make due to stress and other factors are more likely to cause wrinkles.

Crow’s feet

  • To help combat crow’s feet, isolate your lower eyelids and wink with only your lower eyelid.
  • To create resistance and really build the muscle, place your index finger in the area of the crow’s feet while winking the lower eyelid.
  • Do about 20 repetitions on each eye.

Upper eyelid

  • To tone the upper eyelid area, close your eyes and hold down your upper eyelid (not with your fingers—just try to ‘glue down’ your eyelid firmly) to the lower eyelid for 5-10 seconds.
  • Do several repetitions to build the muscle.

Keeping a face yoga routine

  • Since you will be training new muscles on your face it is best to start with your problem area and focus on that.
  • Perform these face yoga exercises a minimum of two times per week in the mornings.
Transcript JENNIFER:  I’m Jennifer Morris for howdini.com. Have you herd of face yoga? The idea is tat you can do facial stretches to prevent maybe even reduce wrinkles. Annelise Hagen is a yoga instructor and the author of the Yoga Face. Okay Annelise, really?

ANNELISE:  I think the proof is in the pudding. I think if you actually document yourself doing these exercises with a camera you’ll see yes in fact, it actually does work.

JENNIFER:  And can you, with face yoga, get rid of wrinkles you already have, it will actually get rid of these crow’s feet?

ANNELISE:  It can minimize them and you can certainly tone the muscles under the skin, in which it’s going to plump up those muscles and lift the skin along with it. So I would say you could reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and you can definitely minimize them.

JENNIFER:  Make me a believer; take me through the poses for your eyes, what would work on crow’s feet?

ANNELISE:  Okay, crow’s feet, that’s actually one of my favorites. So what your going to do is isolate your lower eyelids. So we’re used to thinking about winking, right, but you going to wink with just your lower eyelids. So I’m going to do one eyelid at a time, its kind of hard for me to do without a mirror but ill try. So, sort of like you’re winking.

JENNIFER:  I can see it.

ANNELISE:  Then take your index finger, so there’s a muscle, a ring muscle, and you want to depress that muscle so it has something to resist.

JENNIFER:  And how many times do you do that?

ANNELISE:  Let’s do twenty in a row on each side, stop and do another twenty in a row. When you get really good, I can do this in the mirror but not looking at you, you can do them both at the same side.

JENNIFER:  I can see them going its like wiggling your ears.

ANNELISE:  Yeah.

JENNIFER:  Can I give it a try here?

ANNELISE:  Yeah, and you want a slight incline of your fingertips because you’re turning the muscle to lift. Gravity left alone it will droop. So kind of prop it up a bit. Your doing it, now hold on to the muscle, that’s it, you’re doing an awesome job. Yes.

JENNIFER:  I’m face yoga natural.

ANNELISE:  You are.

JENNIFER:  Do you recommend doing this in the mirror? All of these exercises?

ANNELISE:  I do, I mean you’re really brave to do it without a mirror for the very first time ever. So yeah, it’s actually a little easier when you can do it in front of a mirror. Most people don’t know how to control their facial muscles without, you know, some visual cue.  

JENNIFER:  What are some other exercises you can do for the eye area?

ANNELISE:  Well there’s another one, which helps to tone this muscle right here which lifts and releases the upper eyelid. They can get kind of baggy.

JENNIFER:  Instead of getting an eyebrow lift this is what you would recommend.

ANNELISE:  What your going to do is simply, and again whenever you do any of these facial exercises, you want to keep everything else really smooth and neutral. Sometimes people concentrate and pucker, new frowns. You want to keep everything else very neutral. And you’re just going to glue your upper eyelids down to your lower eyelids. So I just counted to five, you’ll feel it when you do it. And you want to keep your eyelids as soft as possible. So just think of gluing down your upper eyelid, and smoothing everything at the same time. Then again you should feel some kind of lactic acid burn a little bit of a muscular contraction.

JENNIFER:  And how long do you hold this pose for again?

ANNELISE:  Five seconds maybe ten, a couple times. I would recommend for all of these about that amount of time.

JENNIFER:  Do you do these in a series to make them work, or can you do them can you –

ANNELISE:  You can do them randomly; people get a little overwhelmed in the beginning cause they learn to control about forty new muscles, forty-five new muscles. So its good to pick your problem area and just isolate that for a while. And then you’ll see the changes and gain confidence, and suddenly it will get easier.

JENNIFER:  How many times a week to see results?

ANNELISE:  Minimum of two times a week, in the morning or the evening when you do your moisturizer and stuff.

JENNIFER:  Okay, thanks so much for joining us, I’m Jennifer Morris for howdini.com
meet theexpert
  • Annelise Hagen

    Annelise Hagen Yoga Expert Annelise Hagen is a yoga expert and instructor for top-tier fitness clubs and studios, including Equinox, New York Health and Racquet Club, Reebok/Sports Club LA, Crunch, and David Barton. Hagen is an expert in turning back the clock and creating beautiful, younger-looking skin. In her book, The Yoga Face, Hagen provides a natural approach to reshaping and redefining skin without harmful chemicals or painful surgery. more about this expert »

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