Everyone has some degree of facial asymmetry. It’s natural. It’s part of what makes us so unique. It can even be what makes us beautiful.
Most of the time we don’t even notice it. Our brains are conditioned to instruct the eyes to see both sides of our faces as being equal as we gaze in the mirror wondering, “Who’s the fairest of them all?” Others may not notice it either. That’s not to say we are all walking Quasimodos either. But one eyelid could be droopier, one corner of the mouth lower, one marionette line deeper and longer etc…You get the picture.
With age, our natural asymmetries can augment, and a big part of that is due to our daily habits.
As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about with skin aging, sun damage, pollution and free radicals, our posture affects our faces too!
Posture is our body’s position when standing, sitting or lying down.
Are you guilty of always carrying your handbag, or propping the phone between your shoulder and ear, or sleeping, or chewing on the same side? Do you slouch over your desk or round your shoulders when driving, eating or watching TV? These are just a few of the habits that tilt your head/face down or to one side, lift one shoulder higher than the other, round the back, and put pressure on certain areas of the neck and spine. You are helping gravity do it’s worst for a certain amount of time every day. Multiply that by your age. It adds up.
Another facet of Face Yoga practice calls attention to these habits and posture and to consciously correct them whenever we can.
This is hard. They are things we do without thinking. And we will never achieve perfect posture 100% of the time. But by creating an awareness of how we carry ourselves, we can win a few battles, if not the war. Every little bit helps.
Another opportunity to correct your posture is when practicing your Face Yoga Poses. The more you practice your Face Yoga in one day, the more you check-in with your posture.
The Face Yoga exercises also have been used to achieve more facial balance and consciously correct more visible asymmetries. They can help with recuperation from injuries* and paralysis* and Bells Palsy* too. (*in connection with patient’s doctor recommendations and medical protocols)
We know that proper alignment contributes to spinal health. It also aids in breathing, which facilitates circulation and oxygen flow to the cells, resulting in better skin tone. It also helps us adopt a more positive attitude. It opens us up, boosts our mood and makes us feel more powerful. We become more attractive to others too.
Think about it. Who do you want to talk to? The person slouching at the table with their hand propping up one side of their face or, the person sitting up, heart facing out to the world, ready to receive you? Which person do you want to be?
Forget perfection and exact symmetry. Search for balance. Stand tall. Be proud of yourself. Practice Face Yoga. The rest will fall into alignment.
Oh, and, your Mother was right. Don’t Slouch!
Remember that the next time you catch yourself. You’ll be doing your body, face and mind a favor.