Face Yoga : Self-Compassion & Self-Love

In the past two weeks we celebrated Valentine’s Day, and here in Luxembourg, both Carnival and Buergbrennen (sipping mulled wine and hot soup around a huge bonfire to Burn Away Winter). They’re all holidays full of fun and mischief and fiery emotions and love.

You may be thinking, “Celebrate Valentine’s Day? Fun? I don’t even have a sweetheart.” But you are wrong. You have Yourself!

 

So during this time, I didn’t post much about the facial exercises. I wanted to remind everyone to take the time to appreciate life’s little pleasures and, above all, practice some self-love. It’s not selfish. Really.

 

One way to do that, you knew this was coming, is to practice Face Yoga.

Face Yoga is not just about pulling a few faces (though it may look like that sometimes). With Face Yoga you are focusing, strengthening and retraining your face muscles. You are taking a break, however brief from the day to day obligations and releasing tension. You are getting air into your lungs and oxygen into your systems. And you are reminding yourself to sit up tall, open up to the world and embrace it.

 

Even by repeating one pose, at any given moment in time, you are completely focused on you, what feels good to you, what is helping you to achieve your goal.

The subtle changes lead to more noticeable ones. You become more optimistic. You become more confident. And it shines on in all areas of your life – just like with body exercise, or loosing weight, or a flattering, new outfit, or a great vacation, or anything that impacts you favorably. Other people will take notice too.

It’s being able to look in the mirror and reconcile the real self with the ideal self. And realizing that you are fabulous. You have the power to bring about those physical and mental changes.

Our minds are prone to pay attention to what’s wrong. Women especially are so good at finding the slightest flaw that no one else sees. So much of the world is focusing on the negative right now. Fight back.

Tweak your lifestyle. There are so many yummy & healthy foods out there. So many products and home remedies that help your skin, your hair, your body, look their best. So many techniques to relax and unwind. So many things to enjoy, even on a budget.

The next time you’re about to criticize yourself, pause. Practice self-compassion. Practice Face Yoga! Love Yourself!

Face Yoga : Water Reflects the Face

This week’s snowfall here in Luxembourg was a welcome change from what seemed like 2 months of non-stop gray skies, winds and drizzle, if not   flat-out rain.

photo courtesy of Guy Mathey

Even though we’ve had our fair share of precipitation, I’m going to talk about – WATER.

What I’m not going to talk about is the percentage of water in our bodies, or how much you should consume per day. You know this.

My point is – Just Drink It.

 

Now. I want you to grab a mirror, or your smartphone, or physically get up and get to the nearest looking glass.

Seriously. Do it. Look at yourself.

Do you see lines on your lips? Yes? You are dehydrated. Even if you don’t feel thirsty right now.

If you want to plump up your skin, erase fine lines and increase elasticity, drink more water.

Water is not a replacement for topical moisturizers since it reaches the skin cells last. You need to take in enough water to maintain moisture, deliver nutrients to the skin cells, and enhance and soften the complexion. Drinking an adequate amount of water is still more effective than applying creams.

Cold water or Hot water?

Both have their arguments. Face Yoga Luxembourg strongly recommends drinking hot water – especially first thing in the morning. It rinses the system, activates digestion, and rids the body of toxins from the get go.

 

 

Drinking hot water any time of day gives your internal organs a break. Instead of wasting time warming the water to body temperature, they are free to get on with whatever they are designed to do.

Hot water fills you up and warms you up.

Still can’t stomach the idea? Tweak it with a little lemon, ginger, mint or apple cider vinegar. Each adds it’s own benefits. Or spice it up with turmeric (a dash of black pepper allows the body to absorb the turmeric). Or think of all the delicious flavors organic honey can add, especially the Big Kahuna of all honey, Manuka.

 

 

Sometimes we need cold water to bring down the body temperature. Sometimes we just have a hankering for it. Drinking water at any temperature is like showering on the inside and it helps to shed weight. Like I said, Just Drink It!

What can I recommend to do with cold water? Have you ever tried splashing your face with it?

In the morning, this simple gesture will temporarily constrict pore size, making them appear smaller. It reduces redness and may help products penetrate better. You’ll have no problem believing that it wakes you up. From there, it’s not a stretch to boosting your mood. By the time you are ready to walk out the door, that puffy-faced grump that rolled out of bed is no more.

We need water on the inside and outside of our bodies. And in our environment.

So don’t dread those days and days of rain either. Raindrops attract pollutants, purifying the air we breathe. They also charge the air with negative ions, attracting free radicals and protecting us from their harmful effects. And high humidity keeps skin fresh and supple.

Rain. Laugh at the clouds. The sun’s in your heart. Just sing. Sing in the rain.

Water. Just Drink It.

Face Yoga : Detox

Ahhh January – the month of good intentions. “Detox” has been a buzzword for the past couple of years and 2018 is no exception.

A quick Google search will yield Detox Juices, Detox Food, Detox Diet, Detox Express, Detox At Home, Detox Plan, and even, Sexual Detox? Anyway…There are also articles popping up claiming that a “Detox” is nothing but marketing bunk. After all, your kidneys, liver, lungs and skin are detoxing your body as you read this.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m guilty too. I even capped off my week, with a great group of students, with a Detox Your Face Workshop.

So WHY did Face Yoga Luxembourg succumb to all the “Detox” hubbub too?

I have done them. And I know how disciplined you have to be. Especially since, like most of the people on the planet, I love to eat. Anyone who has ever seen how much pizza I can put away will attest to this.

My first experience was with a 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Three yummy smoothies replaced the day’s main meals with unlimited snacks of fruits & vegetables & nuts. Oh, and a hard-boiled egg if you were craving protein (Best eggs I’ve ever eaten!).

Yes. I DID feel good. And yes. I did discover which foods have a more negative impact on my body, like bloating.

Since then, I do this periodically, to give myself a break from those foods that affect me personally. I haven’t given them up, I just try to eat them in moderation.

I digress and I still haven’t answered the question, have I?

According to the Oxford Living Dictionary, “Detox” is a process, or a period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.

Face Yoga Luxembourg’s Mini Detox Week was not about “abstention” or “deprivation,” or buying products that claim to detoxify the system, or even to make you suffer for a week, only to throw yourself on the nearest chocolate cake the second it is over.

It was just a gentle reminder that healthy choices are out there. We don’t have to choose them all the time, but our bodies and minds, our skin and our faces, benefit from them. And not just with regards to food. Exercise, Face Yoga included, breathing in more fresh air, drinking more water, and taking a break from social media (your tired eyes & turkey neck will thank you), no matter how brief, have positive effects. Effects that just may incite you to practice them more often.

 

Tap into the natural resources available to feel and stay young.

And, please, eat some chocolate cake, if that’s really what your body is telling you it needs.

Workshop February 24th – Face Yoga Basics

Where : Club Haus Am Brill, Capellen

When : Saturday, February 24th, 10h – 11h30

Face Yoga Basics helps you discover core exercises that strengthen and relax  all areas of the face. Your face will radiate confidence & composure.

For more information or to sign up for the workshop, contact the Club Haus Am Brill on : 30 00 01 or by e-mail : clubsenior@mamer.lu

For more information about Face Yoga contact : kim@faceyogaluxembourg.com

Face Yoga : How long does it take to see results?

I proudly posted my one-year before & after photos on Facebook and the webpage today. That got me thinking about the second most frequently asked question I get : “How long does it take to see results ?” The first is, “Face Yoga ? What’s that?”

It seems such a cop-out to respond, “Well, everyone is different,” and thank the universe we are, but it doesn’t help when we’re looking in the mirror and not liking what we see.

We live in a quick-fix world, and if that’s what you’re seeking (and have the money to blow on treatments and procedures) Face Yoga probably isn’t for you. And that’s OK.

But back to the question at hand.

Ahem. With regular practice of at least 5 minutes per day focusing on the area(s) they want to improve, some people will see results within two weeks. The operative words here are “with regular practice.” Translation. It needs to become a habit.

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I usually recommend to practice in the morning to energize and get in tune with your daily facial movements, then again in the evening to relax, rewind and get a better night’s sleep. Stress can make us frown even in our sleep. Not to mention how we contort and mush up our faces tossing and turning or depending on our sleep position. But that’s a subject for another blog.

Add in an afternoon practice for a little pick me up, like a coffee break, but hold the coffee. Drink (hot) water instead.

And if you can do a full 5 to 20 minutes, or more, at a time, go for it.

Realistically, not everyone always has an extra 20 minutes, so ask yourself at any given moment, “Is this a good time to fit in one or a few face exercises?”

Many students practice in the car, in bed, in the shower, while cooking, cleaning or walking the dog, and, yes, even every time they go to the bathroom! The list goes on.

What’s YOUR ideal moment?

Banish the words “I have to” and “I should.” Just do it. Make faces. Be a kid again. Enjoy it. The key is to practice daily.

Your commitment will help you find those moments. After a month or so, what seemed like it took discipline becomes less of an effort, and,Voila! Face Yoga becomes a part of your lifestyle. The positive, physical changes come from you. Your resolution. Your realistic goals. Your efforts. How do you think you will feel when you look in the mirror then?

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So doing the exercises is one thing. The happy, confident feeling that comes with it is another.

The time it takes will be as unique as you are.

Thank the universe.

Welcome to my blog!

Happy 2018 !

A new year always brings new ideas and new resolutions.

Starting the blog is one of mine. Why ? Well, honestly Facebook is great, but it’s just too ephemeral.

You don’t know exactly who’s seeing what and when, or why. This blog is for me.

People who don’t spend their lives checking-in miss things, or can’t find them when scrolling back through a newsfeed. This blog is for them.

And, hard as it may be to believe, there are still people out there who just don’t use Facebook. This blog is for you.

If you’re here, getting your face in shape, taking back control of how you want to age or picking up tips for a more healthy lifestyle probably figure into this year’s resolutions .

So, what’s your goal ?

Do you want to tone, sculpt & lift the face ?
Do you want to improve your skin tone ?
Do you want to diminish and prevent wrinkles ?
Do you want to correct any facial asymmetry ?
Do you want to release tension in the head, face, neck & upper back ?
Do you want to improve your posture & fight the effects of gravity ?
Do you want to boost your self-confidence ?

Face Yoga can help with all of the above. But I’m not going to lie to you. It does take commitment and you need to know how to properly do the exercises. The good news is – Face Yoga exercises are surprisingly simple and can be done anywhere, when you have the time or even while doing other things. No equipment, no special clothes, no set amount of time to get results. It’s actually a lot of fun, and once you get into it, you WANT to do the exercises. I’m here to help with that !

January usually begins with great energy, great resolve and great expectations that, unfortunately, according to the experts, fizzle out by mid-February. I’m here to help with that too.

So, let’s set some realistic goals for the beginning of this year. Never feel you’re starting too small. Every step gets you closer to where you want to be. We can motivate each other throughout the year. We’ll encourage each other when we’re down and we’ll celebrate together when we’re up.

Let’s Do This.

Workshop January 20 – Detox Your Face

Where : Club Haus Am Brill, Capellen, Luxembourg

When : Saturday, January 20. 10h – 11h30

Detox Your Face, the first workshop of 2018, is an all over face workout to help rid the face of toxins and improve circulation.

For more information, or to sign up please contact the Club Haus on 30 00 01  or by e-mail clubsenior@mamer.lu.

2017 Advent Calendar December 15 – 25

Releasing tension is key to reducing forehead lines. this move also helps improve concentration, relieve headache pain and relax the eyes.

 

Be gentle when massaging the eye area. A light touch will actually reach all three layers of the skin. Moisturize if you need to.

Let’s wake up the cheeks with these easy moves.

Anything we can do to improve circulation naturally aids in collagen and elastin production.

Tone, define & release tension from the jaw area.

Exercising & relaxing the large muscles that run from the sides of the jaw downward will help to combat Turkey Neck.

Pamper yourself with this quick, all-over face massage.

Tapping, anywhere on the face and body, has an immediate, calming effect.

Get an instant blush and increase collagen & elastin production.

Get your lips ready to be kissed.

Celebrate yourself all year long with this Holiday message from Face Yoga Luxembourg.

2017 Advent Calendar December 8 – 14

Are you practicing everyday? Remember. You don’t have to sit down and do a routine. Repeat a pose three times whenever you get the chance. A few minutes per day can add up to great results.

For more variety, here are the videos from the Advent Calendar that were originally posted on Facebook between December 8th  – December 14th.

 

For a boost in circulation! Feel the stretch from the eyes upward and the mouth downward. Everything else is relaxed.

 

Do this pose sitting, standing, at a desk, or lying down to instantly relax the forehead and give your eyes a rest.

 

Let’s prevent & diminish crow’s feet and strengthen the eye area. Remember we we’re contracting the muscle, NOT wrinkling the skin. Visualize and practice in front of a mirror.

 

Are you concerned about sagging jowls? Try this!

 

One quick & easy movement to wake up 3 areas – mouth, neck & jawline.

 

Upper body tension = Lines on the face. If you sit at a desk all day, or for any time your neck feels a little tight, try this pose to release tension in the neck & upper back.

 

This video puts this week’s poses together in a mini-routine. You can mix & match the poses to fit your needs.

2017 Advent Calendar December 1 – 7

Face Yoga Luxembourg  wants you to Stay Motivated All Year Long!

Here are the videos for the Advent Calendar posted on Facebook between December 1st and December 7th.

December 1

Wow! This pose will jump start your Circulation and wake up the entire face.

December 2

Let’s move that Circulation up into the head & scalp.

December 3

Want to reduce & prevent Under-Eye Bags? Practice this small, subtle movement to get big results.

December 4

Stretch & Volumize the cheek  with this easy move. Remember to come out of the pose SLOWLY, so as not to put unnecessary strain on the neck!

December 5

Saggy Neck? This exercise tones & strengthens the throat area. Feel the stretch! Once again, come out of the pose SLOWLY!

December 6

Mindful Breathing = Better Looking Skin & More energy.

December 7

This video puts the previous poses together in a mini-routine. You can mix & match the poses to fit your needs.