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.
Smile! combines lower face exercises that plump, lift, shape and erase lines around the mouth and lip areas. Our mouths show our age and our emotions. Smile at the world, see how the world smiles back at you. Places are limited.
For more information or to sign up for the workshop contact the Club Haus Am Brill on : 30 00 01 or by e-mail : email@example.com
For more information about Face Yoga contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
So doing the exercises is one thing. The happy, confident feeling that comes with it is another.
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.