(photo from Yoga Journal)
To increase lip fullness and color — tap your lips with your index and middle fingers 5 times each day
To sculpt and narrow your nose — Breathe alternately out of each nostril
For crow’s feet — Open your eyes wide to smooth the lines
Pale? — Try downward dog to bring color to the complexion while oxygenating your skin
OK, HOLD IT THERE! ARE THESE YOGA BEAUTY TIPS FOR REAL?
One thing seems clear. In this age of Botox and collagen, there is a growing mass of people looking at healthy alternatives to maintaining youthfulness and beauty without the artificiality of face lifts and injections.
In a New York Times article by Alix Strauss, he reported that classes are sprouting all over the United States touting yoga facial toning to address everything from wrinkles to crow’s feet, to facial jowls, drooping mouths, and whatever else from the neck up. He writes: “Frownies and jowlies are under attack at the Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas, where guests are led through a series of 23 facial movements meant to release facial tension, lift droopy mouth corners and iron forehead wrinkles.” Some of those who attend these classes say it is about time we stop paying attention merely to exercising the body but pay attention also to the face.
Simhasana or Lion Pose, according to the Yoga Journal, “stimulates the platysma, a flat, thin, rectangular-shaped muscle on the front of the throat. The platysma, when contracted, pulls down on the corners of the mouth and wrinkles the skin of the neck. Simhasana helps keep the platysma firm as we age.”
Do medical specialists in skin and facial physiology agree?
Alix Strauss, in the same NYT article, quotes Dr. Gross, a dermatologist:
“Nothing is going to have a lasting benefit like Botox or filler or collagen injections,” said Dr. Dennis Gross, a Midtown Manhattan dermatologist, the author of “Your Future Face” and the creator of a skin-care line. But there are short-term improvements, he said.
“Facial stretches and yoga temporarily reduce the neurological impulses associated with stress and the grimaces that lead to the lines in your forehead,” he said. “The plumping of your lips is more a massage and only adds color for a few minutes.”
Even some yoga gurus remain skeptical, Strauss said.
“We’ve not discovered the fountain of youth, though people are always trying to obtain it,” said Rodney Yee of East Hampton, N.Y., a well-known yoga instructor, who was unaware these programs existed. “Yoga will add radiance to your face and relax you, which will make you look younger, but to just focus on the face is too specific and sounds more like a marketing ploy.”
My personal take on this subject? There is no harm in doing these yoga facial asanas. In fact, I think I will incorporate some of these in my own self-yoga practice. But I think that more than all these outer attempts at keeping one’s self youthful, the inner glow that one radiates comes about through a deep personal connection with our God, inner peace, contentment, non-violence towards others, and a healthy lifestyle.
Wishing you love, light and inner beauty always. Namaste.