The latest workout trend is giving Botox a run for its money: Face yoga is the way to up your asana game, no mat or block involved.
The practice, which originated in Japan, involves making a series of faces to help relax and tone muscles to create a slimmer, younger complexion. Koko Hayashi, founder of Face Yoga With Koko, explained that face yoga includes two different types of exercises: Poses that wake up “sleeping muscles” to lift the face, and poses that relax overworked muscles to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Sleeping muscles are located in areas like the lower eyelid and cheeks, whereas overworked muscles are located in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the mouth.
“When we keep doing the same face over and over, the muscle becomes tense, which shows us wrinkles,” Hayashi says. “I teach how to relax and tone the right muscles to help get rid of the appearance of wrinkles.”
Unlike a facial, face yoga doesn’t involve the instructor touching a student’s face. Occasionally during a one-on-one, Hayashi will massage a certain part of her client’s face at their request, but for the most part, face yoga involves the person working the face on their own. Hayashi says that a typical class “flows” through the movements like a full-body yoga class, which includes a warm-up and stretching.
There are dozens of movements that Hayashi uses in a typical class, including raising the eyebrows, puckering the lips, sticking out the tongue and puffing up the cheeks. Hayashi designs different routines based on the areas of the face her clients want to fix.
Recognize Hayashi? Keeping Up With The Kardashians fans may remember the May 26 episode during which Hayashi visits one of the Kardashian sisters’ homes to teach Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and Scott Disick how to do face yoga. However, the moves you see your favorite reality stars doing aren’t the typical positions in a normal face yoga routine.
— Kardashians on E! (@KUWTK) May 26, 2019
“When I was teaching the Kardashians, I showed some of the more dramatic positions for TV purposes,” Hayashi says. “Typically, in one-on-one sessions, I don’t have people make sounds while they’re moving through the positions, but in bigger classes or group settings, it’s more enjoyable for people to add noises to create bigger movements.”
“It takes time to see results; it’s not like Botox,” says Hayashi. “But if you do it on a regular basis, you should be able to see some results in a couple of weeks to months, depending on how often you do it.”
Hayashi said that the best practice for face yoga is to do it daily in small, three-minute sessions multiple times throughout the day.
“The best part about face yoga is that you can take it anywhere,” Hayashi adds. “You can do it at work or while walking your dog, which makes it easy to work into your daily routine.”
The best part? You don’t need a gym membership to get started. Hayashi offers dozens of tutorial videos on her YouTube channel, so you can try flowing through poses ASAP.
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