For people who deem needles too scary and surgery too drastic, the latest anti-aging fad may appeal: facial yoga. Based on the premise that facial muscles, like any other muscle, need exercise to stay toned, enthusiasts say the regular practice of facial yoga can reduce worry lines and wrinkles - and even create a little peace within.
A wrinkled face is not a good look but as the years catch up with you, short of going under the knife there's no way to avoid it. Or at least there wasn't, until a new set of facial exercises called facial yoga or 'Happy Face Yoga' promised to turn back the clock, returning your face to its smooth, youthful prime, without a scalpel in sight.
Its fountain-of-youth allure is quickly gaining facial yoga a following in health clubs and yoga studios across the world, and has already won devotees among the forever-young-looking celebrity crowd, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston said to be huge fans.
Fun, relaxing and enjoyable, facial yoga is a positive and natural way of both maintaining and re-establishing the contours of the face. It helps to promote self confidence, self esteem and a sense of inner well-being.

Benefits include:

1. Slowing down the aging process.

2. Tones the facial and neck muscles, releases tension, increases circulation to both areas.

3. Improves complexion both in texture and colour - the face appears more relaxed but with firmer contours.

4. Helps to diminish jowls, fill out hollow cheeks reduce puffiness around the eyes and eliminate double chins.

5. Releases tension and relaxes the upper part of the body, relieving headaches, stiff necks and general discomfort.

Facial yoga incorporates mini postures and simple exercises, such as the Smiling Fish (purse your lips and smile slightly), the Marilyn (blow kisses while keeping your forehead smooth) and the Satchmo (puff out your face and transfer air from cheek to cheek), to target specific areas of the face and neck. Toning the circulation by working points on the face, neck and head through gentle acupressure and massage releases tension, eliminates impurities and gives skin an all-over glow. There's no set routine to facial yoga as you can do ten minutes a day to target specific areas, or an hour-long anti-ageing routine once a week, topped up with ten-minute sessions when you moisturise your face at night. While this type of exercise promotes aesthetically pleasing results, it also offers various medical benefits, and can help train injured faces to move again. Workshops across the world have helped increase mobility in clients with partial facial paralysis and problems like crooked smiles. Nourishing the skin inwardly through a good diet, essential supplements, relaxation, deep breathing and a positive approach to life reflects outwardly, and can further enhance the benefits of facial yoga. Whether your reasons are mental, medical or motivated by appearance, more yoga enthusiasts are trying out the facial yoga trend.

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