Facial yoga, the practice of exercising with special breathing patterns for facial muscles and other parts of the face like lips, nose, forehead and ear is prevalent today. The muscles in the face do not benefit from these the yoga asanas that help 'flex' the rest of the body. Facial yoga is a solution to this problem. It consists of simple techniques that can be practiced anywhere at any time and in any condition.
1. Adds lustre to the face and helps keep it fresh always
2. Facial yoga can be done to prevent nerve related diseases like Trigeminal Neuralgia, Facial Palsy, Bile’s Palsy, Vertigo, etc.
3. It will help increase the strength of jaw bones, gums and teeth and reduce gum diseases, bad breath and wear of teeth.
4. It will produce more alpha waves which are responsible for happiness, peace and quiet in the brain and less of negative waves like beta and theta thereby removing criminal tendencies, anger and mental tension and helping build excellent character.
Ten easy techniques for practising in daily life
1. Breathe in through both the nostrils. Along with holding air inside the mouth, fold the tongue upwards and touch the lower part of the tongue on the upper wall of the mouth and hold the breath inside. After some time breathe out through the mouth.
2. Raise the head and look up. Tighten the eyes and cheeks and hold breath inside. Lower the head and touch the upper part of the chest with your jaw while breathing out.
3. Tighten the muscles around the neck. Part the lips, clench the teeth and breathe in through the mouth. Breathe out through the nose.
4. Keep the lips pointed like a crow and breathe in through the mouth. Shut the mouth and breathe out through the nose.
5. Take a deep breath. Hold the breath inside without letting out. Shrink the muscles of the face for sometime while doing so. Later breathe out through the nose.
6. Take a deep breath through the nose. Later open the mouth wide while holding the breath inside. Breathe out strongly through the mouth.
7. Do a long inhalation. Along with it open the eyes and fix your gaze strongly on the tip of the nose for a while. If the eyes feel uneasy open and shut them continuously.
8. Massage the area around eyes with your index finger. Similarly massage the area around the lips. Using your thumb and index finger gently massage the muscles and forehead. Tap the forehead with the tip of the fingers. Gently massage above the eyelids with the tip of the thumb. Gently press the muscles of the cheek with your palm.
9. Open the eyes wide and look at the centre of the eyebrows.
10. Draw the upper and lower lips inside the mouth and hum while breathing in deeply through the nose. (i.e, produce an 'mm' sound)
(The author is a Naturopathy and Yoga Consultant at Holy Cross Hospital, Cherthala, Alapuzha)