Do you hear the words ‘chipmunk’ or ‘chubby cheeks’ too often? So you’re spending hours at the gym and counting your daily calorie intake and all that is working to shape your body well. But what’s that? Your cute baby face will just not budge. I know how that is, I’ve been called chubs one too many times in the past. A few years ago, I was tired of looking at myself in the mirror, as it would always scream out ‘cute’ to me. But I didn’t want cute; I wanted pretty, I wanted sexy, I wanted Angelina-Jolie-pouty! And that’s when I decided to do something about it and stumbled upon a pamphlet at my fitness centre – Facial yoga classes. I was elated! Now we all know Botox is way too expensive and the thought of anything being injected in the face completely freaks me out. So when I came across facial yoga, a way that’s natural and inexpensive, I decided to give it a try. And guess what? It works!
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So here I am, sharing a few of the easiest and most effective yoga exercises that help tone down the face. Firstly, it’s important to realise that relaxation is the key to results. So stop worrying about the final result and just relax and let your mind prepare itself for a completely refreshing experience. Certain yoga poses increase the blood circulation and make it flow to your head, stretching the neck, chin and facial muscles, which help to slim down and sculpt the face.
Simha asana or The Lion pose: This pose stimulates and tones the entire facial musculature; it is considered the best facial yoga asana.
Kneel on the mat or sit in the vajrasana pose. Close your eyes and take a deep, slow breath through your nose. Hold for 2-3 seconds and breathe out forcefully through your mouth while sticking your tongue out. Make sure to make a husky sound from your throat resembling the roar of a lion. Repeat 5-7 times.
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Jivha Bandha or the locked tongue pose: This pose is again known to be very helpful in toning the throat and the facial muscles. It also shapes the jaw line and reduces the double chin effect.
Sit in the Lotus pose (padmasana) and place your palms on your thighs comfortably. With your chin parallel to the ground, press your tongue against the upper plate of your mouth (as if trying to swallow). With the tongue thus placed, slowly open your mouth and drop your jaw lower until you feel a strong stretch in your face and throat. Breathe through your nose all the while. Repeat 4-5 times.
Kaki mudra or the crow’s beak pose: Traditionally, this pose was kept as a huge yogi-sacred-secret and it helps to bring outer beauty to the face and skin. This mudra helps to tone the face, to strengthen the nasal passages, the respiratory system and to rejuvenate the skin.
Sit in a comfortable position and make a narrow tunnel with your tongue resembling the beak of a crow. Breathe in through this tunnel until your lungs are full and hold the breath. Breathe out from your nose and repeat.
The smiling fish face: This exercise is good for sculpting the face and reducing the baby fat on the cheeks.
Suck your cheeks in and make a fish face. Now try smiling without disturbing the pose. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat 5 times.