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Face Yoga for Mindfulness

Mindfulness with Face Yoga

By Carolyn@Qetello

Can Face Yoga be used as a mindfulness practice?

Simply put, YES! But... What is mindfulness?

Professor Mark Williams clinical psychologist and founding director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre defines mindfulness as:

  “…knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.”

and goes onto say:

“…Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment… Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better.”

So, how can Face Yoga help?

Well, one of the first places we hold tension, without even realising it, is in our faces!  The tension can build and build, and before we know it we’ve got deep set wrinkles, an imbalanced facial structure (think some muscles are tighter than others) and excess toxins floating through our system, wreaking all sorts of havoc like puffy eyes, headaches, sinus problems, grey skin, to name but a few! 

Remembering that mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.... adopting a regular Face Yoga practice, helps us to achieve the level of awareness we need to fully understand how we are using our facial muscles and more importantly, to understand the stresses and tension we're holding within them!

Mindfully using our Face Yoga practice throughout the day can help release tension as it pops us, rather than letting it build up in our system and we can  get to work on figuring out why it was there in the first place!  

The amazing thing about our faces is they tell the truth, whether we like it or not!!!  I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where what we really feel is written all over our faces, yet our choice of words might suggest something entirely differrent!  How often have we told someone ‘I’m fine‘ when it’s been quite obvious that we’re not!  

Unlike other yoga practices, Face Yoga exercises, massage, acupressure and relaxation can all be done individually, meaning you can choose one exercise or technique to practice, making Face Yoga incredibly flexible and easy to fit into your daily routine.  For example, many of the exercises can be done at your desk, in the car or, at the park with your kids!  

Stress less for clearer, younger looking skin!

By being aware of how we are using our faces, we can keep our emotions in check and deal with difficulties as they arise, rather than letting stresses build up to a point where are bodies are shouting at us to do something about it, or worse, end up chronically stressed with a range of health issues.

As for our skin health, the cortisol hormone released into our bodies when we’re stressed, actually increases our sebum production, resulting in oilier skin and breakouts.  With this increased cortisol comes increased glucose production which, can cause inflammation in the skin.  During these episodes of stress, collagen and elastin also become damaged by the cortisol and over time more visible lines and wrinkles develop.  (For more on this, see the blog post How the skin is affected by stress!)

The British Association of Dermatology also recommends mindfulness practices, as an effective way to manage stress related flare ups for conditions like: eczema and psoriasis.

A Mindful Face Yoga Practice

In essence, establishing a regular Face Yoga practice helps us to quickly identify and acknowledge our ‘stress triggers’ as they appear, giving us the opportunity to choose how we respond to them. 

It might be, that we ignore the feelings and end up with stored tension.  For example,  above our brow and in our shoulders which, eventually manifests as a headache a few days later!  Or, it might be we choose to ask: Why I am feeling like this? Whilst consciously dropping our shoulders, releasing the muscles of our forehead and taking a couple of deep breaths to acknowledge the emotion, but also letting it pass and affirm to ourselves that we’re OK.  Often this can take us out of our comfort zone, (which, maybe is the reason we’re being triggered in the firstplace!) And gives us an opportunity to tune into ourselves and do some personal development work.  

Face Yoga as a whole practice includes facial exercises, massage, acupressure, relaxation, visualisation and affirmations, making it a completely holistic practice for mind, body and soul.   By using Face Yoga to release stress related tension,  we can visibly achieve healthier and younger looking skin, increased feelings of happiness (becuase we’re less stressed) and a huge boost in confidence.

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