Face Yoga

KathleenKarlsenBLOG

       2016

There are many resources to help you to achieve a strong, fit body. There are less resources available for a strong, fit face. After I’d spent two decades raising a large family and running a business, I was shocked by how old and tired and worn out I looked. I got the idea that exercise could benefit the face. Exercise seemed to be a virtual fountain of youth for the body and the face should be no exception. After all, we have the same muscles and skin on our faces as we have everywhere else!

Sure enough, I found some pioneering face fitness experts: Carole Maggio, Annelise Hagen, Fumikop Takatsu, Lillian Bridges, Cynthia Rowland and others. In the last half a dozen years, the idea of exercises the muscles on your face has been growing and becoming mainstream. It’s easy now to find videos and articles about face exercises online.

I studied every book I could find and the anatomy of the face and developed my own program, which I now practice for 30 minutes four or five days a week. In the same way that a personal trainer can develop a fitness program that strengthens particular areas for those who need a stronger core or back or arms, a face exercise program can focus on the areas that are sagging or wrinkling the most. After almost seven years of face exercises, I’m happier with the joy and health I feel that I can express in my face now than I was before I started.

I created sets of exercises for myself for each area of the face: cheek and nose; eye and forehead; jaw, chin and neck; the mouth and lips. For example, women in my family have tended to get thin lips and cheeks as they age. So I focused on the mouth and cheeks. I think you can see the difference: I had a family member take these photos with a regular camera (before the days of fantastic cameras in phones) so the quality is not totally ideal, but they still indicate the fullness that I gained in my face through exercises. I have more dramatic before and after photos, but I’ll only show those at workshops!

In addition, the extra blood flow and stimulation that comes with face exercise also helped to get rid of the almost constant skin blemishes that I was prone to prior to my face exercise days! These are untouched photos from 2 years apart. It’s now almost seven years since I started face exercises. I think it has been worth the time and effort.

face exercises side view

            2011                                                                                            2013

Besides the physical exercises, I also realized that the face is a reflection of our personalities to a large degree as well. In the same way that anger, resentment, fear and stress show on our faces at any particular moment, those patterns become embedded in our faces over the course of many years. According to oriental diagnosis, the health of the entire body also shows in the face. So I also began to work on my emotional world and my overall health.

As far as I am concerned, face exercises are part of an integrated program for boundless health in every way. I have recently taken an online course to be certified in the Face Yoga Method with Fumiko Takatsu. I am still learning but would like to share my own experiences with others in workshops and classes going forward.