Facial yoga: the new botox

The beauty-obsessed of Manhattan are holding off on Botox injections and queuing up to try out facial yoga instead

Madonna is living proof that yoga can help you maintain the suppleness and tone of a 20-year-old right into your forties but, according to New York-based yoga expert Annelise Hagen, what’s good for the body is actually great for the complexion, too.

At her classes, Hagen puts her clients’ faces through their paces in order to banish wrinkles and smooth out skin. ‘Because facial yoga is derived from ordinary yoga, it takes a multi-pronged approach to anti-ageing, encompassing mind, body and spirit,’ she says. ‘The

key benefit is toning and plumping of the facial muscles to lift and tighten the skin.’

Doing facial exercises to keep skin smooth and wrinkle-free isn’t a new idea, but the yoga method brings its own unique benefits. Annelise’s technique employs standard yoga principles such as inversion (doing things upside down) and regulated breathing in order to slow the heart rate, release tension, stimulate hormones and provide an oxygen boost to the skin.

Meanwhile, repetitions of facial poses such as the Marilyn (blowing exaggerated kisses) and the lion (a fierce-looking grimace complete with rolling eyes and extended tongue – this is clearly not an exercise regime for the inhibited) build muscles that will firm up and sculpt the contours of the face.

Hagen’s book The Yoga Face (£5, Avery) is available on Amazon.

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