1. Buddha Face
You can do this exercise either in a standing position after you have completed the other facial exercises, or in a seated posture. Close your eyes and concentrate on consciously smoothing out all wrinkles. Imagine a point between the brows—a small iridescent disc of light—and with your mind’s eye, watch it expand. If you feel your mind drift off, bring your attention back to the point between the brows, mentally smoothing the facial muscles as you do so. Start with one minute, then work up to two or three. In a seated posture, you may do this for as long as you like.
2. The Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This pose will help you cultivate a smooth, wrinkle-free face as you release stress and the muscular habits of clenching and gripping. The word asana is translated as “seat”, the Easy Pose is just that while seated, let your knees drop lower than your hips if possible. You may use padding—in the form off a rolled-up blanket or a yoga block—under the sit bones to make it more comfortable. Sitting in a chair or on a couch is a good alternative to Easy Pose for beginners. You may wish to insert a pillow or rolled-up blanket behind your spine to encourage your posture. Draw your shoulders back, broaden your collarbones, and allow the crown of your head to float on top of the spine. Keep your gaze forward or on the tip of your nose. Rest your dominant hand in your passive one, both hands facing up, and breathe steadily and smoothly. Practice this for two or three minutes, minimum, or choose it as a meditative seat and sit as long as you can—up to twenty or thirty minutes if possible.
3. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is the perfect posture for erasing worry lines from the face. Your head is dropped lower than your heart, so the face can receive more circulation. It stretches the back and drains away the excess fire and aggression that can make unattractive scowl and worry lines appear between the eyebrows and on the forehead.
Choose either variation. Drop down on the floor, knees bent, and rest your front ribs on the tops of the thighs. Place a pillow or block under your forehead if it doesn’t reach the floor. You can put a pillow or rolled-up blanket between your heels and buttocks if there is a gap between them. Extend your arms forward, palms down, or alongside your torso, palms up. Hold this pose for about ten deep breaths.
4. Threading the Needle
This pose is a variation of Child’s Pose that also stretches the neck, jaw, shoulders, and arms and is therefore a heart-opening pose, bringing increased circulation to the face and detoxifying the lymph nodes.
From Child’s Pose, thread your left arm under your collarbones, face up toward the right. Turn on the left side of your face, resting on the left side of the head.
5. Star Pose (Tarasana)
In this pose, the head drops lower than the heart again and receives the blessing of new circulation. The heart rate slows, the back, hips, and gluteal muscles are stretched, and the face projects a dewy glow.
Sit down, place the soles of your feet together, and bend your knees outward. Your legs should resemble the shape of a baseball diamond. Grab your shins, ankles, or the tops of your feet, bend your elbows out to the sides, and drop your head as low as you can. Rounding your upper back a little here is fine, but release the bottom tips of your shoulder blades toward your waist gently if you can. Hold this pose for five to ten counts.
6. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimoltanasana)
Deep forward bends take years off the face, as they ease strain and tension and drop the head lower than the heart.
- Sit on your mat, legs extended in front of you. Engage your quadriceps (the tops of the thighs) without locking your knees.
- On an inhale, extend your arms upward, hands shoulder-width apart and facing each other, and as you exhale, reach your fingertips toward your toes.
- Grab your chins or place your palms down on the floor alongside the knees or chins if you are unable to touch the toes. If you can go deeper in the stretch, try to grab the outer edges of your feet.
- On your next inhale, arch the upper back a little, and slightly bend your elbows out to the sides to release the shoulders down the back and broaden the collarbones. Avoid rounding the upper back, as this shortens the lower back muscles. Try to go for a flat back instead of a rounded back. Then, release the face toward the legs and take eight slow, deep breaths.
- To make this pose more calming and restful, roll a blanket into a long cylinder and place it on top of the legs, and then rest your forehead on top of the blanket. Add one or two more blankets if one isn’t enough. If you are tight in the back and/or hamstrings, sit on a rolled-up blanket to lighten the pressure. If you are prone to hyperextension, bend your knees a little or place a rolled-up blanket under the backs of your knees.
7. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Pigeon improves circulation in the face and erases worry lines. It also stretches the gluteal muscles and the hip flexors. As a forward bend, this pose opens up the channels for restoration of energy.
- On your mat: place Your right knee between your hands, which should be spaced shoulder-width apart; as vow left leg extends back behind you, with the left knee toward the midline of the mat.
- Draw your right ankle and shin toward your left wrist but only as far as you can comfortably. You will feel this in the buttocks and outer upper thigh.
- Walk your hands backward toward your hips on fingertips until you bracket your hips with your hands.
- On an inhale, curl your tailbone under you, draw in the navel, and lift the upper chest. Bend the elbows slightly backward toward vow waist to draw the shoulder blades down the back and expand the collarbones.
- As you exhale, walk your hand back out in front of vow head and place your palms or fingertips on the floor. Turn the palms up, shoulder-width apart, to create more release in the shoulders.
- Rest the forehead on the floor or on a block or blanket. Breathe deeply for eight counts. Then repeat this on the other side. Do once on each side.
8. Wide Forward Bend Pose (Upavista Konasana)
This pose clears the channel of energy from the tail to the crown, allowing the kundalini (energy of enlightenment) to travel unimpeded. Keep the heart open and the shoulders released. This pose releases tension from the hip flexors and releases trapped negative emotions, such as fear anxiety, and anger, from the face, leaving joy to shine through the facial features. It also strengthens the thighs and stretches the hip flexors and hamstrings.
- Sitting on your mat, extend your legs into a wide V shape.
- Externally rotate your thighs by lightly pulling the flesh out from under them and rolling the thigh bones in toward the midline.
- Flex your feet and engage your quadriceps, then open the arms wide as though you wished to hug the world.
- Lead from the sternum and reach for the tips of the big toes or the outer edges of your feet. Don’t worry, if you don’t make contact. If you don’t, you can place a block under your forehead, or clamp a block between your hands and slide it forward as flexibility permits. It’s a process.
- Press the backs of your thighs into the floor under you and continue to reach the sternum forward. Smile and breathe deeply for eight slow counts.
9. Crescent Moon Pose (Chandrasana)
Lovely and strong, this pose’s qualities will translate to your body, mind, and face. The jaw will relax here, especially if you let your teeth part and your tongue release down to the bottom of your mouth and smile. Enjoy the grace!
Support your weight on your right foot and your left knee. Your right foot should fall directly under your right knee. Start by placing your palms down on the right knee and lifting up the spine. Push off the palms to lift the sternum. Tuck the bottom tip of the tailbone slightly under you and pull the lower abdominals in. Arch the upper back. Now step the right foot a little farther forward, perhaps an inch or two, and drop the hips forward. You can interlace your fingers and reach the arms up for a deeper stretch. Hold for about five to eight counts, then switch sides.
10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Corpse Pose is the traditional ending pose to asana practice. It is said to emulate the best aspects of death: letting go, surrender, and cessation of struggle. It is a marvelous reward to the effort of practice, like dessert after vegetables, but it may also be practiced anytime, anywhere, on its own merit. Savasana reduces facial puffiness and bloating. Really let go of facial tension here, as it is good relaxation training for your facial muscles.
The face receives maximum benefit from this pose. Savasana is not heavy slumber; rather, it is a light, restful state in which no grogginess takes place. The jaw releases, the mouth softens, the forehead unfurrows. Lie down with your feet hip-width apart and your hands palms-up alongside your hips. Let your back body drop into the floor. Close your eyes.Let your tongue drop to the floor of your jaw and let your jaw relax. Let your eyes drop to the back of their sockets. Relax completely.