by Andrea Leber Saturday, July 22
Do you look in the mirror, examine your wrinkles, and can’t help but think you’re getting old? Well, there’s something you can do – and no, I’m not talking about Botox. Chances are that those wrinkles you’re looking at have nothing to do with old age. They’re probably caused by bad habits. These habits are hard to break because we’re not even aware of them. Do you crunch the space between your eyebrows when you concentrate? Do you frown constantly (some of us do this when asleep)? Squint your eyes? Even if you’re unsure, a look at your face will tell.
Quite often we’re unaware of what’s happening. If it’s something we do all the time, it means that we’re not conscious of our behavior. Therefore, the first step to tackling those lines is to raise awareness of any tension we hold in our faces - often 24/7, even while sleeping. This tension causes those wrinkles to appear in the first place and subsequently, to deepen.
The perfect place to start is with exercises that make us consciously smooth those wrinkles. If we repeat these exercises once a day, even if just for a few minutes, we subconsciously start realizing that we can in fact relax those facial muscles, instead of being in a state of tension all the time.
- SMOOTH THE SMILE
Hide the teeth with the lips and make an oval shape with your mouth. Now try and smile while keeping the teeth hidden. Repeat 5-10 times.
- SMOOTH THE FOREHEAD
Make a fist with both hands, place the knuckles in the center of your forehead and apply firm pressure. Slowly slide your fists away from the midline. Finish up by gently pressing the knuckles into your temples. Repeat 5-10 times.
- MEDITATION FACE
Close your eyes and mentally go through all features of your face. If possible, address all of them saying aloud: “I relax my chin… I relax my forehead… I relax the space between the eyebrows…” You get the idea. The brain will respond to verbal cues and erase those line-making expressions. This exercise will reset your habits. Think of pressing “refresh” on your computer – it works! Do it once, taking your time.
- FIRM THE CHEEKS
Think of people who play wind instruments – their cheeks never sag! Let’s just borrow their method: Take a big breath, then puff up your cheeks and hold for a few seconds. If you’d like to take it further, move the breath from cheek to cheek. Release. Repeat 5-10 times, or for as long as is comfortable, being mindful of the pressure.
- TO FINISH UP: THE FACE LIFT
Place your palms on your temples, and then gently push the hands back- and upward, lifting both sides of your face. Open your mouth, creating an oval shape. Now drop your jaw as if you were trying to make your face as long as possible. Hold for a few seconds; repeat 5-10 times.
Author: Andrea Leber
Andrea is a travel & wellness journalist and yoga guide publisher with 15+ years experience in the publishing industry. Having lived in 6 countries on 3 continents, she currently enjoys life in Australia and soaks up inspiring ideas in India. On her website andrealeber.com you’ll find stories that inspire and empower you to live, not just exist. Follow Andrea on Google+, send her a Tweet @AndreaLeber or download your free 50+ page ‘Best of Yoga’ guide to Melbourne here: http://andrealeber.com/bestofyoga