BLOG 106: IN YOUR 30’S? TRY THESE FACE YOGA EXERCISES TODAYNov 09, 2021
In today’s post, I’m running through a Face Yoga routine that is specifically designed for people in their 30s.
Of course, you are welcome to use this routine at any age and you’ll get plenty of benefits. But our 30s tend to be a very busy and stressful period of our lives.
For many of us, our 30s are a time where we’re balancing lots of responsibilities at home and at work. Perhaps you have pressure in your career – you might have set up your own business or taken on more responsibility in your job. Or you might be raising young children. Maybe you’ve recently had a baby and are experiencing broken nights.
I’m in my 30s myself – until February when I’ll be turning age 40 – so I understand the stresses and pressure that come with this stage of life. I’ve also spent the last 17 years teaching Yoga and Face Yoga and have worked with many people in their 30s.
Today’s sequence works every area of your face and is especially aimed at addressing the skincare concerns experienced by many people in their 30s. It aims to release tension, reduce the signs of stress, and prevent or reduce lines and wrinkles.
Make sure you have clean hands and a clean face before starting this Face Yoga routine.
If you have some available, I also recommend applying a few drops of my serum, Fusion by Danielle Collins. Packed with organic plant oils, this moisturising serum can be used twice a day and is especially good for face yoga, helping your hands to move easily over your skin.
Find a comfortable position. You can sit or stand, whichever you find most comfortable. This entire routine should take around 20 minutes.
Take a moment to ground down through your feet. At the same time, lengthen up through your entire spine. Relax your shoulders and take a few deep, calming breaths. Inhale through your nose for a count of four and exhale for a count of six.
As you breathe, focus on releasing any tension or stress you may be holding in your body. Inhale calm, and exhale stress.
Once you are feeling calm, relaxed, and grounded, we are ready to start. We’re going to begin with the forehead area.
1. FOREHEAD MASSAGE
Form your hands into loose fists. Bring the middle knuckles just above your eyebrows. Use a circular motion to massage this area, releasing tension from the muscles.
Very gradually, begin to move the massage up over your forehead, concentrating on relaxing and letting go of any stress you are holding in this area.
This move comes from my new book, The Face Yoga Journal, which you can order now on Amazon.
Then, take your fingertips and gently smooth out across your forehead, starting in the centre and moving outwards. Lift off and repeat for 30 seconds to a minute.
This calming move can help to reduce headaches, as well as release tension from the forehead area. It also stimulates the acupressure points found in this part of our faces.
Often, we find that those horizontal lines on our foreheads are some of the first to appear as we get into our 30s. There’s nothing wrong with lines at all. But I completely understand the desire to reduce and prevent them in a positive and natural way. Techniques like these are brilliant for relaxing the forehead and lessening lines and wrinkles.
2. FLICK BETWEEN THE EYEBROWS
Next, use your thumb to flick upwards repeatedly between your eyebrows. This move helps to relax the procerus muscle, which runs up between the eyebrows and then flares out over the forehead.
Many of us hold a lot of tension in the procerus muscle. This can lead to number 11 lines. So, relaxing the muscle helps to prevent these lines.
This move also stimulates the third eye acupressure point. This is lovely for calming the mind and quieting that internal chatter that can rise up when we are feeling stressed or anxious.
I like to use the thumbs occasionally for facial massage because, according to Ayurveda, the thumb has more prana, or life force, than any of the other fingers. We’re using that energy to get everything flowing freely in our faces again.
3. EYE MUSCLES
We’re moving onto the eye area next. This first move is excellent for reducing lines around the eyes. You may have started to notice faint crows’ lines appearing now that you are in your 30s – this technique helps to strengthen the muscles and tighten the skin in this area.
Make a V with your index fingers and middle fingers. Place your index fingers on the outer edge of your eye and your middle fingers on the inside edge.
Squint your eyes until they are half-closed. After a second or two, you should start to feel a little flutter under your index finger. Release, and then repeat the move 5-10 more times.
Don’t worry if you can’t feel the little shake at first. It can take practice before you notice it. This is the muscle contracting, which is what will build strength and firm the skin attached to the muscle.
Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Take a long inhale and exhale. Then relax.
4. EYE AREA MASSAGE
Using your thumbs again, slide up diagonally from where your cheekbones meet your nose to the outer corners of your eyes and up towards your temples. You want to follow the line where wrinkles and lines may be starting to appear at the outer corner of your eyes.
Keep your touch very gentle for this move and remember to focus on your breathing. Make sure your spine is still long – imagine a string pulling you up towards the ceiling.
5. LIFTING MOUTH CORNERS
If you notice that your mouth has started to turn down at the corners slightly when your face is relaxed, this move is brilliant for addressing that. It also brightens the skin and lifts the cheek area.
With your mouth slightly open, tuck your lips in around your teeth. Turn the corners of your mouth up slightly, then use your index fingers to smooth out the skin around your lips and prevent any lines from forming while you do this move.
Hold for a count of ten. Release and then repeat two more times.
6. CHEEK MASSAGE
Take your index finger and middle finger together. Using both hands, flick up repeatedly under your cheekbones. Work along the whole cheekbone, then lift off and repeat a few more times.
This is great for brightening the skin of the cheek area, especially after a bad night’s sleep.
Then form your index fingers into hooks. Using the knuckle, drag them along beneath your cheekbones, starting at your nose and working outwards. Lift off and repeat the move several more times.
7. JAW MASSAGE
I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t hold some tension in their jaw. We tend to store different emotions in different areas of our faces, and the jaw is where many of us hold onto stress, anxiety, and control.
We’re going to release some of that tension and worry by forming our index fingers and middle fingers into hooks. Using the knuckles on either side of your jawbone, glide your fingers along the jaw, working out from your chin.
Continue to repeat this move for 30 seconds to a minute. As well as releasing tension, it helps to lift and tone the jawline.
As you do this, bring your attention back to your breath again.
Posture is extremely important. Many of us in our 30s spend a lot of time sitting at computers or looking down at phones. We might also hunch over frequently as we’re holding babies or looking down at small children.
This leaves us with sore, rounded shoulders and tense necks.
First, do some shoulder rolls to release tension. Then find a neutral position for the shoulders – not rounding forwards or squeezing too far back.
Bring your chin so it is parallel to the floor. Rest it on the top of the fingers of one hand. Use your other hand to support your elbow.
At the same time, press down with your chin and up with your fingers. Your chin shouldn’t move at all, but you should have a sense of effort to keep it still. Make sure you don’t tense your jaw as you do this.
Release. Using one hand, tap the tops of your fingers up against your chin area.
9. NECK STRETCH
Our final moves are great for releasing tension from the neck area.
Bring your right ear down towards your shoulder. Wrap your right arm around your head and rest your hand on the left side of your head, using it to gently bring the stretch a little deeper.
You will feel the stretch in the left side of your neck. Hold this while you take five deep breaths.
Release back to centre and then turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Tilt your chin up slightly. Stick your tongue out and up, towards the tip of your nose. Hold this for a count of twenty.
Repeat these moves on the other side.
Remember that this should never feel painful. If you experience any pinching or discomfort in your neck, ease out of the pose. It is crucial to always work to your own level with any Face Yoga technique.
We’ll finish this sequence with an affirmation. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Relax your full face, releasing any last bits of remaining tension.
In your head, I want you to repeat three times, “my skin looks healthy and relaxed.”
And we are done! If you prefer to follow a video, you can find this full routine over on my YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe – I share regular Face Yoga and facial massage tips, as well as product recommendations and other wellness hacks.