A dozen sophisticated New York men and women are sitting together in a room, their bodies relaxed onto the floor, legs akimbo. Their cheeks are full of air, making them look like a lost school of pufferfish. Then they blow out the air and pucker their lips, as though they're imitating someone who has had too much collagen pumped into her lips. Which, in an odd way, is the whole point of their exercises.
The "Yoga Face" work out is for people who want to maintain a youthful visage without resorting to nips, tucks and injections. Pursing your lips - called the "Marilyn Monroe" because it looks like blowing a kiss - increases blood flow and encourages the growth of collagen, the substance that many misguided actresses have "plumped" their lips with (though most of those lips look tragic, not pillowy).
Annelise Hagen, a yoga instructor and author of "The Yoga Face," visited The Early Show to demonstrate some of the facial "poses" she puts her classes through.
Hagen explained the reasoning behind her class. " A lot of my clients were physically fit below the neck but resorting to invasive procedures to get their faces to look young, and I thought, that's
not in the spirit of yoga. Let's tweak yoga and get people to look younger in their face."
Hagen says the results are myriad: "Skin tone improves. The firmness and elasticity, because you're doing contractions, so you're getting more tone, more lift, and rosier skin."
Several problems can be resolved with her work-out, she says. "Double chins are really easy
to fix with this method and any kind of jowliness. You can get rid of wrinkle lines" if you follow her plan "a few minutes a day. Do it when you do your moisturizer and you'll see a difference."
The "Lion face" requires the student to open the mouth wide and stick out the tongue as far as possible - and hold it for 60 seconds. "Scrunch and tighten and compress all your muscles on an
inhale. When you exhale, stick out your tongue and go 'ahh'." This move tightens the jaw.
For "the Satchmo," the student fills one cheek with air, then shifts it to the other side of the face. The "Marilyn" exercise is about blowing kisses: "This is like collagen for the lips," said Hagen.
And "Surprise Me" is a "great exercise for the forehead," she said; the student should look "very surprised. Lift and release and then hold it down with your fingertips. You have to use your hands.
And press down and keep lifting."
Hagen predicts that results can be seen within the first few weeks.
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