Face Yoga – I’m Not Kidding!

Everyone holds stress in different areas of their body. For some people it’s neck and shoulders, others it can be in the lower back.

Yours truly likes to hold her tension in her jaw.

I have a tendency to clench my teeth when I am stressed. I don’t grind my teeth at night but I actually catch myself during the day at times, clenching my teeth. The condition is called Bruxism and it’s defined as “the habit of unconsciously gritting or grinding the teeth especially in situations of stress or during sleep”.

The alarming part came when one day I realized that my jaw was totally out of alignment. When I closed my teeth together – they didn’t line up.
Yikes! That is one bizarre feeling.

I did some research and found that this is a common side effect when left untreated. Typically a bite guard at night is recommended but I don’t really do it in my sleep. When I would wake up, my bite was normal and in alignment.

I decided to  do some work on releasing some of the tension in the muscles in my face. There are 43 muscles in the face. I began doing some daily massage and working any areas that were more sore than others. I also started to really focus on stress reduction in general. My jaw and face were definitely more relaxed and then I saw an article about Face Yoga. I actually giggled and rolled my eyes when I first saw it. I did some more research and thought, what the heck!

So here is my facial yoga routine every morning. I do this right after I meditate so that I don’t forget to do it.

  1. Look up, tilting your head back  with mouth closed (you’ll feel this in the front of the neck too) and lower the head. Repeat 20 times.
  2. Look up, tilting your head back. Push the lower jaw out like you have an underbite. Open and close the mouth with the lower jaw pushing out 20 times.
  3. Turn your head to the right. Stick your tongue out and in 10 times.
  4. Repeat above on the left side.
  5. Air kisses – tilt head back , look up and do a very exagerated “muah” kiss in to the air . Repeat 10 times.
  6. Repeat the vowels in a very slow , exagerrated way – A E I O U. 5 times.

I know it sounds crazy, but my face feels sooo much better and the really good news is that my jaw is back to normal and my teeth close naturally again. Phew!
One of the added bonuses of Face Yoga is that it is also supposed to help prevent signs of aging, sagging, drooping, etc.

Kind of makes sense if you think of it as “exercise” for your face.