Our image is very important to us as this is a basis on which others build perception of our person. We are living longer and still want to look young, because we feel so, too. Keeping fit is an absolute norm these days. Morning jogging to the nearest park, cycling or gym help us to stay healthy and fit.

In big cities, fitness clubs and spas can be found at almost every corner. We care about our body, exercising the muscles, forgetting also our face is built with muscles and may require some 'gym'. So maybe it's time to realize that face muscles are equally important as biceps and triceps muscles? The principle here is the same: well-exercised muscles give us young, fresh look. Neglected - sooner or later will go under influence of time and gravity. That's why we need to start practising as soon as possible, to keep our muscles flexible and strong. You can start at any age. Young people should exercise to delay the appearance of wrinkles, the elderly, to reduce them. That's why facial yoga exercises are gaining popularity. After a great fascination with the achievements of aesthetic medicine, we observe a great comeback to natural methods of counteracting the signs of facial aging. That's when  facial yoga can be a powerful tool to fight ageing.

A set of easy exercises keeps forehead, cheeks and neck in a good condition. Practicing increases blood flow, the cells are supplied with more oxygen, and consequenly, are easier to multiply and renew. Exercises also boost the amount of collagen and elastin produced by the body, which visibly improve the skin condition. This way the face looks healthier, younger and becomes radiant. As the muscles under the skin increase their mass, they shallow the wrinkles.
Best results are achieved when facial yoga is backed up with face massage, being an additional stimulation of the muscles. That's also a great way to release the accumulated emotions, fatigue and stress.

How to start with?

Practice at home just a few minutes a day up to several weeks to see first improvements. Regularity is important, you have to do it every day, at least initially. With time, as we gain awareness of our facial muscles, our face will alone demand some stretching and exercises.
Asanas strengthen our muscles in 7 zones: forehead, eyes, cheeks, lips, chin, jaw and neck. However, to get long-lasting results, you need to train not only the particular zone but also zones around. For example, wanting to get rid of sagging eyelids, you need to focus not only on the eyes but also the forehead and cheeks.

Some practical exercises you can start performing at home:
1. Downturned corners of the mouth

Place the index and middle fingers of one hand on both corners of the mouth. Push the mouth forwards as if you were sending a kiss. Keep the lips slightly open. Hold 20 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2. Double chin

Placing the tongue lightly in front of your upper front teeth and push the skin above the upper lip to the front. Hold 10 seconds. Repeat 20 times.

3. Neck wrinkles & double chin

Sit up straight. Tilt your head back. Stay in this position and keep lifting your mouth. Hold 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

These are just basic exercises to start with. Enjoy their simplicity, ease and effects!
Maybe even you'll add facial yoga to your new gym routines for 2012?