Face Yoga: Can you squint, squeeze and sculpt your way to a younger face?

Sara Packard of Health Yoga Life in Boston shows off her "yohhh-ga" face. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Sara Packard of Health Yoga Life in Boston shows off her “yohhh-ga” face. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Face Yoga, an anti-aging practice that has gained popularity due to its promise of a more youthful looking mug, has beauty hopefuls across the nation making lots of funny faces, but it has left some yogis scratching their heads.

The technique involves tightening and toning facial muscles by making certain facial “poses,” which often involve pursing, puckering, squeezing, lifting and wrinkling the face.

It gained notoriety with the 2007 release of yoga instructor Annelise Hagen’s book, “The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift.”

Vyda Bielkus, a Boston yoga instructor and co-founder of Health Yoga Life, is familiar with facial yoga but skeptical that it has the same physical effect on the face that traditional yoga has on the body.

“It reminds me of when I was little, and my mom would say, ‘You’re face is going to stay that way.’ Making these particular faces would actually increase wrinkles over time,” said Bielkus, adding “It is not a true form of yoga practice. Just practicing regular yoga helps bring more vitality and blood flow through body, which has more-anti aging properties than just making funny faces.”

Say ahhhh, Sara. PHOTO: NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Say ahhhh, Sara. PHOTO: NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Boston University facial aesthetics professor Jeffrey H. Spiegel said that the idea of exercising facial muscles has been around for a while, and as tempting as it may be, it does not work.

Botox, however, does.

“(Face yoga) is almost certain to exacerbate and worsen facial wrinkles over time,” Spiegel said. “Botox is an effective way of treating facial wrinkles and works by relaxing facial muscles. Tightening the face and holding the muscles in contracted positions does the opposite and as such, will surely deepen facial lines.”

During a video interview with Howdini.com, Hagen demonstrates the unique practice, and defends its effectiveness, saying “I think the proof is in the pudding. I think if you actually document yourself doing these exercises with a camera you’ll see that yes, it actually does work.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.