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
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.