How Sukshma Asana, Or Yoga For The Face, Allow You To Destress Anywhere, Any Time

21/06/2015 7:35 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Swimmer Giaan Rooney arrives for the 2006 TV Week Logie Awards at the Crown Entertainment Complex on May 7, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ever wondered why humans grind their teeth, pull their hair and clench their fists to express anger?

There's a reason behind it, says Sejal Shah, a teacher with the Bengaluru-based The Art Of Living Institute established by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1981.

These natural and fairly common ways of blowing off steam help relieve tension from the body and face, Shah says. In fact, they all exist in a form of yoga known as Face or Sukshma Yoga.

The subtle techniques of Sukshma yoga help combat ageing, stress and tiredness and get that glow back on your face, says Shah. Not only do these exercises take only 10 minutes every day, they can be practised anywhere!

Shah recommends practicing these techniques for a few minutes before a big work presentation to relax your face, or prior to meditation to help you focus deeper.

  • The Art of Living
    Close your fists, but keep your thumbs upright. Close your eyes, and start making circles (gently) with your thumb on each eye. Do this exercise for 2 to 3 minutes. How it works: This move helps eliminate dark circles, and releases tension from the muscles around your eyes.
  • The Art of Living
    Open your eyes as much as you can - try to expose as much of the white in your eye as is possible. Then squeeze your eyes tightly shut. Repeat this for 3-4 minutes, till your eyes feel like they are going to start watering. Then close them and relax How it works: This moves helps improve eyesight and may even help get rid of spectacles over a period of time.
  • The Art of Living
    Using only your mouth, breathe in, and puff your cheeks for a couple of seconds. Then, release through your mouth again. Repeat for 8-10 times. How it works: This pose strengthens the cheek muscles, preventing them from looking hollow.
  • The Art of Living
    Pull your earlobes downwards for about 30 seconds. For the next 30 seconds, pull them outwards, and follow this with rotating them clockwise and anti-clockwise for almost 30 seconds each. How it works: This exercise brings awareness and also releases tension from the facial muscles.
  • The Art of Living
    Hold your eyebrows with your fingers such that you can pull the eyebrows from centre towards the end of the eyebrows. Do this for 3-4 minutes. How it works: This relaxing move massages, and keeps stress from accumulating near the eyebrows.
  • The Art of Living
    Smile as wide as you can. Then press your lips tightly together, almost as though you were kissing someone. Repeat this exercise for 20-25 times. How it works: This exercise relaxes the muscles around the lips, and cheeks. It also helps brighten up the face.

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