Fumiko Takastu shows Yahoo Life’s Kerry Justich some basic poses that target tension caused by stress and signs of aging that people can practice from home.
KERRY JUSTICH: Hey, guys. So throughout quarantine, we've all been turning to fitness, meditation, and a bunch of other activities to relieve our stress and practice self-care. But I bet you haven't tried face yoga.
I'm here with the founder of face yoga, Fumiko Takatsu. What is face yoga, and how did you come up with this method?
FUMIKO TAKATSU: Well, when I started, I was 35 years old. And I got in a car accident, and I was hit from the side. The trauma of the accident made my face and my body out of alignment. It was almost like this. And I couldn't smile. I couldn't look at myself in a mirror. It was too painful because I could not recognize myself. I felt like I was trapped in my body because I was still young, but my face didn't show.
So face yoga is the mental and the physical practice to get the best version of yourself. The mental part is self-love and self-care and pay more attention to your facial expressions and the body posture. And the physical aspect is move the face muscles. You know, face has a muscle just-- just like a body. When you have a good posture, you feel good. And when you feel good, it shows on your face, right?
KERRY JUSTICH: It's my first time trying it out. I'm a little nervous, but I'm excited.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: The warm-up pose is really important to tell our body, let's relax. It's called chest opener. Put your hands on your shoulders, and then breathe in. And elbows close together and shoulders relaxed. And breathe in, and move your elbows up high, open them up, and breathe out. Breathe out. Beautiful. Let your body fill with breath. Breathe in. And when you cannot breathe in anymore, that's when you separate your elbows. And aah, beautiful.
KERRY JUSTICH: I'm feeling zen already.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: Do you have any specific concern you want to work on?
KERRY JUSTICH: There's definitely a lot of tension in the neck just from working on a computer for so long.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: OK. So there is a big muscle called platysma that connects our face line and the collarbone. And this is the area that we want to target if you want to prevent that double chin or turkey neck. And also, we carry lots of stress, like you mentioned of that.
Interlace your fingers in front of you, and then chest open, heart open by pushing the shoulders. Yes, good. And when you push your hands away from you, find the angle you feel a nice stretch in the back of the shoulder. Do you feel that? Ooh, right here. So push your hands away a little bit more. Good. Breathe in and out from the nose. Now move your hands to the right side. Keep your elbows straight. And very slowly, move your head to the left, chin slightly at 45 degree angle. And pucker mouth.
Come back to the center. Good. Let's switch the hand position. Push the hands away, and then feel a stretch again. And chest open as shoulder relax. And I can see your right shoulder is a little high, so push down. Let's move your hands to the left side, and then chin slightly up. Yes, good. And then pucker your mouth. And one. Come back to the center. Beautiful. And let's tap the area we just worked on. Tap the back of the shoulder, any place you feel tension.
KERRY JUSTICH: It's weird because the same way that when you're exercising your body and a muscle starts to shake--
FUMIKO TAKATSU: Yeah.
KERRY JUSTICH: --it does the same thing when you're doing that stretch.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: Right.
KERRY JUSTICH: And then I think the only thing that I'm having trouble with is sleeping, and I can always feel that my jaw is really tense when I'm trying to sleep.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: All right, so let's warm up on-- on the jawline right here. So what I want you to do is I want you to put up fingers right here and then open your mouth and close very slowly. Let your body [INAUDIBLE] breath means very slow movement. Breathe in from the nose and open your mouth. So what we are going to do is we are going to release the tension and the stress, and make a fist. And then the knuckles of the middle fingers right next to the nostril right here, just push in.
Don't push up because that can cause unwanted wrinkle under the eyes. Find the angle. Like, whoa, that's a little tight. From your nose, very naturally, breathe in and out, and relax your shoulder. Always, always chest open, heart open. Good. Push in, and very slowly move the knuckles under the cheekbone. So what we are doing is we are pushing right here, right here, right here. Good. Now move to the side and we'll go to that side, and now very slowly open your mouth as if you're yawning. Feel that, and then close.
One more. Open. And now move knuckles little bit toward the ears. So almost the index finger knuckle is just under the ears, and then the middle finger is right here, the chin muscle, big muscle. OK, now let's open and close your mouth. Shoulder relax, just open. Breathe in, and then breathe out. Relax. Good. Breathe in and push slightly. Change the angle if you want. And breathe out.
Good. And put our hands from behind the ears and our fingers the face line, and the same on the other side. Pull your hands toward a little bit 45 degree. Not too much. OK. So then why 45 degree? Because what we're going to do is we're going to move these muscles. And drop the jaw. And hold this for 10 seconds. Close your eyes and take a deep breath from your nose and out from the mouth.
KERRY JUSTICH: You can feel that your face is looser already.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: You're adjusting it, yeah.
KERRY JUSTICH: Obviously, people really focus on your forehead when it comes to anti-aging. Can you just show me one pose for preventing some wrinkles?
FUMIKO TAKATSU: OK, sure. So before, I want to show you this, the big muscle from the forehead to the back of the head. Pose is called a forehead freeze. What we do is we "freeze forehead" without injections. Put the hand, fingers on the forehead and then thumbs the temple. And then I want you to move your fingers to the side so that there's no wrinkle on the forehead and lift them up slightly. And imagine you're looking something far away and very bright, bright object. And squeeze the muscle around your eye. Don't blink.
Good. Close your eyes, and now open your eyes as wide as possible. Open your eyes. And come up from the pose and tap the back of the head. You feel a tension right here, here in the back. So this forehead freeze, you can move your fingers. So if you have a droopy eyelid, you can move fingers to this. Or if you have [INAUDIBLE] lines, you gently can move your fingers in a V shape so that you're lifting the forehead.
KERRY JUSTICH: I love that. Now this is going to be a part of my routine with my workouts and working from home and everything that we're doing while in quarantine. Well, thank you so much, Fumiko.
FUMIKO TAKATSU: It was so nice meeting you. Thank you.