How Face Yoga can be a 'powerful tool' for anti-aging and relieving stress during the coronavirus pandemic

People around the world are turning to remedies for stress and restlessness resulting from the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. And while this may look like self-care in the form of moving your body or meditating, Fumiko Takastu wants to challenge people to try something new with her method of Face Yoga.

“Many of us are staying home and it's a perfect time to quiet that busy mind because we often have lots of negative thoughts and that stresses us out,” Takastu explains to Yahoo Life. “What we can do to break that habit is practicing Face Yoga. And we do lots of warm-up poses because I really believe posture is so important because when you have a good posture, you feel good. And when you feel good, it shows on your face.”

The method is one that Takastu came up with after suffering from a life-threatening car accident. The impact of the crash altered the appearance of her posture and even her face, she says, forcing her to deal with the trauma long after her immediate suffering was over.

Takastu just after the crash at the age of 36 on left, and after years of Face Yoga practice, on right, at 51 years old. (Photo: Fumiko Takastu)
Takastu just after the crash at the age of 36 on left, and after years of Face Yoga practice, on right, at 51 years old. (Photo: Fumiko Takastu)

“I couldn't smile. I couldn't look at myself in a mirror. It was too painful because I could not recognize myself,” she says. “And on top of that, I started seeing signs of aging, and I felt like I was trapped in my body because I was still young and healthy and fit but my face didn't show it.”

Reflecting on the value of exercise for the body, Takastu decided to start exercising the muscles in her face and quickly began to reap the benefits. “The mental and the physical practice to get the best version of yourself,” Takastu ultimately shares as the crux of the method. “The mental part is, you know, self-love and self-care and paying attention to your facial expressions, body posture. And the physical aspect is move the face as a muscle, just like a body.”

Now, she encourages others to do the same during an unprecedented time of constant anxiety that is impacting people in a multitude of ways. She even acknowledges that any stress can be accumulated during sleep and manifest in visible ways when least expected.

“When we are sleeping, we don’t know, but we are carrying that tension and stress. Especially if you go to bed with stressful thoughts, you go to bed and you’re sleeping with this,” Takastu says. “When you wake up in the morning, when you look tired, do the face poses so that you release the tension. And when you feel comfortable with your facial expressions, when you feel confident, people around you treat you accordingly.”

Through daily practice of these stress-relieving and anti-aging poses, which Takastu recommends people do morning and night as they accumulate stress, the expert assures that people will see and feel an immeasurable difference in their overall wellbeing.

“When you are able to isolate all the facial muscles, you feel like you own your face and you feel like, well, I can change my facial expressions. I can change my mood instantly because I know how to, so that's a super powerful tool people can have,” Takastu says. “That's why the Face Yoga method is not just an exercise, but it's a lifestyle.”

Watch the video above for a demo of some of Takastu’s best poses for stress relief and anti-aging.

Video produced by Jenny Miller

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides. 

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