DanvilleSanRamon.com

- June 1, 2007

Yoga facelifts a growing trend

Facial exercises said to reduce frown lines, crow's feet and double chins

by Janet Pelletier

When Marie-Veronique Nadaeu suggested to a friend that someone create exercises just for the face, she never thought she would be making national headlines.

The Berkeley resident who is an aesthetician for Elephant Pharmacy recently released a book titled "The Yoga Facelift: The All-Natural Do-It-Yourself Program for Looking Younger and Feeling Better."

The idea is that women, who make up the main audience interested in reducing wrinkles, can spend a few minutes a day improving facial lines and dabbling in the fountain of youth.

"It's been, as they say, beyond my wildest dreams," Nadeau said of the book, which has been featured in the New York Times and other large newspapers. "It came out in April and my publisher said 5,000 copies have already sold."

"My principle concern was anti-aging," she continued. "I'm almost 59, so it's something you start thinking about."

After telling a friend who was training to be a yoga teacher that there weren't exercises that were meant specifically for faces, she started researching it. She began offering face yoga classes. She also offers workshops to those looking to become a face yoga instructor, using her teachings.

"There are 190 muscles from the collarbone up, and it just makes sense that whatever you're doing to tone your body, you should do for your face," Nadeau said.

When muscles are exercised, she said, they shorten and particularly when exercising facial muscles, it will directly affect sagging from both aging and gravity.

"The nice thing about workouts for your face is it's not like you have to go to the gym to do it," she said.

The exercises can be done at different times throughout the day, but Nadeau said a good time to do them is when taking walks.

"I say don't do more than 10 minutes because you don't want to tire yourself too much," she said.

While plastic surgery such as brow and facelifts, chin reductions and Botox injections are what many people turn to for erasing excess sagging, Nadeau said face yoga is a holistic approach to look younger, but not a replacement for those procedures.

"The two can work in conjunction and I tell people if you have liposuction, the doctor's probably going to tell you to do crunches too," she said. "If you have Botox, which paralyzes the muscles on top of your eyebrows, you want to exercise those muscles because otherwise they're going to atrophy. It's even more important for people who have Botox to exercise as it is for other people. It helps with facelifts, too, by exercising to maintain it."

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