YOGA FACIAL TONING – ELLE MAGAZINE APRIL 2009
written by Petra Kocjančič
Even as a child I would often scrunch up my face, collecting a whole lot of tension in those wrinkles. My mother would always be reminding me to relax. I
would try for a while to control my facial muscles and keep them relaxed – without success. It wasn't until my first visit to the beautician for a full facial that I
felt the tension beginning to melt away as she gently massaged it out of my facial muscles. After that massage, I felt as good as new again. Later, during yoga
classes, I could hardly wait to do the exercises for skin stimulation and facial relaxation; so when I found out there was finally a form of facial yoga available in
my country too (I live in Slovenia), I made up my mind to enroll right away...
...Only to find that here there was no soothing relaxation while pulling funny faces accompanied by peaceful music. Instead, we were all subjected to a regimen
of very specific (and quite difficult) exercises. Even hours after the first workshop I could still feel an ache in every muscle I had taxed more than it was used
to. Some of the ladies even complained of the kind of aching muscles only athletes can get after training. This is because, as I soon found, Yoga Facial Toning
(YFT) is more like fitness training than yoga, as it works on the principle of encouraging the facial muscles to work by creating resistance. This not only firms
the muscles, but also stimulates the glands, detoxifies the body, and revitalizes the internal organs. Although it can be strenuous, on the whole it has a relaxing
effect. The system was developed by Rose Tran, an American teacher and certified yoga instructor, based on years of research and close cooperation with the
medical profession, facial therapy specialists, plastic surgeons, and experts in the field of beauty alterations. There are to date only seven licensed instructors
for the YFT method in the world, and Savina A. Ritter is at the moment the only one working in Europe.
These exercises are designed to work your facial muscles, firming, smoothing, lifting and rejuvenating your face. Yoga Facial Toning is especially designed to
stimulate the 57 (fifty-seven) muscles, which construct our face and neck. This yoga for the face is a simple, non-invasive way to erase fine lines and
wrinkles, reduce sagging skin and restore a radiant, youthful look to your face and complexion.
The program is easy to learn and works for anyone who uses it, regardless of age, fitness level, gender or ethnicity. These highly specialized exercises lift, firm
and tone all 57 muscles of the face and neck, literally turning back the hands of time and restoring a firm, smooth, glowing facial appearance.
I wasn't really in such a good phase of my life when I attended the course and rarely did my homework, although our instructor recommended we do most of
the exercises we learned each week on a daily basis. Already during the course, I found I had begun to master the muscles in my forehead, which was starting
to become less wrinkled. Still, when I saw the “before & after” photos, I was delighted. I had managed to bring back firmness and tone to a number of the
muscles in my face, my skin was more radiant and my face looked just a little bit slimmer – and more attractive.
Visibly turning back the clock:
“Using the YFT system, this can be done without plastic surgery, simply through exercising (literally, not just figuratively) a bit of love for ourselves, with the
aim of enhancing our inner beauty and letting it shine outwards. These exercises are empowering – particularly for women, placing at our fingertips the ability
to determine the image we show to the world, enabling us to take our fate into our own hands (as it should be), without fear of what the years may bring,” says
Savina, adding that there are many techniques and programs to help us relax our bodies, but if we don’t include the face as well, we risk all the tension we’ve
excised gathering up there. “I’ve noticed that although there are many more people who are physically active or into sports these days, their facial muscles are
nonetheless in a poor state.”
The program also stimulates and balances the functioning of the glands. “This precise exercise program has a direct and beneficial influence on the
functioning of our glands, which plays a key role in the rejuvenation process, helps us to maintain our vitality and energy levels and ensures that our bodies are
in optimum working condition. As an added bonus, Rose’s program also helps our bodies to detox and by stimulating both brain hemispheres at the same time,
puts us in touch with our inner selves, enabling us to develop a higher level of awareness,” says our instructor – a fact that I can only confirm in view of the
way I feel after every exercise session. An alternative to cosmetic surgery. A face-lift shortens the muscles to give lift to the face, and pulls the skin tight to
lessen lines and wrinkles, but does nothing to tone and firm the muscles to give a lasting result.
During the time when a muscle is “frozen” (as for example following a Botox treatment), the flow of nourishment is impeded, which only weakens it further.
Nor do faces that have undergone such treatment look natural. The facial mimicry and even the sensation in the face are altered, whereas the only “side effect”
of practicing Yoga Facial Toning is a firm, smooth, glowing facial appearance. When proper facial exercise involving the scalp, face and neck is started at any
age, the muscles still have the ability to be restored to good tone and give a firmer, younger appearance.
“There are even exercises for fuller lips and nose-lifts, which, at the same time, enhance your entire well-being,” says Savina regarding the difference between
the invasive and the natural techniques, adding: “One of the greatest effects that Yoga Facial Toning has is a deeper connection with your inner strength and
Then there is also the price difference to consider: A six-week course (including a personalized approach, a handbook, before & after photographs and the
composition of an individual follow-up exercise regime for each participant) will cost you only €250, which is less than a single Botox treatment, not to mention
surgical face-lifts, which are in the range of from €3,000 to €5,000, at best.
Even if you’re determined to go through with surgery, we’d still recommend doing the course beforehand, as the exercises will help increase the flow of blood
and nutrients to your muscles, ensuring less complications and a smaller chance of any of the procedures needing repetition. The exercises will also enhance
post-operative recovery and lessen the likelihood of you ending up with even more sagging skin than before.
The difference between an artificially “stretched” and “filled” face and a naturally glowing, healthy one is noticeable.
Who is the Yoga Facial Toning program suitable for? The all-round beneficial effects of the program make it suitable for anyone, particularly those over the
age of 30. It is highly recommended for everyone who has just completed a diet or is dieting with the aim of losing weight, as often after weight-loss, the face
can look tired, wilted and even ten years older – unless we give it the exercise it needs. YFT is also very beneficial as part of a post-natal care regimen, as well
as for all who have noticed signs of aging in their face and for all who would like to prevent such signs from showing up in the first place. The exercises also
help relieve problems with the jaw and facial nerves and muscles, and have even been used successfully (under clinical conditions) for rehabilitation following
strokes or accidents. “I would also recommend them to all who want to increase their energy levels, who suffer from hormonal imbalances, skin diseases, and
also those who have undergone cosmetic surgery as well as those who occasionally or regularly have Botox treatments. Particularly for the latter, I feel, such
exercises are vitally important,” says Savina.
Yoga Facial Toning exercises are a completely natural and health-enhancing method of rejuvenating your face. Not only does it give you more youthful looks,
glowing skin and firmer facial muscles, but it also revitalizes your body from the inside out.
How much time do these exercises require per day in order to achieve visible results and enviably youthful looks?
Our instructor Savina recommends you exercise each day, or at least five times a week for the first three months, in order to strengthen the muscles and
achieve the optimum effect. “After that, only 10, ideally 15 minutes of consistent exercise a day are enough to maintain this optimum state. I teach all my
course participants in such a way that the exercises easily become a part of their everyday routine – just like brushing your teeth. Upon waking, you do two
minutes’ worth of exercises, then the same upon applying your day-cream, then two more minutes while working at the computer, five more while watching
TV and a few minutes every evening when you clean your face.” (Of course, you’re free to do them all at once, too, if you prefer.) After the first three
months, you only need to do them three times a week – or as the need arises. And another great tip: If you’re set for a hot date in the evening, take a couple of
minutes to do the Face Lifting exercise before you go out, and I assure you, you’ll look and feel positively radiant all evening!
Rose Tran, a certified Hatha yoga instructor, created the Yoga Facial Toning system and began teaching classes in 2002. Since then, men and women of all
ages rave about their improved appearance and the confidence their youthful looks give them. Through her study, focus, and passion, Rose developed a
comprehensive facial exercise program that works to help reverse your face's aging process. Pursuing her vision, Rose conducted extensive research with local
and international physicians in the emerging fields of facial exercise programs, non-surgical face lifts, and reconstructive plastic surgery.
This program includes a comprehensive group of easy to learn exercises which may also be tailored to individual appearance goals. The Yoga Facial Toning
program also provides information on improving facial circulation, skin care and nutrition – for an improved appearance and confidence.