When is yoga not yoga? When it’s face yoga
OK, time for a brief break from the Encinitas story and our debates about traditional Ashtanga. Think of this post as a mental child’s pose.
Face yoga’s been popping up on my “yoga” alerts for a while, but I’ve paid it less mind than paddleboard yoga, yoga on horseback, yoga for dogs, etc. Now, however, it’s hit a bit of the big time, making it onto “Good Morning America.”
Here you go:
There’s also this online piece, which includes:
Facial yoga was developed by Annelise Hagen, of New York Yoga, who wrote a book on mastering what she calls the ultimate facelift. In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Hagen explained that there’s an actual technique to making the faces.
“If you just made weird squirmy faces randomly you’d get more wrinkles,” she said. “We’re trying to tone and lift the muscles of the face. It’s been scientifically proven that the muscular activity helps to prolong the production of collagen and elastin, which makes your face firm and springy.”
Hagen says facial yoga allows people to guide the way their face ages from the inside out.
Dr. Neil Sadick, who is the go-to dermatologist to some of the stars of “The Real Housewives of New York,” actually recommends yoga for the face to his patients, saying it promotes collagen production.
Face yoga stimulates muscles, Sadick said, adding that “although there’s not great science around it compared to other technologies like chemical peels or Botox, we know that by stimulating any component of your face like your muscles you’re going to have a beneficial effect in terms of your overall appearance.”
I’m not meaning to complain about this not working; it sounds like it serves its purpose, and anything is better than Botox. But this might be the greatest misuse of the word “yoga” I’ve encountered. There isn’t even asana here. (And, who knows, maybe the horses in horseback yoga get a little closer to their god.)
I know it’s a losing (if not already lost) fight, but is there some other word that can be used when people really just mean “stretching?” I know “yoga” sounds cool and exotic and somehow “deeper,” but … c’mon.
Posted by Steve