My Story - Yoga for the Face or Face-lift Through Exercise
Here I was, 52 years old and a long-time meditator. I took a good look in the mirror. To my total dismay - gravity was well at work!
Since I was 19 years old, I had eaten organic foods, taken supplements, gone through natural childbirth with my son and practiced Yoga at least three times a week. I even meditated on a regular basis. Yet, when I looked into the mirror in my early fifties, I saw deep lines in my forehead, crow's feet that testified to lots of laughter in my life (at least I could acknowledge that part!), hanging jowls, lines around my lips and rings around my neck. Help! It seemed that vanity was alive and well and thriving in me!
I confess: I found myself on a quest to "correcting" (what a great word) the ravages of time showing up as wrinkles and bags in my face and neck.
Surgery was not a consideration for me - no, no! At age 65, my beautiful mother looked permanently surprised from too many face-lifts. Besides, I'm the organic type. What to do? I was on a search to look younger - some how, some way - naturally!
First I bought the electronic gadgets. I found myself holding this one contraption to my face for an hour a day - getting little electric jolts to the muscles in my face. Well, I lasted five days. I understand staying even this long with such a device was some kind of record. No way was I going to spend so much time doing this. Besides, my arms were also getting tired holding this thing to my face. Next, (yes I did shame on me!) I bought the electronic mask! This was a 45-minute-a-day regime. Forget it. I found that I wouldn't spend the time doing this either. Besides, the results were really not forthcoming. I looked just as "baggy" and tired as ever. Sigh?
There just had to be another alternative to isometrics and electric shocks! I then discovered face exercises. Yes! To make a long story short, I ended up buying all 12 programs offered out there on the market at the time. I discovered, to my dismay, that these programs were either too long, too short, incomplete, "incompetent," or they also took 40 minutes a day. However, some of these exercises were showing results on my face.
I discovered that the old belief that touching or rubbing your face caused wrinkles was false. Actually, I had stumbled upon muscle resistance training for the face. This made sense to me. After all everybody knows that through exercising in a gym or through doing Yoga, you can firm up the body and skin. Naturally, the same could be true about the muscles and skin on the face. I was about to find out for sure.
Since I am a teacher at heart (I taught school for years) I developed my own program and I got amazing results. My wrinkles flattened out and then disappeared. The muscles in my face got bigger and created lift, giving me the appearance of youth. The papery skin under my eyes and on my neck smoothed out and became firm. The rings around my neck completely disappeared. The lines around my mouth were evaporating. I had my young, plump lips back. My upper eyelids were showing, again. In short, my exercises were working. I was regaining that youthful, dynamic look I had when I was young!
The next thing I knew, all my girlfriends wanted to know what I was doing to look so good. I told them, and my workshops were born.
Okay, okay - I knew from past experience I wasn't going to spend 40 minutes a day on this stuff, no matter how young it made me look. So I consulted my long-time family doctor, and together we developed a program that covered all 57 muscles in the face and neck in a 15-minute session.
I admit it. I have a bit of a perfectionist residing in me. It took me three years to perfect this workshop program. As I worked on the exercises, I found I got sick of counting and trying to remember everything. So, I made cassette tapes and CD's that teach, pace and count for me. Maybe I'm a lazy perfectionist? Sigh?
Then the problem came up as to when to do these exercises. All the old programs I had tried before suggested doing five exercises in the morning before your shower, five more at lunch and ten more at bedtime. Egads! Not only could I not remember what exercise I did last, I forgot to do them at all. I decided to solve this problem. After all, as strange as it may sound, I knew I had to do these exercises to have the results I wanted!
In the end, I designed 28 exercises that completely firm up the face and neck, and I fit them all into a 15-minute session. The session is also done lying down. (I am lazy!!!) Now I set my alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual in the morning, turn on my CD and my voice guides me through the exercises. No more remembering what comes next; no more counting. It's all done for me. Plus, my face is almost "addicted" to the glorious massage and Yoga antics it gets put through in the mornings. What a beautiful and relaxing way to wakeup. On top of it all, I've done all I need to do to have a younger, more youthful-looking face. I don't have to think about it again for the rest of the day!
As my program developed, I found that I had to make flashcards for my workshops. Now I've even made photo-illustrated cards so my clients can easily see how each handhold is done correctly. I have an easy-to-follow workbook and lots of other material all about beauty (I worked as a photographer and runway model when I was younger, so I have a good idea about the world of beauty). Add to this my three CD's for easy learning, and you'll understand "once a schoolteacher, always a schoolteacher." I know how people learn, so I had a big advantage, I could put together a great package for learning the exercises.
I found myself giving workshops on a regular basis. Next, my girlfriend from Hawaii called. She had read an article I'd written and wanted to do my program, but couldn't attend my workshop. My "Self-learning, Take-home Kits" were born. These are a comprehensive package with everything you need to learn the exercises on your own. It's so amazing how existence seems to keep rewarding me when I do something I love.
Now I even have a DVD demonstrating all the exercises, making the program really easy to learn! My business is growing leaps and bounds and I'm loving every minute of it.
All right, I admit it. I'm vain. My whole life devoted to meditation and here I am exercising my face to look younger. So, I am "watching/meditating" on a younger-looking face, as well. Thank you life!
Carolyn Cleaves: After graduating from university and graduate school, I taught English, Math and Science along with remedial reading for years to 7th and 8th grade students. This background has allowed me to design a Facial Fitness program that is easy to follow and use. I understand how one learns. I was able to put this skill into the creation of my course, making it very complete and comprehensive.
Beauty and fitness have always held an interest for me. I've run several businesses, including my own clothing company. I've even taught Yoga and aerobics. I've also worked as a photographer's model and a runway model. I've lived and traveled all over the world. I currently reside in the Pacific North West(near Seattle, Washington) with my husband, Sigi, a German lawyer. I'm 59 years old.