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Face Yoga 3: Help for Marionette Lines & Droopy Mouth

droopy mouth face yoga Mar 14, 2024

I looked in the mirror recently, and noticed some new lines! From the sides of the nose to the jaw area. What's up with that? I accept my wrinkles and completely appreciate the gift of getting older - that's 100%. But if Face Yoga can strengthen the the muscles below the skin, and improve elasticity, I'm in. 


So, what are those lines? Nasolabial folds, sometimes called smile lines are from the side of  the nose to the corner of the mouth. Marionette lines are creases that extend from the corners of the mouth to the chin. Today we’re going to cover a bunch of ways to soften these lines, regain more suppleness and tone, drain the lymph nodes, and bring energy to the whole area. 



Ok – let’s jump in. There are 2 muscles that cause these marionette lines:


The first is the Depressor muscles, which go from the corner of each side of the mouth to the jaw. If you start to notice  these lines or that your mouth is turning down, you probably have tight depressor muscles.

Depressor Muscles


So, what to do?

When areas are tight, it's important to open up more space. These next exercises are from Sadie Nardini, expert in face yoga, Harvard certified in anatomy, and Stanford certified in exercise physiology.


1. Place index fingers on either side of the nose, and top lips around teeth in a wide smile, and jiggle fingers  down from nose giving it vibration to open up the space, go all the way down to the sides of chin. Let’s do this 3 times.


2. Then smile, open mouth and circle the knuckles with a nice amount of pressure, as you move down the lines, - you’re bringing in new circulation to open up the myofascial web.


3. This is the relaxing one: bring all the fingertips together at the nose and press into the lines and gently sweep up and open, again a little lower and one more time from the corners of your mouth, this time sweep to the ears and go down the sides of the neck to help drain the lymph nodes.


 Platysma Muscles: The second muscle you need to know about that gets really tight and draws the face down, goes from the chin and lower marionette lines to the jaw and all the way down the neck. These are called Platysma muscles and  if there’s even a little laxity in the face, when the collarbone up to chin area gets tight, it will pull everything down –we don’t want that! It even causes the horizontal lines in the neck.

 Platysma Muscles


Here are 3 exercises from Dr Aysel that  you can do, even twice-3x a week.


1.    Tilt your head to the side to extend your neck, Stretch the platysma by pulling down from your collarbone, and stretch UP the marionette line, (actually you’re stretching the depressor muscles) . Feel how your neck is stretched. Do this for about a minute or two. Then do the other side.


2.    Stretching the depressor muscles from the outside: put your thumb under the chin, and place two finger on each side of the depressor muscles. Roll the lower lip inward, return the lip to normal and you’ll feel the depressor muscle. This simple exercise helps you release the tightness that causes the marionette lines.


3.    The is for the hard-core folks, and not only does it deal with marionette lines, it can help raise the corners of the mouth – try this 2-3 minutes per side, Put on some latex free gloves or just wash your hands well.  Then put your thumb between your teeth and the inside of the mouth, and take your fingers to knead and squeeze all around the muscle from the bottom to the top. Don’t rush this one, as with repetition, it also helps the corners of the mouth start to turn up. This is worth doing.


Some final tips:

·      Sleep on your back, if you can, so you’re not squishing your face and deepening lines.

·     if you’re a side sleeper, use a silk or satin pillowcase.


This is a lot of information - pick a couple of exercises to start with - the ones that resonate most with you. In the coming weeks, we’ll cover a whole bunch of areas from turkey neck to plumping the cheek area, and do let me know if there are any areas you want to see. Face Yoga has great promise - try it for yourself!



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