The attractive redhead opposite me sticks out her tongue. It is phenomenally long and flexible and reaches almost to her chin. She opens her eyes extremely wide, swivels them skywards and lets out an alarming "Haaaaaaaaa!"
I dissolve in helpless hysterics.
Welcome to "facial yoga", the latest skin rejuvenation trend, straight from the yoga studios of Manhattan, where it has been dubbed Yo-tox: the syringe-free alternative to Botox.
Facial yoga allegedly can tighten floppy jowls, reduce a double chin, smooth out puffiness, diminish fine lines, and tackle stress headaches, teeth-grinding, bloodshot eyes and eye strain. Other facial exercise regimes, such as the Finnish "Method Putkisto" or Eva Fraser's "Facial Fitness", are becoming increasingly popular in Britain, as the eco-friendly "middle-youth" searches for less toxic or invasive ways to look younger. But facial yoga is the only one to offer a truly holistic approach to facial rejuvenation.
With my 40th birthday looming, the idea of keeping my looks without the aid of Botox or a scalpel certainly seems alluring. Katrina Repka, 36, is the only teacher in Britain to offer one-on-one facial yoga sessions using Ishta, a new discipline that emphasises spiritual development, in sessions tailored to individual needs.
The author of two yoga books, Repka spent five years teaching at Be Yoga, a Manhattan studio frequented by Julia Roberts and Rachel Weisz. In New York, she says, it is quite normal to find rooms full of women with their faces contorted like comedians. "They are less self-conscious in Manhattan, and can see it gets results," she says.
"Wherever we hold tension in the face, we set a pattern and lines form there. By learning to relax your face, you notice where you hold tension most and can then learn to let it go."
Most importantly, she says, with Ishta yoga "you will learn not to fear time, but embrace it".
Source - Telegraph