I have recently had a facelift which is healing really well. I am interested in yoga facial exercises to get it back to "normal" and to make sure none of the facial muscles become lax. Can you offer any advice?
Glad to hear your recovery is going well! I have not had much experience with facial exercises but I remember being taught by a very traditional 90-year-old master and he took me through a whole range of facial exercises in our pranayama routine.
He started with sitting comfortable and focusing on our breath. We then went to the mouth and open and closed the mouth several times, moving it in all directions including sticking the tongue right out like a lion roaring and saying "ah". Do this five to 10 times and stop if dizziness occurs.
We then tried sheetali or cooling breath. Do this by curling the tongue up at the sides so it forms a half tube and sticking it out slightly. Then breathing in through the mouth, and out through the nose. Do this five to 10 times and stop if dizziness occurs.
We then tried seetkari breath by opening the mouth and exposing the teeth, which are pressed together. The tongue can lay flat on the soft palate and breathe in though the clenched teeth, close the mouth and out through the nose. Do this five to 10 times and stop if dizziness occurs.
If you try these types of exercises not only will you get great benefits for controlling your prana but also you will get the facial exercises you are looking for. Please do all the above exercises very gently and avoid any discomfort.
Duncan Peak yoga expert