Chin up for a slender neck
By Bharat Thakur Published: July 25, 2008, 23:42
The double chin is one of the more common cosmetic problems today. It is caused by a layer of subcutaneous fat that accumulates around the neck.
This layer of fat sags and creates a wrinkle, giving the appearance of a second chin.
There are three main reasons why a double chin develops:
Some double chins are caused by weakness in the muscles of the face, neck and jaw. Incorrect posture often results in such weakness.
Age is definitely a big factor. As a person starts ageing, his or her skin starts losing its elasticity. This leads to a double chin.
Going under the surgeon’s knife is not the only way to get rid of this problem. A balanced diet and regular exercise are effective and less drastic.
In cases where bad posture is the cause, exercises and correction techniques can reduce the double chin. This is where yoga can help.
Yogic asanas strengthen and tighten the neck and jaw muscles, and help reduce the double chin.
Today’s article describes some asanas meant for the chin area.
The exercises stretch and contract the muscles connecting the chin to the neck. Your awareness of the chin area is key to getting results.
The intensity of the exercises, along with your focus, will remove that nagging double chin and enhance your facial features.
Ushtrasana (camel pose)
Kneel with knees a little apart, feet stretched out.
Lean back, place palms on soles of feet as shown. If difficult, hold right heel with right hand and then left heel with left hand.
Push the abdomen forward, drop head back and arch backwards to as far as you can.
Hold as long as comfortable, breathe normally.
Slowly release one hand, then other and return to start position.
Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Lie on stomach, keep legs straight, feet together, soles pointing upwards, forehead on floor.
Place palms to side of shoulders, elbows tucked in close to body.
Inhale and slowly raise head and upper body, straighten arms as shown. Hold the position, breathing normally.
Exhale as you slowly return to start position.
Veerabhadrasana (warrior pose)
Stand with legs wide apart and hands on hips.
Turn one leg and upper body to one side and bend front knee.
Raise arms straight up over the head, palms held together.
Lower the hips and bend backwards as much as comfortable. Look up.
Hold for 10-30 seconds.
Repeat with other leg.
Sit with legs stretched out, back straight.
Bend one leg, place ankle on opposite thigh close to groin. Bend other leg and place ankle on thigh of bent leg, close to groin. Place your hands on your knees.
If you find the above posture (Padmasana or lotus pose) difficult, sit comfortably with legs crossed.
Close eyes, keep body straight. Slowly drop your head towards left shoulder — don’t turn the head or lift the shoulders.
Raise the head and drop towards right shoulder as above.
Slowly move the head as far back as comfortable. Do not strain.
Slowly bring head up and move it forward so chin touches chest.
Gently turn the head left so chin is in line with the shoulders.
Now gently turn the head to the right as far as comfortable.
Slowly rotate the head clockwise down to chest, to the right, back, to left side in a relaxed, smooth, rhythmic, circular movement.
Now, gently rotate anti-clockwise — in opposite direction.
Note: Those who have severe back and shoulder conditions and people with peptic ulcers, hernia or hyperthyroidism should avoid these asanas. Pregnant women, too, should avoid these exercises.
Au revoir double chin! A beautiful and slender neck is now just a few asanas away.
— Bharat Thakur is the founder of Bharat Thakur’s Artistic Yoga. For questions on yoga, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, log on to www.bharatthakur.com