Face Yoga

with Koko Hayashi

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Episode Notes


Intro to Koko Hayashi (02:05)
What face yoga is (03:58)
The best time of the day to practice face yoga (05:45)
When can you start seeing results? (07:45)
At what age should you start practicing face yoga (09:53)
The effect of facial expressions (14:37)
Does face yoga incorporate only face? (18:49)
Products and cosmetics we’re putting on our faces (22:13)
The effects of screen time and blue light on our appearance (27:02)
Koko’s new face yoga app (28:21)
Beat the stress with face yoga (29:56)


Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Koko’s Website
Koko’s Instagram
Dr. Mew’s website

About Koko

Born and raised in Japan, Koko Hayashi is the inventor of “Face Yoga with Koko.” Her media appearance include “Keeping Up With The Kardashians“, “Shark Tank,“ “Good Morning America,” Fox, CBS, Popsugar, Vogue, Netflix, and more.

Lesya Liu 0:00
Hello everyone and welcome to the new episode of You Can Exhale Now podcast today I am extremely excited to host Koko Hayashi, who was born and raised in Japan. And at 27 years of age she had a major plastic surgery which she regretted and sought out natural solutions for face health and fitness. She is the creator of face yoga, the latest trend in the health and wellness space, and she has been teaching this natural alternative to plastic surgery for years now. Her media appearances include not only Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but also Shark Tank, Good Morning, America, Fox, CBS, Popsugar, Vogue, you name it. So I'm super excited today to speak to her.

Koko, welcome to the show.

Koko Hayashi 1:44
Hello. Thank you for having me. Thank you. I'm very excited to be here.

Lesya Liu 1:49
Thank you so much. So why don't you tell us a little bit more about how it all started. I know that you've had struggles with appearances you So tell us more about how it all came about.

Koko Hayashi 2:05
So at the age of 27, I'm 41 years old right now, so it's a long time ago, but I had this plastic surgery failure on my chin. So I don't know why I did that. But I was advised to add some kind of an implant to make my chin a little bit pointy to make it look nicer by my doctor. And I did that because I was told that if you don't like it, you can have it removed, it will go back to normal in So I did that I didn't like it. It was a little bit distorted to one side and is symmetrical. So I didn't like it. I had it removed, like three months later or something, but it never went back to normal. That's how I realized I should have done some natural solutions such as face exercise, and I was in Japan at that time. So there are many in Japan face yoga or face exercises. Those are kind of not new. It's been around a long time. So I studied about it because of some books or some information and study doing for myself, and I saw good results. I mean, I cannot fix a symmetrical part yet. But still I had a really good result. So I started doing more for myself, and then realized, Oh, wait, maybe I want to teach. So then I got certified to teach face yoga, three years ago, so I'm not really foul. I'm the founder of Koko Face Yoga, but face yoga or face exercises. Those concepts have been around before I was born. So it's been a long, long time. People just don't know much about it. But then I learned from a Master and another master so I have multiple masters adjusted to my way, so that it's called Koko Face Yoga.

Lesya Liu 3:58
Can you describe to us, what is Koko Face Yoga? How can you describe it? Are there specific types of exercises or movements or to just make funny faces in front of?

Koko Hayashi 4:11
Yes, I do. I love making funny faces in front of TV shows, because that's what they want. But for real for you, this is a natural solution to natural alternatives to Botox or plastic surgery. So basically, mostly for beauty, it's good for mental health as well because when your face is good, you feel good, and then your brain thinks you're positive. So that's good for mental health, but mostly for beauty . We are really highly focused on how to move your facial muscles correctly for daily facial activities such as when your face is resting, or when you're talking. When you're eating when you're drinking. When you're even, like you're learning so many things. So in addition to exercise actually, more than exercises, we really highly focus on those, like physical therapy. I teach how to talk, how to eat, how to drink, basic activities, but we believe that if you use the muscles correctly properly, you will not need to do so much too much exercise. So other people might be teaching other face yoga instructors, they might be teaching a lot of exercises, but more than 50% we really focus on face postures, how to talk or those things. That's a difference.

Lesya Liu 5:45
Mm hmm. And so I guess, is there a specific time you recommend doing it like first thing in the morning or before you go to sleep? You know how often you recommend to do those exercises? Are there any special tools or creams you need to be using for this or is it basically all you need your face?

Koko Hayashi 6:14
Basically all you need is your face. Sometimes you use the fingers to correct your muscle positions, but we just need your face. I don't like I mean I respected massages, all those things, but it's hard to do. When you're driving my method basically you can do when you are in a bar because I don't have a car I Uber I used to take Uber almost every day before the COVID situation. So every time I take Uber I sit on the backseat and I was doing some kind of exercises and the question about when to do it. It's better to do little by little throughout a day instead of everything at once. In total, I mean each exercise Like 10 seconds each in a very short time and you do three to five sets for problem for each problem area. So in total it should be three to five minutes per day. But I highly recommend you do the exercises little by little throughout a day because you want to reset your face time to time. So like one exercise 1pm next exercise 2pm and another one in five 5pm or something like that. Also, what you you will be, you will be advised to keep good face posture and not doing bad facial expression habit throughout a day when you're awake all the time.

Lesya Liu 7:45
And so, I guess how soon you can start seeing results you've meant that it's a very good alternative to Botox and other injections. My guess is that it is not as Quick and easy as the check selfies box. So what do you typically see these people for? How long does it take them to start seeing results?

Koko Hayashi 8:09
Usually three to five weeks or months or it could be years but depends on the condition if the person has a very saggy face and then it's easier to fix so you might see a result in a couple of weeks. But if the person doesn't have much room for improvement because she's young or something like that, and she happened to have a good face posture from the form originally and then you might not see a big difference quickly. But this is a lifetime thing you keep doing. If you keep doing face good face posture and just stop doing facial expression habit in it. Keep using the facial muscles correctly for daily facial activities. You will not need so many exercises at the end. But this is a lifetime Lifetime thing. It's not a quick fix like Botox or surgery. But I don't really believe in quick fixes. If it's a quick fix, it doesn't last a long time. So it's better to fix the fundamental problem. injection those things. It's good. I don't disagree. But if you do moderate frequency like, once a year like Botox once a year or once every two years or something like that, not like every three months or every five months, that's too much. Yeah, if it's moderate, more moderate, moderate, moderate moderation, I think it's fine. But basically you keep doing the good face posture, stop doing that facial expression habits, keep moving the facial muscles correctly, and then you will not need many exercises later.

Lesya Liu 9:53
Mm hmm. So you know, you said it obviously depends on the age and the condition of the skin. soon do you recommend people to start at, you know, in their 20s 30s? You know, what have you seen to be the best to set up, set yourself up and set your face for success and slow down the aging process?

Koko Hayashi 10:17
The answer, the earlier the better. Even teenagers, I have a YouTube channel, the lots of viewers are teenagers. And they're doing it. Because usually young people are concerned about a symmetrical face. But the point is that if you learn, I mean, like, I'm 41 years old, and it's very difficult for me to change my facial habit that I accumulated I was doing for the past 41 years old. So the earlier you fix, the easier you can fix. And also one of the things I like teaching is a tongue posture. Do you know anything about tongue posture? So tongue posture is aka mewing like meowing like a cat. Nothing to do with a cat though. Because Dr. Mike Mew, he's a British author and orthodontist. He started promoting tongue posture, which he mainly teaches kids. And that's one of the things I teach as well. But when you're Okay, so let's do it. You close your mouth. And then tell me where is your tongue? There are three options. One is touching on the upper palate. Number two, in the middle, somewhere just swinging or just not touching anything. Number three, laying on the bottom.

Lesya Liu 11:50
I'd say probably in the middle.

Koko Hayashi 11:53
Okay, so the answer is touching on the upper palate. Yeah, the orthodontist, Dr. Mew, teaches kids because he mainly teaches kids because it's easier to fix young adults, it's hard, but I still teach each other though. Anyway, the reason why is the time the answer is touching on the upper palate. Sucking up to the palette, pressing up the palette, because by doing so, you are pressing the heavy skull with age everything and start sagging. Everything is dropping, including your skin, the muscle and then bombs. So by pressing up with the tongue, you're lifting up your face all the time in reducing tension from bottom up. And also if you have TMJ, like when you open your mouth, you might hear some clicking sound or some pain. It's called TMJ and tech and lots of people have TMJ pain Because we are stressed, and that pressing the tongue up to the palate, in that kind of a shift the tension from jaw line area to cheek area. So it's good for TMJ pain as well if you have it. But anyway, he teaches mainly kids and that I believe tongue posture should be taught at school.

Lesya Liu 13:28
Interesting. So, basically it helps you reduce the tension if you tend to clench your jaw.

Koko Hayashi 13:35
And also good for nose breathing. Do you know about nose breathing? That's a good step. So the next step for you is to keep your tongue up all the time when your face is resting. And when the time is up, it's easier to not breathe. Lots of kids have when their faces arresting their mouths is open, and then that causes mouth breathing. Mouth braising is, especially now COVID situation, you don't wanna inhale foreign objects easily. But if you do not breathe, lots of foreign foreign objects are blocked by mucous membranes and the hair in the hair in the nostrils or those things. So it's safer just in general health and you get more oxygen by doing a nose breathing, so it's good for things like focus or insomnia or stress relief, or those things.

Lesya Liu 14:37
And so can you speak a little bit about facial expressions? You've mentioned multiple times, you know, there is a right yes, facial posture and I think for a long time, that if you show your emotions if you smile a lot, if you a lot if you frown, your face, tend to develop lines, right?

Koko Hayashi 14:59
Yes, definitely it's called the facial feedback in psychology. If you if even if you're not even if you're not grumpy if you do grumpy face like corners of the mouth are sagging and are squinting, and then 11th 11th line between eyebrows, lots of tension, even if you're not grumpy brain misunderstand that you are grumpy and then you become officially grumpy person. So what I love teaching is a face posture. There are multiple tips, but the most important thing is good tongue posture in the corners of the mouth. It's a little bit tiny up tiny smile all the time. Then it's good for not just for lifting up your face, but also good for your brain. Your brain Miss thinks that you're positive. And then if your face is positive, you cannot be negative. Mm hmm. Also an interesting service that I do is called face police, like Fashion Police. Because we now teach them on zoom, every hundred percent of my classes are them. So I record and then after the class or even during the class I, I tell them if you have a bad facial expression habit, I get a screenshot of that and then send it to them. It's called fashion professional, faithfully so every time you squeak, you cause the line between the eyebrows or horizontal lines on forehead or corners of the mouth, it's sagging, your mouth is open, or you're tilted to one side and doing some bad body posture or anything they're like about, like 40 of them 40 examples that I teach To my instructors. So there are a lot.

Lesya Liu 17:05
So let's say you know what if, you know there are people who smile a lot or a lot and they develop those fine lines and in the viewer almost thought that that's the trade off right between a positive person developing those fine lines versus you know.

Koko Hayashi 17:26
Yeah, but we teach how to smile as well. So if you're doing a bad smile, that by the way of smiling, which lots of people do, and you're gonna cause more, more lines, but if you do a good smile, you will not cause much of a smile. I mean, you do cause a smile line a little bit. When you smile. I do too. But that's okay. Because it's not temporary. It's like you're not smiling 24 hours. It's only a short time so it's okay. But some people like celebrities. They don't smile like David Beckham's wife, Victoria, Victoria Beckham. She doesn't smile, she's beautiful. doesn't smile because I don't know if it's true, but she's said in an article that she doesn't want to smile because she doesn't want to develop the laugh line. But if you don't smile, you will lose cheek muscles aka cheek bones melt down. So it's kind of a trade off but you have to keep smiling to lift up your build up more cheek muscles when the cheek muscles are fully developed. And then you will not have many lines and if you take our classes or YouTube, check my YouTube and you will learn how to smile correctly so that you will not develop much smile lines.

Lesya Liu 18:49
And so what about you know, does face yoga only truly incorporate face or is there something maybe about our neck or body. You've mentioned posture, maybe like spine alignment. So I guess my question is, does yoga face yoga only focus on the face? Or are there other body parts that affect the way our face looks?

Koko Hayashi 19:18
Mainly from a shoulder up. But if you're doing a bad face about body posture, that's really, really bad for the face as well. You cannot have a beautiful face without having good face posture. So both are fully soul connected. So I even take like, posture class, I, I don't teach, but I take a walking class how to walk. And yeah, I'm learning basic things, but those are very, very important. And another thing we teach breathing, it's nobody about breathing. So I said the nose breathing is very important. But we teach eye breathing by breathing is a new thing that I developed. So you see, with nose breathing is a good, good better than mouth breathing. But nose breathing is sort of like eye breathing is better than those breathing. Basically, I mean, it's impossible to breathe in and out of the eyes. But just imagine that you're doing it from Excel. So let's do this exercise. So you breathe from your nose. And then this is nose breathing, just general and then you close your eyes. And imagine, you know, nasal nasal cavity. Yep. There's a big space behind your eyes. That's called nasal cavity. So imagine you cross it Eyes and they imagine you breathe in to up in the nose, nasal cavity to the eye area and then out from to the eye and so I wish I would show you my vegetables but this is a podcast so so you just imagine the nasal cavity, you use the foot, inhale from behind the eye, inhale to the eye and then then from inhale from the eye out, there's a difference.

Lesya Liu 21:38
So do you know what kind of benefits this type of breathing produces?

Koko Hayashi 21:43
This way you can breathe in a bigger amount of oxygen. So you can inhale more oxygen which is good for everything. Good for mental health. Reducing eye fatigue or basically more stress relief, but the more oxygen you receive the better for the circulation in the body in general. Mm hmm.

Lesya Liu 22:13
And so, um, do you have any kind of tips on you know, the stuff we put on our faces, the makeup, the, you know, scrubs, chemicals, you know, we're putting on our face all kinds of detoxes and stuff like that. I know. There's lots of research about how detrimental the screens are for our skin as well and because we are staring at our computers and our cell phones all day long. Know that that has a negative effect on the usefulness and healthiness of our skin. Can you speak a little bit about that as well?

Koko Hayashi 22:56
Yeah, skincare cream is important, but if you do too much, and then the skin develops skin become obese, so I don't like doing a lot of stuff on this game. We call it skin skin obesity. Yeah. So because skin has natural rejuvenation, the power rejuvenation process is functional. So that's why you should add some skincare cream but not too much, because then skin misunderstand Oh, I have a love skin for an object skin cream so I don't have to produce it anymore. And then the scheme becomes drier and drier. And then you need more for an object which is skincare cream. So that's a vicious cycle. So I don't like adding too much. I try to minimize the amount of the cream. Especially since I'm in California so it's hot so I don't need much, huh? Yeah, and there's a thing called a scheme fast. Like fasting, especially if you mean, if you are, if you are in a humid climate, it's hot and sweating all the time, you don't really need much, much cream.

Lesya Liu 24:16
What about, you know, in dry conditions for example, I'm Colorado so it's very, very dry here and people just leave off conditioners, moisturizers.

Koko Hayashi 24:30
If it's a dry condition and you feel your skin is dry, you should use it, but moderate, moderate, not too much. Because you don't want to depend on the foreign object too much your skin has an innate ability to rejuvenate, produce natural oils and moisture. And so yeah, it's called skin fasting. It was very popular in Japan a couple years ago, like 10 years ago.

Lesya Liu 24:58
So what about stuff like sunscreens right now you know summer is coming people will be going to the beaches will be going into the pools. What do you suggest in terms of sunscreen?

Koko Hayashi 25:15
Sunscreen is a chemical that is not good for the skin but it's necessary because some damage is worse than the chemical so you still need it. Yeah and right now but the good thing is that now, like the Japanese we can wear a mask and go outside and people don't think it's weird. So I like in addition to sunscreen, I love full physical sun protection such as mask or gloves, hat, glasses, sunglasses, those are way more in as much as important as sunscreen. So you still need to wear sunscreen but you should really incorporate wearing a mask not just for the COVID protection, but also some protection. So like now sometimes I was wearing a mask, like last year in downtown LA and people think it's weird. And I was shy. Look who's laughing now. So I'm very, I shouldn't say this, but uh, I'm kind of not happy that I can wear a mask for some protection and people don't look at you. People don't stare at you because everyone is wearing it. Mm hmm. Yeah. So take advantage of this situation. Always wear gloves and mask glasses and I just add I was outside before this. So I add sunscreen on the side of my face, but not the mouth area. Mm hmm. Because it's already covered by the mask

Lesya Liu 27:02
And what is your opinion on knowing the effects of screen time? How does screen time affect our face and our skin?

Koko Hayashi 27:14
The blue light is really bad for the skin and there is some blue light protection sunscreen I guess. And there's also a filter. Like if you are using a Mac you can. I don't know about PCs but you can adjust the decrease in the amount of blue light, which I do. And I tried to lower the, what's the word dim the light brightness on my screen all the time because it's not good for the skim and it's bad for me too. So sometimes I use glasses that are blue light filter glasses as well. And I have a filter, blue light filter on my phone as well. So it's, I try it's hard to prevent Hundred percent. But I still try. Of course. Yeah.

Lesya Liu 28:05
So I know that in February, you've also launched the first face yoga app. So can you talk a little bit about the app and what people can expect from it? And you know, what kind of benefits can they get from it?

Koko Hayashi 28:21
Yes. So the face yoga app has some, like 20, about 20 exercises for each problem area. So you, you do that you watch how to do it by watching my video, demonstration video, and then when you do it, it's going to be mirror on the form. So you do it in the form there are some facial thoughts appear. So those thoughts are for guidance that the area that doesn't show up is the wall You are targeting, because otherwise it's kind of hard to do, which muscle you're working on. Another thing we are trying to process of launching is a lower test feature to have lower teeth. When you're smiling, when you're doing exercise, when you're talking, when your face is resting, whatever law showing lower teeth is bad. Because if you are showing lower teeth, you're using overworking muscle on the lower face and you get more nasolabial line gels saggy face and everything. So every time you show lower teeth, the alert shows up on the app. Yeah, so that's another new feature coming up. Stay tuned.

Lesya Liu 29:56
Cool. So I guess my last question is, you know we’ve talked a lot about, if you look good, you feel good. And how just smiling can help us trick our brain in believing that you're positive and everything is good. Know that you have also developed an anti stress kind of program. This face yoga So can you talk a little bit about how, especially right now in the COVID 19 era and everything that's going on how can face yoga help us beat the stress?

Koko Hayashi 30:34
Yes, definitely. So one of the ways to release stress is [makes a sound]. You don't know what it is but just vibrate your lips and try to lift that vibrate that cheeks as much as possible. It's hard to explain without showing their face, but lots of tension is just coming from the brain whenever you are stressed whenever you are nervous, depressed or something concerned focusing and then the brain distributes tension to the facial muscles because the brain and facial muscles are connected so close to each other. So in order to reduce stress in order to reduce the facial tensions, like massaging the exercising and those are great as well. But if you do first exhale, then inhale then just vibrate as big as possible, as loud as possible this way you do you reduce the tension in the face, and then indirectly reduce the tension in the most big in the brain because mouth is core muscle for the face core muscle for the body is the ABS but core muscle for the face his lips. Lots of muscles are coming from the lip mouth area. So by relaxing the mouth area, especially cheek area, then the entire facial muscles are relaxed. So whenever you're tired every time I have a nightmare and I wake up, I'm stressed and I just do this. So it's basically like this loud exhale right that explains kind of when you're tired right or via kind of let out this deep exhale.

But, yeah, the bigger the better. Try to vibrate that cheeks, not just the lips. Most of the exercises I limit three to five times per day, but this one, unlimited, you can do anytime, anywhere. Just don't do it in supermarket. Cuz you're gonna spit some saliva and you're gonna get arrested. So don't do that only when you are by yourself right now.

Lesya Liu 33:13
That's a good word of advice.

Koko Hayashi 33:17
Yeah, but I suggest seriously, I don't know how many times I do this.

Lesya Liu 33:22
You know what I wanted to say is unfortunately there are limitations to podcasts and people will not be able to see hopefully they can visualize a lot of these exercises. If you're interested in Koko face yoga, all of the mentioned exercises, but her website and her YouTube channel will be in the podcast episode notes below. So definitely check it out. It seems like it's fun, easy to do exercise and hopefully you will be able to prolong the use of your face.

Koko Hayashi 34:04
Yes, definitely. Yeah. Just the one. If you're stressed just {makes a sound] that's it super easy.

Lesya Liu 34:14
Well thank you so much for today's interview, it was definitely a lot of fun and it was very educational. So I will definitely be checking out with YouTube videos and trying a couple of those exercises myself.

Koko Hayashi 34:28
Thank you so much.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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