In Conversation With.. Danielle Collins

Danielle Collins

Danielle Collins, the World leading Face Yoga Expert and a renowned authority in Yoga, Nutrition and Wellbeing, believes in a holistic and natural approach to health, fitness and beauty and her philosophy is that we should all have the opportunity to use simple, effective techniques to look and feel the very best version of ourselves. Watch Danielle’s video above to see her on TV, Radio and in the Press sharing her passion for Face Yoga.

Danielle has appeared on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Kiss FM Radio as well as in hundreds of international media publications such as Vogue, The Times, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail. She is the face and creator of Groupon’s major health and beauty campaign ‘Face Fit’ . As a spokesperson for Nintendo, BT, Lotus Olbas and Sweaty Betty, Danielle is a sought after presenter, writer and Yoga model and regularly has her own show on Ideal World TV on Sky and Freeview.

Danielle has 3 top selling DVD’s, 3 Apps and has launched the organic skincare range, Fusion by Danielle Collins and her gorgeous Yoga Mat range.

Danielle offers teacher training courses in The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method and there are over 260 teachers of her method Worldwide. She has taught Face Yoga internationally, including at the prestigious Six Senses Luxury Resorts. Danielle provides one-to-one sessions all over the world via Skype and offers sessions face-to-face in Harley Street, London and in Bath at her exclusive private studio.

When did you become interested in yoga?

When I graduated from University at 21 I became unwell and was unable to function normally in any way- I was house bound and bed ridden for much of the time. I was diagnosed with M.E and was very ill for 2 years. Despite doctors telling me there was no known cure for this illness I was determined to get better and started introducing natural nutrition, relaxation, exercise, Yoga and Pilates in to my life. I then fully recovered and felt an overwhelming desire to help and inspire others to feel healthier and happier in the same way I had been able to help myself, so I completed Diplomas in Face Massage, Professional Relaxation Therapy, Nutrition, Hatha Yoga and Pre and Post Natal Yoga.

After a couple of years of teaching Yoga, clients were enjoying the health benefits of Yoga for their bodies and minds. I was getting more and more requests for a similar natural way for the face to look and feel healthier too. I combined techniques that had been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years with newer face exercise techniques and wellbeing strategies and created The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method which is now enjoyed by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

Our ethos is influenced by the ancient Ayurvedic practice of hair oiling, and modern Western style sensibilities. How did you develop your Face Yoga method?

I am also a huge believer in combining techniques that have been used for thousands of years in Eastern philosophy with newer Western approaches. The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method was born from the combination of those two areas. I did years of research and trying techniques out to create a Method which was based on ancient wisdom and new thinking that gave great results and fitted in well to our busy lives.

The benefits of regularly practicing The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method are anti ageing, reducing lines and wrinkles, lifting and firming, improving skin tone, reducing headaches and eye strain, relaxing tension, giving an energetic appearance to the face and a healthy glow. Face Yoga also gives a holistic feeling of wellbeing which can benefit the mind and body.

There are five aspects to The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method and here is how they work:

Face Exercise: just as your body needs regular exercise to stay toned and firm, the 57 muscles in the face and neck also need to be exercised. As they become stronger through exercise they are lifted and firmed and the skin attached to the muscles is also lifted and tautened, therefore reducing lines and wrinkles. As the muscles are much smaller than those in the body, it takes a lot less time for them to increase in strength and tone.

Face Massage: by regularly massaging the face using the techniques from The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method, you will increase the circulation, lymph flow and remove toxins. This will reduce poor skin tone, puffiness and dark circles and allow the skin to look healthier and more youthful. The massage techniques will also increase the collagen and elastin, the natural plumping agents which will mean a firmer and healthier complexion.

Acupressure: this age-old technique works by pressing on certain points on the face. This can increase the flow of the subtle energy or prana in the face. This therefore reduces tension, increases circulation and gives a healthy glow to the skin.

Relaxation: by learning to relax tension in the face this will help to reduce and prevent the deep sets lines and wrinkles caused by stress, squinting or grimacing. The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method allows you to relax the face correctly giving it a more open, youthful look.

Wellbeing: Remember that taking time to do the Wellbeing aspect of The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method will also do wonders for you overall health and happiness. Taking time to relax, do something for you, and knowing you will look and feel better as a result may mean you also notice yourself feeling calmer and more energised as well as looking younger and healthier. What happens on the inside, radiates on the outside.

What are the most popular face yoga exercises?

1. The ‘V’: to reduce lines and wrinkles around the eyes and to make the eyes more open and energized.

Put both your middle fingers together between your eyebrows then apply pressure to the outer corners of your eyes with your index fingers. Look up and start to move the lower eyelids upwards, making a strong squint. Then relax and repeat 6 more times. To finish squeeze your eyes shut for 10 seconds then relax.

2. Smile Smoother: to reduce lines around the mouth and to lift and firm the cheeks and jaw. Hide your teeth with your lips and make an ‘O’ shape with the mouth. Then, smile as wide as you can and keep hiding the teeth. Repeat 6 times. Next, hold the smile shape and place one index finger on the chin. Then start to move your jaw up and down as you tilt your head back. Relax and repeat twice more.

3. Giraffe: to tone and lift the neck area.

Looking straight ahead place your finger tips on the top of your neck and lightly stroke the skin down as you tilt your head back. Bring your head back down and repeat twice more. Then jut your lower lip out as far as possible, place your fingers on your collarbone and point your chin upwards, pulling the corners of your mouth down. Hold for 4 deep breaths.

Like yoga, we believe that hair oiling is a ritual. How do you fit yoga into your daily routine, and how can others learn to do the same?

I do Yoga and Face Yoga and a little meditation every day. The first thing to say is that this isn’t easy with a 10 month old baby, a 4 year old and a business to run but taking a little a time for myself is essential. I am such a believer in making looking after our face, our body and our minds accesible and acheiveable for people with a busy lifestyle. When I created my 3 Apps (also available on DVDs) – one for the face, one for the body and one for the mind- I made each section just 10 minutes. So you can choose to simply do 10 minutes a day or do the whole session on each App/DVD which takes 40-60 minutes. We often put looking after ourselves as the bottom of the priority list in our lives but unless we are healthy and happy, we can’t look after other people and be the best version of ourselves. I try to remember each day that health and happiness comes first and even though we sometimes let this slip, created that time for Face Yoga, Yoga and Wellbeing always helps us to feel balanced, calm and healthy.

At Alchemy, we use all natural ingredients. What are your thoughts on natural beauty? What are some of your favourite beauty products?

I am such a strong believer in natural products. The are a natural living being that is always going to respond best to natural ingredients rather than chemicals. It is also better for the environment, it is better ethically and better for our health. I believe that beautiful skin comes from combining natural, organic skincare with Face Yoga, happy thoughts and a healthy lifestyle. It is this unique fusion which helps us to look and feel the very best version of ourselves!

This is why I launched Fusion by Danielle Collins which is one of just a handful of brands which are natural, organic and certified by the Soil Association, the only official body to accredit products as organic. It has been developed with multi award winning skincare specialist Wendy Sterling who’s years of experience mean that Fusion products contain the most effective ingredients to give noticeable results.

The first product in the Fusion range, Pro Lift Facial Moisturising Serum is a concentrated skincare treatment, made entirely from high performing pro-active botanical seed oils. It works in harmony with the body, supporting the skin’s natural ability to regenerate new skin cells and fight the visible signs of ageing. The combination of Rosehip Oil, Carrot Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil and Green Tea penetrate deep in to the skin to plump, hydrate and even out skin tone.

I love that I have now found something natural for my hair as well with Alchemy. I used it last night and this morning my hair feels like silk. It is exactly what I need for my long and sometimes over styled hair and it smells like being in a spa as well!

We think that hair care is a vital part of looking good- what is the most important part of your beauty routine?

For me it has to be Face Yoga. Even just a few minutes daily transform my skin both short term and long term. It makes it brighter, smoother and firmer and has the added benefit of helping me to feel relaxed and healthy as well. I am also a great believer in using natural products to cleanser, tone and moisture every day.

How quickly can someone benefit from face yoga?

You will see and feel some difference straight away. Your muscles may feel they have had a good workout (just like with body exercise), you will see and feel less tension in the face and you will have a rosy glow due to the circulation being instantly boosted.

Everyone has different faces so the time it takes to see changes varies from person to person. As a general rule you will start to see more of a long term improvement in your face and neck after 2 weeks. After 2-4 months, you will notice you have less fine lines and less tension and people will notice you look healthier and more energised. Within 6  months people have reported that they look and feel many years younger and feel more relaxed within themselves.

Remember that taking some time for yourself to do Facer Yoga every day will also do wonders for your overall wellbeing and stress levels. This time to relax, do something for you, and knowing you will look and feel better as a result may mean you also notice yourself feeling calmer and happier.

We believe that one of the keys to good hair is reducing stress- how do you like to relax in your downtime?

I tend to spend most of my free time (which is usually when the children are in bed and the work day is done) doing things which make me feel as relaxed and healthy as possible. I love long hot baths with a few drops of lavender oil and I love going to the spa and relaxing in the sauna and steam room. I do breathing exercises, Yoga, Pilates, acupressure, Face Yoga and meditation. I also love having acupuncture, massages and getting my nails done! Spending times with my friends and family is also key for me to feel happy and relaxed, there is nothing better than being surrounded by the people you love.

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