Thumbnail for 'Eye Fitness 101', visually summarizing exercises and techniques focused on improving eye health and reducing eye strain.

Eye Fitness 101

Eyes with age become shrinky, smaller, and saggy, eye bags hollow on the upper eyelids, and even eyebrows may sag down. A lot of things happen there. But people pay attention to your eyes as the first area on the face when they look at you, right? So it's important to take care of it. Let me introduce 3 face exercises and tips.

Eye Exercise #1 Lower Eyelid Lift

The must-do exercise for the eye area is the lower eyelid lift, which is a classic, proven exercise. Try to lift up only the lower eyelid, which is the small, dark blue area under the eye called Agyosal in Korea. By the way, I did this exercise during my performance at AGT America's Got Talent. Check it out if you haven't watched it. Anyway, we're gonna try to lift up those lower eyelids. Only the dark blue (Muscle Anatomy), which means super sleeping. Don’t lift the entire muscles of orbicularis oculi muscles, but only this one.

You can do two eyes both at the same time or alternate one each. Whichever is easier for you to start is good. Make sure that you keep your mouth up, aka Mewing Tongue Posture® position. If you don't know what Mewing Tongue Posture® is, please check our Mewing 101 video. When you do this exercise, you want to keep the tongue up on the palate, in order to keep a stable foundation, which is the maxilla. Otherwise, it’ll be hard to focus on such small muscles. It is very, very little movement. It's almost not visible, but that's okay. That's even better. If you do too big a movement, you are engaging the wrong muscles that should not be activated. You want to focus on Agyosal only. So it should be a micro movement. Let's try the up-and-down repetition ten times. Do slowly. I might sometimes do a little bit fast for the purpose of demonstration so you can see the up and down, but when you do, the slower the better to some extent. Keep your tongue up and flat. Then focus on the tiny lower eyelid. 

You can also touch the eyelid to feel the movement. Try 10 repetitions slowly with the fingers on. Do you feel the movement? If this is hard for you, you can also do other ways to kick-start the movement. 

One of them is looking up while stretching the philtrum (the skin between the nose and mouth). While you keep your head straight, look up just by moving the eyeballs up. Then try the same exercise. Do you feel the move more? If you have a phone or a mirror to hold, bring the phone up, so you can see the movement while keeping your face straight. Seeing makes it easier for you to feel the movement. Again, this should be very micro movement such as 1-3mm, as long as you feel the muscles, that is ok. One warning is that you don't want to do this philtrum stretch too long. (How to shorten philtrum) The philtrum is blue in our anatomy, which means it’s sleeping. So you don't want to stretch there too long. So do that quickly. 

Another technique to make the exercise easier is that you look down and see the blurry nose and possibly cheek a little bit too. And then you might see a little bit of shaking. In my case, I do see the micro shake. Let me know if you see it or not. I like this looking down more than looking up in my face. But it depends on the person. You can again use a mirror to check the movement too. 

Another is that you just close your eyes and then try to feel this lower eyelid muscle. Imagine that they are moving. You just close your eyes. Keep your tongue up and flat. Do you feel it? You don't see the movement or even don’t see my movement, but that’s ok, as long as you feel it. Feeling it is more important than seeing it. 

Whichever technique you try, try 10 repetitions per day. That's it. You can do more, but quality is more important. Plus, unlike body exercise which uses big body muscles, facial muscles do not need so many hours of exercise or big movement. So instead of doing a lot, focus on the tiny movement that makes it more effective. 

This kind of exercise is very, very popular among the Japanese because we want to have a more defined eye look. And this is my friend Laura in Japan. When she smiles, her eyes are shrinking, right? But then after the exercise, I think this before after is 1 year in between. Amazing, isn't it? It is such a huge difference. 

This lower eyelid exercise is a basic exercise before you move on to Malaris. If you don't know what Malaris is, please check our Malaris video. Because it's that secret muscle to lift up not just eyes, but kind of everything. But you do need to master the regular lower eyelid lift-up first before you move on to Malaris. By the way, did you guys know that we have KoKo Face Yoga app KFY on iPhone and Koko Face Yoga on Android personalized exercises? And check your facial symmetry. 

Eye Exercise #2 Fire Eyes

This one is another one I did at AGT, America’s Got Talent. I don't know if it was aired or not, but I did that anyway in front of the judges. So let's do it. We're going to use our fingers on your forehead. Your pinkies are on your eyebrow. Don't frown between your eyebrows. Then circle back your shoulders in a big motion 3 times slowly. Keep your shoulders down, your head is above your butt. Keep good body posture. Then close your eyes to relax. Then slowly, slowly open your eyes without raising an eyebrow. Keep the forehead relaxed. And then open the eyes as big as possible, by imagining that fire is coming from the eyes. Then slowly, slowly, slowly squint. Try to lift up the lower-eye muscle. Remember the targeted muscles that we did In the previous exercise. Almost close your eyes, but don't completely close them. And then slowly open again. I'm going to show my forehead. But if you are doing it, keep the forehead frozen and keep the fingers on to feel the movement, not to feel the movement. And then second, do fire. Open the eyes as big as possible without moving anywhere else but the eyes. Then slowly, slowly squeeze again. They almost close, but don't completely close them. You want to keep your tongue up. I'm speaking, so I cannot do that. But you keep it up and flat. Close your mouth. Keep a tiny space between upper and lower teeth as always. (Face Posture® 101) And then slowly a little bit more close, but don't completely close them. And let's do the last fire. Slowly open and as much as possible. Fire is coming from the eyes. Last fire, and done, release. 

How was it? Were your eyebrows trying to lift up? If so, you are depending on your forehead muscle, and this is a great exercise to not depend on the forehead muscles. 

The point of this exercise is to use only eye muscles. Then you do not have to depend on your forehead because if you keep lifting up the forehead muscles (frontalis), the forehead becomes stronger and the eyes become weaker. Check my forehead in the video to see how little wrinkles I can make, even when I try hard, although there is no Botox. That is the maximum I can do because I decided to stop this forehead movement a long time ago. I still do it from time to time, but I used to do way more. And I realized if I keep this movement too much, it'll cause wrinkles and I have to use Botox which is expensive. So I didn't want to do it. It works. I am living proof. In order to stop this movement, you have to train these eye muscles. Because eye muscles and forehead muscles are connected like they are neighbors to each other. So the more you train these eye muscles, the less your forehead moves, in other words. 

If you want to train even harder, here is the advanced technique. You can try the same exercises, but this time without fingers. We used the fingers, just to feel and stop the movement. So you should be able to do the 3 repetitions without the fingers too, if you have a better ability to control. 

Another advanced technique is not frowning between eyebrows when you open the eyes as big as possible. Try the repetitions while paying attention to the frown area between eyebrows. 

Because this requires a lot of focus and is tiring, only 1 set/day is good enough. Each set is 3 repetitions. Slowly open, squint, open, squint, open, squint. That's it. You just have to do it slowly. Don’t do it quickly, then it’s gonna engage unnecessary other muscles by mistake. If you keep doing for example triceps exercises too quickly, it's not really effective, right? You are cheating by using momentum. I think your trainers often tell you to do such a workout slowly, don't depend on momentum. We call it cheating. The same applies to our face exercises. 

Let me introduce another before, and after. Thank you so much for this because this is amazing. She is a beautiful person, a beautiful lady but her eyes are a little bit shrinky. A little bit saggy. But then after she did our face yoga method, so much better. Her cheeks are much fuller and up. This blog is about the eye, but I cannot notice the position of the cheeks so down before and so up after. It's a bit hard to see with the bang, but I think she used to have, almost a triple eyelid, but now it's a much more regular double eyelid looking. So it changed from triple eyelid to double.

The reason why this exercise works is this: in the eye socket bone, there is an eyeball behind your eyeball. There's a fat to protect the eyeball because the eyeball is an important organ and the fat is like a cushion. And there are muscles behind the fat. With age, the muscles become weak and then the fat drops down, and that is your eye bag. To make things worse, because the fat drops, the upper fat drops too, which results in a hollow on the upper eyelid. So if you are having a hollow, if you are having an eye bag, you must do these exercises.

Eye Exercise #3 Stop Bad Facial Habits

Stop bad habits that you might be doing. For example, maybe you're working on the computer and somebody calls your name “Melanie”, and then you might be looking up by lifting up only the eyes and forehead, instead of moving up the head. That’s just one of the bad facial habits examples. Even if you do a lot of exercise, if you keep doing those habits, you won’t see good results. It is like you work out a lot to lose fat, but you keep eating fatty foods too much. So please be conscious about their forehead. Another bad facial habit is that you might look up to check what time it is now on the wall clock, by moving the head and eyes only, instead of moving the entire head. 

My other example is when I do yoga, such as the down dog pose. When I do down dog pose, I don't know what's going to happen next move, so I might try to see my yoga teacher there and then I might use the forehead muscles too much because I have to keep the down dog pose. In addition to the down dog pose,  when I do some floor exercises, I try not to move the forehead but sometimes I use this muscle which is not good. 

Also, I wanted to talk about crow’s feet wrinkles. They are hard to fix by face yoga, to be honest, unfortunately. But as long as the lines are up because their cheeks are upward, they look fine. If they are downward, they are not good though. But if they are upward, I think it's like an extension of eyeliner cat eye. So I don't really be bothered. But if you want to fix it, you would need to take care of the skin surface. This wrinkle is not really coming from overworked muscle. There are many red overworking muscles in the face that causes wrinkles, but crow’s feet are different. This is more like a surface level. Surface level means dryness, loss of elasticity, loss of collagen, that kind of thing. So it’s hard to fix crow’s feet by controlling the muscles. Face yoga is good for overworking muscle wrinkles, but not for surface wrinkles such as crow’s feet. So for surface wrinkles, you might want to try something like this micro-needling technique that I've been recently got interested in and going to try more so that I can teach you guys. I recently did a video about this stamping. Stamping is for beginners. And I like it because it's more stable. But if you are advanced, you might want to try a microneedling pen. I haven’t tried the pen on my face yet, but I will do this in the near future to get used to it.


Now let's summarize the 3 exercises and techniques. 

#1: Lower eyelid Lift

As introduced at the beginning, you can do multiple variations, stretching the philtrum, looking up, down, closing, etc. Do the one that works for you? But later you want to be able to do the lift by just straight looking to the front. If you're having a hard time still, that's room for improvement. If you're having a hard time alternating one by one, that's another room for improvement. 

By the way, this is 1 of the 5 Mountain Valleys. If you don't know what the 5 mountain valleys are that we want to have, check our videos

#2: Fire Eyes

Keep your pinkies on the eyebrow, and other fingers on the forehead. Then close your eyes and slowly open without lifting your eyebrows and forehead. Keep the forehead relaxed and then open fire eyes. Slowly squint. repeat slowly 3 times. 

#3: Stop Bad Facial Habits

In addition to doing the exercises, please be conscious about not using your forehead muscles too much whenever your face is trying to do. Usually, it's when you look up. I remember another one. Another one is when you do makeup, especially eye areas. I seriously don't know why you lift your eyebrows every time you do eyebrow or eye makeup. But I see so many people do that. It causes so many wrinkles. You don't have to use the forehead muscles to do the makeup when you're wearing makeup. Why do you do that? Why? Haha. I think it's just human nature. You just don't know you're not supposed to do that. That's why you keep doing it. It gets worse every time you do makeup. So I’m glad that you are here, so you can stop today. Another one is contact lenses. You wear contact lenses or eye drops. I understand because you want to have bigger eyes to get the drop in but you don't have to move the eyebrows and/or forehead. The more you use this muscle, the eye muscles become weaker. That's why you don't want to use this forehead.

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