My West London Life

Philippa Mitchell and Camilla Bankes


Creators of Luminous Facial Yoga, Philippa Mitchell and Camilla Bankes, share their vision of wellbeing and give us some tips on how to keep our faces youthful naturally...

What does wellbeing mean to you?

For us, wellbeing is a holistic approach to our health, physically, mentally and spiritually. A good sense of wellbeing should involve a calm, peaceful and relaxed mind, body and soul. So many things can contribute to a strong sense of wellbeing, ranging from nutrition, mindfulness, time for yourself, resisting the urge to compare yourself to others and also a sense of achievement, in some shape or form.

You’ve recently launched ‘Luminous Facial Yoga’, what led you to create this online programme?

The demand for private and group classes was growing and we were increasingly taking on international clients who we were teaching via Skype…we started talking about the feasibility of teaching online live classes and the idea really grew from there. Virtual Wellness is a growing trend and people want to access training and techniques for wellness and beauty anytime and anywhere rather than having to commit to attending something in person each week. The response we have seen since launch has really borne this out and we have members from all over the world.

Although the core content is around Facial Yoga, we are generally interested in all the ways you can naturally keep your face youthful and healthy-looking as you age, and therefore, we have included lifestyle content such as skin-loving recipes, interviews with beauty insiders, and member discounts on beauty and wellness brands we think our members will love.

We knew from the start we wanted to keep the subscription cost as low as possible because we don’t believe beauty and fitness should always come with a high price tag and we wanted to make it accessible for all.

Tell us more about the method, what exactly does facial yoga entail?

Luminous Facial Yoga is more than giving your face a workout. We call it Facial Yoga, as opposed to ‘Facial Exercise or Facial Massage’ because we take a holistic approach to Facial Health. Facial Yoga comprises Face Exercise, Face massage, Acupressure, Relaxation and Wellbeing – the massage, acupressure and energy work techniques we practise are rooted in ancient Chinese medicine and designed to improve blood flow, release tension and release energy flow around the body to promote relaxation.

There are 57 muscles in your face and neck, so there are a fair few techniques to master, ranging from those focused on toning, lifting and sculpting the muscles to those that stimulate the collagen and elastin, drain the lymphatic system and retrain the muscles not to over-express. The relaxation techniques are also vital for releasing tension held in our face and neck.

And what results can people expect?

The time it takes to see results differs from person to person, but in general, you should start to see results in your face and neck area after 2 weeks, most noticeably in your complexion.  After 2-4 months you should begin to notice a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and within 6-9 months people have reported that they look and feel several years younger – as well as feeling generally more relaxed and energised. Taking progress pictures along the way will really help you chart your results.

What role do you think facial yoga plays in the health and wellbeing world?

We are seeing more and more interest in incorporating wellness with beauty.  Generally speaking, we live in an increasingly stressed society, with a lot of us carrying this stress on our face, neck and shoulders; Anything we can do to tackle this tension will not only reduce the signs of ageing but also benefit us mentally too.  Facial Yoga promotes mindfulness, and it gives you the opportunity to take a few minutes out of your hectic day, and focus only on what you are doing at that moment, clear your mind, and identify and let go of tension.

Another key aspect of facial yoga is learning to love and respect your face, which often doesn’t come naturally, but learning to look at yourself, and accentuate the positives is great for your self-esteem.

What’s the best piece of beauty/wellness advice you’ve ever been given?

Wear sunscreen every day, even in on grey, wintery days! Our resident Skin Therapist, Jeanie Scott, at Luminous Facial Yoga says to think of it as ‘Daylight Defence’ which helps you understand why you need to wear it all year round.

Find out more about Luminous Facial Yoga here:

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