The founder of YogaFace, Tamu is an expert in the Danielle Collins method of face yoga. She grew up in South Africa and shares tips about nutrition, face yoga techniques for glowing skin, her self-care rituals and what inspires her.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk. To start, would you share a bit about your background and how you came to do what you're doing today?
Thank you so much for having me! I grew up in Southern Africa and although we left when I was 11, Africa still feels like my home and I love anything that reminds me of it, from smells, to food, to music, to skincare like wonderful Ekó. I have travelled the world a lot and I have explored natural skincare along the way, so finding Ekó, with its African botanical ingredients, is a joy and a perfect partner for my Face Yoga practice.
I discovered Face Yoga about 6 years ago, in a magazine article about Danielle Collins, a face yoga expert. I was already interested in body health and fitness, having studied Ashtanga Yoga, Pilates, and Nutrition over the years, so realising that we could bring that same healthy fitness to our skin and our face and neck with Face Yoga, made sense and felt exciting. At the time I was struggling to prioritise my selfcare, my skin was looking lacklustre, I had a permanent frown from lack of sleep and stress and so I was very ready for a positive change. I embraced Face Yoga, learned the method, and incorporated the practice into my day and the benefits were quickly clear to see.
My skin started to glow, I was increasing muscle strength, so my face and neck were looking healthy and toned and I was feeling good emotionally, which was a wonderful side effect I had not expected. Face Yoga’s holistic approach inspires you to look at your whole lifestyle, from skincare, to mindfulness, to fitness, to nutrition and importantly, how you treat yourself emotionally.I believed so passionately in the practice that I wanted to share it with everyone, so during lock down I trained with Danielle Collins and have been teaching Face Yoga since.
How would you describe your self-care rituals?
I see my self-care rituals as non-negotiable practices that help me to be present, calming, and positive, for myself and others. A typical day of self-care involves Face Yoga, body exercise, walking, nutritious food, and skincare. I have a morning ritual of getting up early to practice Face Yoga and body exercise, in the peace of a quiet home before the beloved family wake up. I find early morning a wonderful time to focus. I am grateful to our dog for getting me out in nature everyday for her walks. My background in nutrition and my lovely Mum raising us on a wholesome diet and teaching us to cook, means I love to prepare and create delicious nutritious meals.
I take care of my skin in the morning and evening, but it is the evenings when I can spend time on a ritual. I love to do a lengthy facial massage using Ekós Amina Ritual Botanical Cleansing Oil, which I often do sitting on the floor, in front of the telly. Not very glamorous, but a perfect use of time I think and it also means my posture is upright which means less lounging, so better for me, from a face yoga/yoga perspective.
How do your skincare rituals make you feel?
Prioritising my skincare with Face Yoga and Ekó botanicals beautiful products, makes me feel cared for, empowered, glowing, depuffed, de-stressed and just really happy.
Can you share one Face Yoga tip?
Ooh there are so many! Can I share two? Firstly, I want to let people know that you don’t need to set aside a chunk of time for Face Yoga like I do. A wonderful aspect of Face Yoga is that it is possible to fit your facial exercises and massage in throughout the day, while you are going about your daily activities. You can do your neck exercises while the kettle boils in the morning, you can massage your face for a minute after moisturising, you can safely do some mouth and cheek exercises in the car on the way to work and you can fit in a lot in front of the TV in the evening. Of course, if have time to sit and focus on your full-Face Yoga routine, then that is a wonderful way to do it too.
Another important tip to mention is relaxation of our facial muscles. It is so wonderful to exercise our muscles to maintain and improve strength and lift, but it is equally important to learn to relax our muscles and our faces. We can carry a lot of emotion in the face, and we can subconsciously tense some muscles all day long, which can make us feel more stressed and can cause muscle tension and unnecessary lines in the face and neck too. When we learn to relax our faces, those unnecessary lines and muscle tension reduce and we begin to feel better emotionally, because we are sending the message to our brains that we are not that stressed, which is wonderful for our wellbeing. Imagine you are late for work, you have a frown, and your jaw is tense, that frown and tensed jaw is going to make you feel worse about being late, which is unhelpful. If you can relax your forehead and release your jaw, you will feel a sense of calm, you will still be late, but you won’t be nearly as stressed about it.
Define great skin in 3 words.
Protected, nourished, glowing.
What skincare or beauty memory comes to mind from your childhood?
I immediately think of a hot summer evening in Africa, when I was about eight and I’m watching my gorgeous Mum get ready for an evening out with my Dad. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I remember the butterflies in my tummy while I watched her put her make up on, the smell of her perfume, her happiness and I remember her outfit so clearly, a purple and navy jumpsuit with harem style trousers that sparkled with shiny silver thread. Thank you for taking me back to such a lovely memory.
At what age did you really start prioritizing your skincare? What made you do it?
In my 30’s, I was exhausted from a few stresses in life and not focusing on my selfcare at all, so my skin was showing signs of neglect. I wanted to do something safe and natural to get myself to a place where I felt confident and myself again and so the wonderful journey of skincare and then Face Yoga, began.
Complete the sentence, I feel beautiful when …..?
I feel beautiful when I’m on holiday with my family, sun kissed, relaxed, with salty wavy hair, hardly any makeup and a big smile on my face.
What inspires you?
The pro-aging woman movement.Aging well and celebrating ourselves, for who we are uniquely, at the age we are at, is a path to happiness that I am so excited to see more and more women are on.
What's your favourite Ekó botanicals product?
This is a hard one, but I think it is AMINA. I love the smell, I love the texture which is perfect for massage, and I love how silky and glowing it leaves my skin.
AMINA RITUAL BOTANICAL CLEANSING OIL
3-In-1 Makeup Remover, Cleanser & Moisturiser A botanical cleansing oil to gently remove away dirt, make-up, sun cream and impurities without stripping your skin by virtue of an abundance of nourishing plant seed oils which are rich in antioxidants leaving… read more