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The Healthy Penguin

Read the latest Healthy Penguin newsletter for tips and recipes for health and wellness.

  health, fitness & beauty


Yoga can be a relaxing break from the stresses of everyday life, an intense workout routine or a definitive lifestyle choice. Whatever space yoga takes up in your life, the results are universally beneficial. Unlike the promises of most current fitness trends, yoga will not transform your body and life overnight—but if adhered to, will provide lasting, life-changing effects that will improve your mind, body and spirit.

The Yoga Face

The Yoga Face
The Yoga Face

Annelise Hagen



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Instead of botox and plastic surgery, why not keep your face in shape with a little exercise? In The Yoga Face, Annelise Hagen explains that just like the rest of your body, the muscles in your face require exercise--and keeping the face muscles tight will combat wrinkles. Because face exercise is a fairly new phenomena, Hagen provides in-depth descriptions and visuals for every work-out. Start now with The Baby Bird, The Fish Face and The Satchmo:


Baby Bird
This exercise will assist in forming the chin, neck, and cheeks. It prevents jowls from forming and is a good antidote for existing ones.

Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. You must be relaxed when doing this—it is a bit challenging at first. Swallow while pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Then tilt your head slightly to the left and swallow. Tilt your head slightly to the right and swallow. Do three or four times in each direction.

Smiling Fish Face
At some point, celebrities must have examined their faces and made a conscious decision to combine a smile with a pout (a "smout") for the camera. Probably they did this consciously to mold their faces for the paparazzi, knowing the photos were being transmitted to millions of viewers. This exercise will help firm and tone your cheeks and lips, so that you, too, will be ready for the paparazzi!

Smile while slightly pursing your lips. Withdraw and pinch your cheeks into the hollows of your face slightly as you do so, observing the enhanced cheekbones this pose creates. Repeat four to five times, or for a total of ten to fifteen seconds.

I do not recommend habitually posing like this, as it is rather affected, but it is a good exercise for the mirror, and it will work the ring muscles of the mouth as well as the buccinators.

This exercise is named after the inimitable Louis Armstrong. If you observe photographs of his cheeks, or any other trumpet player's cheeks, you will see that they are firm and strong, long into old age. Years of engaging these muscles keeps them resilient. The muscles used to blow are the buccinators (they are the "apples" that form when you smile, lifting your cheeks up). If you exercise yours, they will stay strong and supple as well. Recall the joyful exuberance of Satchmo's face as he played his horn, and use that ebullience as you firm your cheeks.

Puff up both cheeks with air, then transfer air from cheek to cheek. Alternate back and forth until you are out of breath. Repeat three or four times.

Yogi in the Kitchen

How we eat is a reflection of how we live. The yogi lifestyle centers around improving all aspects of life to ensure health and balance. To keep the mind, body, and soul nourished, meals should be selected with care. In Yogi in the Kitchen, Elaine Gavalas highlights delicious recipes that compliment yoga practice.


Pasta with roasted vegetables and goat cheese
Creamy chunks of goat cheese impart a deliciously tart flavor to the roasted vegetables and pasta. One of the nice things about goat cheese is that people who are allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant can usually eat it and enjoy it.

Serves 4

1 large zucchini (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick
1 large yellow squash (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick
6 medium plum tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound organic whole-grain pasta, any shape
6 ounces goat cheese (chevre) or feta, broken into chunks
¼ cup chopped scallions
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes. Add the 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, the pepper, oregano, and thyme, and toss to coat with the oil.
  2. Lightly brush a large baking sheet with the 1 teaspoon oil, and evenly spread the vegetables over the sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring several times.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water with the remaining teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.
  4. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the roasted vegetables, cheese, scallions, and parsley. Toss to combine.
  5. Transfer to a large pasta bowl and serve.

Read more books on Yoga:

Yoga for Wellness
Yoga Body, Buddha Mind
Yoga Body, Buddha Mind

Cyndi Lee



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