Gwyneth Paltrow has another memorable post up on Goop! This time, it’s about yawning: both why yawning is important as well as how to do it properly. We do all yawn, right? Our bodies must do it for a reason!
The other night at a dinner with Michael Lear, a wonderful yogi and important quarterback for mindfulness and meditation in this country, he caught, out of the corner of his very alert eye, the suppression of a yawn. (It was late.) “Please yawn,” he explained. “Really give into it, as it’s the body’s primary way to release and stretch the jaw and neck muscles after a long day of work and conversation.” And then, since yawning is contagious, there was a good 30-60 second stretch of yawning back and forth. “There’s a perception that it’s rude or that it means that you’re bored, but the reality is that it’s a very important mechanism for releasing stress. It feels good for a reason: Trust that your body knows how to calibrate itself.”
When you think about, it makes sense, right?
Gwyneth then shared Michael’s instructions for how to yawn properly. Here are the instructions for Yawn #1:
- Gently tilt your head back to a comfortable position and allow your mouth to hang open widely while you gently extend into it.
- Contract the back of the throat as if to perform Ujjayi breathing—a whispery breath—which is typically done through your nose with your mouth closed. Breathe deeply through your mouth so you feel the air hit the back of your throat.
- Inhale and exhale completely while allowing your shoulders to relax as you exhale.
- When the yawn comes, reach and extend into it, riding the yawn to stretch the jaw muscles.
Repeat 8-10 times until tearing starts. As your jaw muscles stretch and relax, and the yawn expands, the lacrimal glands around the eye are squeezed and tearing is induced.
You can check out Gwyneth’s post on Goop for instructions on Yawn #2. She also notes that it isn’t necessary to “tear up” to have a good yawn. Learn something new every day, right?
Photos by FAMEFLYNET