In theory, this is a health and wellbeing related article, but as its subject is so entertaining, we’ve given it a home right here in the entertainment section.
Oh Gwyneth. Not content with preaching about the benefits of some earthy, watery soup that will, like, totally detox your body, the Oscar winning actress is now schooling her legion of fans in the art of yawning. Yes, according to Chris Martin’s ex and her yoga pals, you’ve been doing it all wrong. What’s more, there’s not just one technique, there’s two, should you get bored with the first option.
Though we try to hide our yawning as part of our social etiquette, Gwyneth reckons yawning’s really rather important. She quotes yogi Michael Lear as saying “Please yawn… 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… 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.”
You’re probably yawning now, and you probably feel good about it, so for this, we’re going to agree with Gwyneth’s Goopiness. As for how to get it right, here’s your step by step guide.
To fully rid your body of tension and release all of that unwanted stress, here’s what Paltrow and Lear suggest.
- 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.
Continue with steps 1-4 above, and when the yawn comes, bring together only the lips. Keep the teeth slightly separated. Creating this shape with your mouth as you yawn will take out more slack in the throat muscles to bring the lengthening and relaxation around the base of the tongue, and further stretch and relax the neck, jaw, and occipital regions. Repeat 8-10 times until you begin to tear.
No tears? Then you’ve failed. FAILED!