If you’re someone who finds Gwyneth Paltrow‘s blog posts particularly amusing, you’ll want to check out her latest oeuvre, in which the actress highlights a 7-step guide to yawning correctly (or leaning into the yawn reflex, as she calls it.)
On her new-agey lifestyle site Goop, Paltrow shares that she was dining Michael Lear, a yogi and “important quarterback for mindfulness and meditation in this country,” who emphasized that—despite popular opinion—yawning isn’t rude, but rather should be embraced as a key mechanism for overall health.
“Please yawn,” he said, when he caught the actress trying to suppress one during their meal. “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.”
From there, Gwynnie lays out a full yawn plan on the site, detailing the exact ways to really optimize your yawn or “lean into the yawn reflex” as she calls it. Read and learn, people.
- 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.
So there you have it. The fact is, it’s hard to fault Gwyneth for these types of posts—she clearly has readers’ best health at heart—but sometimes it’s a tad hard to take phrases like “Ujjayi breathing” seriously, especially in relation to something as mindless as a yawn. Still, we have a feeling you’re yawning right this second (and maybe even testing out all seven steps.)