Gwyneth Paltrow offered some tips on how to “optimize” the yawning reflex in a recent post on her website.

The GOOP blogger said that Michael Lear, “a wonderful yogi and important quarterback for mindfulness and meditation,” explained to her that yawning is an important mechanism for relieving stress.

She offered the following step-by-step yawning instructions:


1. Gently tilt your head back to a comfortable position and allow your mouth to hang open widely while you gently extend into it.

2. 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.

3. Inhale and exhale completely while allowing your shoulders to relax as you exhale.

4. When the yawn comes, reach and extend into it, riding the yawn to stretch the jaw muscles.

5. 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.

Paltrow also had tips for yawn #2, which you can read on

A “Red Eye” panel took on Paltrow’s unexpected advice. Hear what they had to say in the video above.

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