How to Yawn #2
Extending a yawn has therapeutic effects.
So does sighing, yawning’s little brother.
M. Foster, M.D. (A Text Book of Physiology, Sixth Edition, 1895) wrote …
“Sighing is a deep and long-drawn inspiration, chiefly through the nose, followed by a somewhat shorter, but correspondingly large expiration.
“Yawning is similarly a deep inspiration, deeper and longer continued than a sigh, drawn through the widely open mouth, and accompanied by a peculiar depression of the lower jaw and frequently by an elevation of the shoulders.”
Meditating in the mountains induces sighing, according to Adano Ley (Swami Nitty-Gritty).
Sighing is the origin of Amen, Ameen, Allah, alas!, AUM (aa-uu-eemm), and eee! when dying, according to Adano.
A-U-M sounds can be made without the tongue.
Wayne Dyer’s “ahh-eee” meditation may not be our highest choice.
Andrew J Peacock (“Oxygen at high altitude,” The BMJ, Oct. 17, 1998) wrote …
“Atmospheric pressure and inspired oxygen pressure fall roughly linearly with altitude to be 50% of the sea level value at 5500 m and only 30% of the sea level value at 8900 m (the height of the summit of Everest). A fall in inspired oxygen pressure reduces the driving pressure for gas exchange in the lungs and in turn produces a cascade of effects right down to the level of the mitochondria, the final destination of the oxygen.”
Ray Peat (“Altitude and Mortality,” 2006) wrote …
“Breathing pure oxygen lowers the oxygen content of tissues; breathing rarefied air, or air with carbon dioxide, oxygenates and energizes the tissues; if this seems upside down, it’s because medical physiology has been taught upside down. And respiratory physiology holds the key to the special functions of all the organs, and to many of their basic pathological changes.
“Stress, shock, inflammation, aging, and organ failure are, in important ways, respiratory problems.”
Gwynnie’s new-agey goop gets many things wrong (activated charcoal, energy stickers, chakra stones), but the following is right on the nuts.
According to Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop website (“Why Yawning is Important—And How To Optimize the Reflex”) …
“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.'”
Tim Nudd (“Gwyneth Paltrow Teaches You How to Yawn Properly (Yes, You’ve Been Doing It Wrong),” People Celebrity, Jul. 17, 2015) wrote …
“Paltrow says you can do these yawning exercises through the day, and especially at bedtime, ‘to release accumulated energy and tension that may result from conversation and or the vicissitudes of the day.’
“And you don’t need to induce tearing for it to be helpful.”
A therapeutic yawn involves the lacrimal glands.
However, as mentioned above, yawning without tears is definitely “helpful.”
(To Be Continued)