After years of receiving edification in the importance of keeping your colon tidy, your backyard party playlists curated to match the mood around your chiminea, and your water emotionally gratified, you may be feeling a bit tired of Gwyneth Paltrow. And according to the actress and lifestyle tyrant, that’s fine—and it’s perfectly acceptable, even welcome, to yawn around her. But as always, it’s important that you yawn correctly, and not just throw your mouth open like another sack of ranch-dipped breadcrumbs to inhale. Luckily for you, as with every other aspect of your life that’s also primarily a biological function, Paltrow has some tips to make doing it a conscientious chore.
In her latest update to Goop, the Rosetta Stone that will one day explain to our descendants how we died of insufferability, Paltrow writes of “Why Yawning Is Important And How To Optimize The Reflex”—helpfully, yet sternly suggesting that you’re simply not making the most of slowly inhaling. Why, you’re probably just cracking your jaws agape like you’ve spotted a bacon cheeseburger, sucking up the air with all the boorish, lazy gusto of a tree that has not yet been shamed by Gwyneth Paltrow. Fortunately, Paltrow sought the counsel of yogi Michael Lear to provide tips on how you can best unwind, in an enumerated list of steps to be followed exactly.
1. Gently tilt your head back to a comfortable position and allow your mouth to hang open widely while you gently extend into it.
“Arrange your head in a comfortable position, such as on a Donna Wilson pouffe—a steal at only $740! Then allow your mouth to just let go and relax. Perhaps tell your mouth that your 6 a.m. mouth-pilates has been canceled. (Even though it hasn’t!)”
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.
“To begin the slow process of contracting your throat, perhaps start by asking to see some samples of other breaths your throat has designed. Then pretend as though you’re going to perform Ujjayi breathing. Don’t dwell too long on the fact that this is not how you do Ujjayi breathing normally. Just don’t think about it for now. You will do it correctly later.”
3. Inhale and exhale completely while allowing your shoulders to relax as you exhale.
“This crude maneuver is also known as a ‘Bronx cheer.’ Remember to write a blog later about how it’s fun to slum it.”
4. When the yawn comes, reach and extend into it, riding the yawn to stretch the jaw muscles.
“Saddle up that yawn and make it your bitch. Ride your yawn into the fiery gates of hell, spurs to its side, your jaw muscles flexing around it like two pythons who allowed themselves an espresso bean that day.”
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.
“Yawning, like everything else should be, is hard work, and this is no time to goldbrick. Stretch your jaw and squeeze your glands until your face literally starts crying from the exertion—that’ll teach it to be tired. If you’re having trouble working up tears, simply gaze around at the unbridled squalor you live in.”
Finally, once you’ve mastered these steps to executing the perfect, Paltrow-approved yawn, she adds an even more advanced set of yawning exercises that involves keeping your mouth mostly closed—a strategy that is good for relaxing the neck, jaw, and “occipital regions,” if not so much establishing a celebrity lifestyle brand. But whatever your individual yawning skill at the moment, Paltrow recommends that you practice yawning regularly to “release accumulated energy and tension that may result from conversation and or the vicissitudes of the day,” such as reading Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest advice.