Why Do I Yawn When I Meditate?

June 8, 2024

Yawning during meditation is not uncommon, and it does not indicate that you aren’t doing it right. Rather, it’s an indication that you are diving deep into relaxation. Yawning is also a way for your body to “hit the refresh button,” releasing various neurotransmitters that can enhance clarity, focus, and overall mindfulness.

Often, yawning is contagious, and you may be tempted to yawn when you see someone else do it. This is because yawning is a way to communicate to others that you feel the same way that they do, and this type of empathy is linked to increased mental wellbeing.

In addition, yawning can help to equalize the pressure in your ears. This is a useful response when traveling in planes or driving at different elevations because it can help to prevent ear pain or damage from changing air pressure. Yawning can also help to activate the precuneus, which is a brain structure associated with self awareness. This is helpful during meditation because it may help you to recognize when your mind wanders and return back to a more focused state.

If you find that yawning is distracting, try shifting your attention to your breath and focus on the inhalation and exhalation. Alternatively, you can also use a visual object that you can stare at, such as the flame of a candle or an image of the Buddha. This can keep your eyes from drifting off and will allow you to focus on the object for longer periods of time.

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