Posture: Yawn Tech (Beta)

Step 1: Neutralize Your Jaw

Your jaw needs to be either neutral or smiling in life. When it clenches, it has a downstream effect on the whole body that contracts everything.

The following (very simple) exercise can be done sitting, standing or lying, at any time, to neutralize the jaw and, in fact, to remove part of the mind–body feedback loop that reinforces emotional states. So, for example, neutralizing your jaw can be done immediately to help end states of anger or poutiness.

This will be done stood up in this case as it is a preparation for the next step.

  1. Put lips together gently.
  2. Blow air very gently into your cheeks and chin so they puff up just a little bit.
  3. Feel that your jaw is now sitting in its own “cavity”. The slightly puffed-up cheeks and chin add what feels like a volume of space around the jaw. Notice that, sat in this cavity, it is completely relaxed.
  4. Now, smile gently, using your face muscles, not your jaw. So, you should find that your muscles around your eyes play a far greater role in creating the smile, and that the smile is being gently pulled towards the ears.

This can be used as a state-breaker at any point during the day. If you find yourself tense for any reason, do the above.

I also recommend that you go to sleep with a neutral jaw, with no pillow. I believe a main reason for poor posture is the misalignment of the jaw that sleeping with a “crook neck” on a pillow conditions into you. Bad stuff, guys. No pillow from here on out. You may find that, lying in bed, neutralizing the jaw immediately causes tremors. This is a good thing since it shows that the misalignment is resolving itself.

Maintaining a neutral or smiling jaw is also a brilliant mindfulness meditation for daily life. It means you now have a built-in “scanner” for tense moods. If at any point you notice a tense jaw, make it neutral. If you are anything like me you might find that you had a tense jaw often, especially during computer work. Just keep an eye on it. It is surprisingly fast to condition a neutral or smiling jaw as your default state. After a couple of days you might find you are running this completely on autopilot, and haven’t made a tense face in hours or even days. Seriously, this is that good.

Step 2: Smile-Yawn

Here is the zinger.

  1. Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, arms down by sides.
  2. Neutralize the jaw and smile by following the exact steps above.
  3. Look up.
  4. Gently cup your tongue, like in the below picture but not as exaggerated:

  5. Begin sucking air in gently, through your nose at first then through your mouth too as it opens.
  6. While smiling, begin opening the mouth by pulling the cupped tongue down vertically towards your feet. So, you are literally using your tongue to drag your jaw open and down, and the tongue is always pulling downwards in a straight vertical line towards the ground. This mouth opening sequence is driven entirely by the tongue pulling downwards, and you breathe in during this.
    • You should feel all sorts of nerves activating and spaces opening up in the lower back (and everywhere else, in fact). If you have a particularly tight back then just opening the jaw fully in this way may take 30 seconds or even longer.
    • The tongue should pull the jaw open downwards through resistance. During this you should be hearing a “rushing noise” in your ears as your inner ear is opened up, as the tongue pulls through resistance.
    • The throat should also feel like it is opening up, as though the “channel” of the throat is expanding downwards and outwards into the body as you breathe in and pull the tongue down.
    • Your arms should completely relax and in fact be allowed to slide downwards during this.
    • The head will likely want to come back even more during this and that should be allowed.
    • Sucking air in through the mouth should be done gently during this till you are fully inflated. However, if your attention gets split at any point, then you should give priority to the tongue pulling downwards and the throat opening up rather than the breath.
  7. Bring awareness to any tight areas in the body while doing this. Mental awareness of these spots induces REM which helps resolve them.
  8. “Eye scrunches” and other characteristics of a yawn may take place. Of course, these are completely to be encouraged! You should aim to get into these aspects and ride with them, but it’s no big deal if they don’t happen.

After the sequence, which may take 30 seconds or even a full minute to complete if you are really stiff, you will hopefully find that:

  • Your eyes teared.
  • You now feel very blissful and even “high”.
  • It is now far easier to smile, the jaw is more neutral by default, and you have greater freedom in your body and mind.
  • Just regular breathing now induces piti (pleasure).
  • You are now stood up very straight. In fact, I urge you to do this in front of a mirror, looking before and after at the curve of your lower back to see how much this exercise straightened it out in no time at all.

My advice now is to immediately repeat this sequence several more times (in a relaxed manner), using the tongue to find and pull down through resistance. Find major blocks and pull through them while smiling. The first several times you do this will make major positive changes to the structure of your body.

After this initial period however you will just be performing the sequence for maintenance purposes. The sequence should be performed every time you stand up, either from lying in bed or sitting. It is especially useful immediately after computer work to undo the harmful effects of sitting at the screen.

The above sequence should be your “primary yawn”. If however on subsequent sequences you wish to extend the arms or legs or make other stretching movements, be my guest. You can be creative with it but my advice is to try and follow your body’s natural instincts.

Also bear in mind that the tongue pulling downwards is the primary catalyst for internal body straightening. This is because the tongue is one of the few muscles which connects to literally all the myofascial sheets in the whole body. I think about it like this: Imagine a sock that has been half turned inside-out. Now grab the toe end of the sock and pull it, imagining that this straightens out the whole sock so it is no longer inside-out. The toe end of the sock is your tongue. It connects to all connective tissue (fascia) in your whole body and can be tugged on to straighten it all out. The other place where this can happen is in fact the anus, and you will notice that, while doing the yawning sequence, the anus will clench and draw upward into the body, completing the other end of the “straightening out the sock” analogy.

I could talk all day about how and why yawning works. If you check the Wikipedia page on yawning you will find that they have consistently missed the boat in every theory. It’s pathetic, really. My model would effectively replace that entire page. However, the important thing is that we got the tech out of it, and I’m eager to hear your results. 🙂

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68 Responses

  1. Illuminatus says:

    This should definitely be done before and after meditation. Notice how the freedom in the body now allows the Alexander Technique breathing (push the breath out to induce a natural reflexive inhale) to occur naturally.

    I also believe that this tech, by straightening out the fascia connected to the anus, will resolve haemorrhoids eventually. If you suffer from this then watch out to see if it cures it.

  2. P_locked says:

    I tried the method it out and man did it really get me trembling. I was just shaking and my head tilted back even more. After that, I felt the need to move my body around even more so I just went with movements that felt best. It was weird since at one point, I naturally went into a yoga pose that I had learned a couple of months prior called Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I). By the end of it, I felt a lot lighter though I could not smile better than before. I find it actually really hard to use my face muscles to smile instead of my jaw. It doesn’t even look like I’m smiling actually. However when I went into meditation, I felt even closer to jhana than I have for the past week. So, that’s a plus and even more of an incentive to keep on using this technique.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Thanks for trying it out!

      The jaw has a complex relationship with muscles, myofascia and nerves (actually, it’s simple, but complex to describe in words). The practical outcome is that, if you clench your jaw a lot, then the rest of the body becomes functionally “bound” to the jaw. That means that when you then clench your jaw the whole body becomes tense and if your body is tense under stress then the jaw will clench (it does this anyway as part of a “circuit” but the conditioned binds make this effect stronger as a feedback loop). If you can maintain a neutral jaw using mindfulness throughout the day then these binds will begin falling away — quickly, actually. So, even just walking around with a neutral jaw, the head will start to rise, the body will loosen, etc. Seriously, try it.

      Your facial muscles are “bound” to your jaw clench at the moment. A neutral jaw will loosen these, too. Eventually you will be able to smile using the facial muscles giving that “bright-eyed” smile that joyful people have. There is a nerve component, too, meaning you will have to relearn smiling using different nerves. E.g. try smiling with your eyes. This can all be reconditioned surprisingly quickly. It is totally worth it.

      “However when I went into meditation, I felt even closer to jhana than I have for the past week.”

      The jaw process activates the spine strongly and gives a clear channel for upward energy flow from the base of the spine to the crown — exactly what is required for jhana/samadhi. EVERYTHING becomes easier after using this yawn tech. EVERYTHING.

  3. Rigz says:

    What exactly is “cupping” the tongue? The picture is unclear and can be seen from multiple perspectives

    • Rigz says:

      NVM, think I figured it out. This tech creates actual real yawning for me. Did this 10 times and have had about 20 natural yawns arise spontaneously in the past few minutes.

      • Illuminatus says:

        That’s right. Once the neural circuit gets reconnected it starts firing often to correct the years’ accumulated problems. The first time I did this exercise I yawned compulsively for several hours straight and it only stopped when I went to sleep.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Lightly point the tip of the tongue upwards. The tongue rolls back a little bit. That’s all it is. 🙂

  4. Illuminatus says:

    Can you guys add something new to the process, please? When opening the mouth by pulling the cupped tongue downwards into the body, also try to pull the chin down at the same time, using the tongue. This should significantly add to the “happy” flavour in the yawn. The chin seems to have important nerves for mood and are part of a circuit connecting right down to the base of the spine (you should feel the chin activating something in the lower back when you pull it down). I believe this is the origin of the phrase “chin up!” for positivity.

    • P_locked says:

      By pulling the chin down, do you mean to open the mouth? I guess what I should say is, if I’m looking up with my mouth slightly open, my chin and jaw are vertical. So if I’m pulling my chin down, am I just sort of pushing it down on this vertical axis or am I opening my mouth so my chin, on the pivot of my jaw, goes downward. I’m also going to extend this question to the cupped tongue (even though I felt like I did it right). If the cup tongue makes a upside down L, do I both keep this form and pull this L down my throat without it sort of collapsing?

      • Illuminatus says:

        Yeah, I mean open the mouth. You should find that the chin can draw down a lot deeper into the body than you thought, and that this correlates with tension release all over the back, especially noticeable in the lower back. You will probably find that it encounters resistance a lot in the early days and that this correlates with a rushing noise in the ears; just gently keep opening your mouth through the resistance, but never pushing it beyond what’s comfortable.

        For the general yawn sequence, including how the mouth opens and draws down into the organism, watch animals yawning. Here’s an excellent one (turn speakers off as an annoying person yells at the end):

        Beautiful motion. I love animals.

        • P_locked says:

          OH MAN! After watching that video copying the motion while also taking your new step, I have been unconsciously yawning non-stop. I’m in a lecture right now, and I’m hoping the professor doesn’t think I’m bored or something haha

          Thanks a ton Illuminatus!

          • P_locked says:

            Also, I find it super interesting that whenever I neutralize my jaw to sit in its cavity, I yawn immediately.

            • Illuminatus says:

              It’s what your body needs. That will subside the looser you become (the more bonds to your jaw get released through the process). You will also find that if you neutralize your jaw while lying in bed then you may very quickly get this kind of “snore breathing” happening, which feels VERY nice and can send you off to sleep in seconds sometimes.

  5. Illuminatus says:

    Oh yeah, don’t be surprised if your calves start to really ache after this, especially at night. Proper yawns like this kickstart a process whereby the entire myofascial “body suit” begins to uncrumple. This is especially noticeable after/during REM sleep which continues this process.

    My tech is winning so much it hurts at the moment.

  6. James says:

    Ed, please.. please stop… I can’t handle all the winning! Ha 😀

    I’m trying it out so, for the most part its just lots of yawning at this point. I’ll keep chugging along and see what happens.

    When you say pull your chin down do you mean like tucking it?

    • Illuminatus says:

      No. If you put your head back you should find that you can open your mouth by pulling your tongue down. You should feel this force pulling through the chin, though it may be very stiff at first. The mouth should be opened through the chin in this way, though. Do it gently.

      If it is stiff, then the chin will resist this downward force and you will find your eyes go into REM. You should hold, keep applying the downward force very gently, and let the REM do its thing. REM is ALWAYS a sign that myofascial release/unwinding is taking place, in this case many microwinds. In fact the distortions are mostly microwinds needing to be undone by the body via things like REM. There is an ultrafine form of REM which can release hundreds or thousands of microwinds per second. I know practically everything about this now; I really should publish it.

      This is always done gently and moving at the body’s own rate. Frequency is more important than quality at this stage.

      The induction of a yawn itself activates the body’s relaxation and microunwinding programmes. The body does most of this work behind the scenes, and the yawn is mainly just the trigger.

  7. BabaFella says:

    Have done this for the second time today and a couple of observations:

    I definitely hear the rushing sound,
    My underlip sometimes flutters when doing this,
    My head sort of makes little jumps and twitches. Also the right side of my neck feels tighter then the left side, which causes my head to tilt sideways. Also the left cheek kinda pulls the left part of my upper lip upwards, while my right cheek feels inactive. I will keep doing it and see if in a couple of days if this tech balances this out.

    After doing this a couple of times, I just get the urge to stretch my body and also especially my feet. When I stretch out my toes, my feet immediately feel looser.
    It also causes spontaneous real yawning.

    All in all this tech seems good, I will keep doing it, and see if I get better at it, because now it still feels awkward, pushing my tonge down while trying to smile with my face, it makes me look retarted.

    I also have the feeling that not a lot of force of the tongue is needed, just a gentle push down seems enough. My tongue applies pressure at the area just behind the teeth, is this correct?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Everything you described is completely normal and correct.

      One side being tighter than the other is completely normal. The twists and turns will tend to correlate with your sleep positions. The head tilts show you how much your neck has been compromised by sleeping on pillows. It is all reversible/reparable in my opinion. The tighter side of the body reflects a more awkward sleeping position on that side.

      The urge to stretch is normal but try to follow what your body WANTS to do, not what you THINK it should be doing.

      Also note that the most important thing here is that the yawn is mainly a trigger for automatic relaxation and unwinding programmes which then begin to occur as you go about your business, and especially while sleeping. Most of the work is done behind the scenes without you having to pay attention or interfere. You should definitely yawn before sleep; I need to put that point in the final version of the tech.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “All in all this tech seems good, I will keep doing it, and see if I get better at it, because now it still feels awkward, pushing my tonge down while trying to smile with my face, it makes me look retarted.”

      The spelling is “retarded” by the way (damn American accent!)

      You should do this in private if you care about how it looks.

      Also, to understand the role of the smile face shape, watch animals yawning (maybe YouTube it). Don’t watch humans; they monitor their appearance too much and break their autopilot behaviours. It is not so much a “smile” as it is a sideways expansion of the mouth pulling backwards at the same time. I used smile so people could approximate this shape.

      • Do we smile with the mouth or with the eyes only?

        I am probably doing something incorrectly as I can’t seem to open my mouth with the tongue alone …

        • Illuminatus says:

          Yeah, it’s really a combined action of all the face muscles expanding and pulling back and down. I’ve had to split it into steps to try to get the natural motion firing again in humans who have had their autopilot responses severely compromised (as an example, I NEVER yawned in the morning from maybe age 10 upwards — I would go straight into verbal thoughts and a look of consternation).

          Some of the facial sequence is almost a “pained” look. But it also transitions into looseness and smiling. Watch animals yawning for the best guide. We ARE animals. Our autonomic reflexes are (or should be) virtually identical to theirs.

          There are also different “fascia modes” the body goes into. I have at least a dozen listed in my notes. In one of those modes, which we might call “liquid rubber”, the tongue easily pulls the fascia down into the body causing it to expand like a soft balloon. There are also “hard” modes where the fascia is very non-pliable which makes things like opening the mouth smoothly very difficult. You can’t worry about those modes, though — you can just do your best and have faith the body will do the right thing at the right time, and gradually relearn these automatic reflexes.

      • James says:

        “. It is not so much a “smile” as it is a sideways expansion of the mouth pulling backwards at the same time.”

        Oh, well that makes perfect sense. I’ve done that tons on plant med and it almost always occured during reg meditation.

  8. sebster says:

    I am trying out now, and did get the “anus-real” and got the tremblings but actuall yawning going, But it feels really reallyg pleasurable!

  9. Illuminatus says:

    Just a note to emphasize that this is a marathon not a race. The goal is to coax the body back into automatic reflexes and relaxation programmes. Most of the “work” actually takes place post-yawn, particularly during sleep. Definitely yawn before bed.

  10. Illuminatus says:


    In all cases you are to start off with eyes closed and lips together, then begin breathing through your nose while simultaneously slowly opening your mouth, and letting your head and body move as it wants while continuing to breathe in and open your mouth.

    1) Stand up. Feet apart. Look down at feet. Arms by sides with wrists turned in so palms face out. Head should lift up as you open mouth and eventually end up all the way back mirroring the original pose in this blog post (though cycling through to that may take a long time and several attempts).

    2) Sit down in computer chair. Look down legs. Do a cycle as per instructions at start of this comment.

    3) Sit down on sofa or arm chair so legs are more spread forward and relaxed. Do a cycle.

    In each case the head will likely move in predictable patterns, swaying to one side at one point in the cycle, passing through resistance there, and swaying to another side as the cycle progresses. This is due mainly to the cycle working through the asymmetries of sleep positions, though computer use also has a LOT to answer for.

    It’s a marathon, not a race. Commit some time a day (maybe half an hour) and don’t overdo it. Stop sleeping with pillows.

    Hopefully you will get some progress relatively quickly though and start to understand why I was saying this might be the end of the massage/ body work industry.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Forgot to say, you should also start trying to use more nerves in your abdomen to breathe during these, e.g. feeling air expand into the lower back which is usually very tight in most people.

    • Illuminatus says:

      I just found that if you keep your lips together a lot longer while breathing in through your nose it releases a lot more stuff body-wide, and you can follow your head turns and limbs wanting to turn (if they want to) while doing this.

      You’re up to speed with where I’m at now on the physical side; I’ll get some feedback before writing any more notes/instructions.

    • Illuminatus says:

      EDIT: Added to #1 above, “Look down at feet”.

  11. Axel says:

    So all of this is just to induce yawns right? Here’s another part of the yawn. Open up your nostrils. Flap them a few times or try to open them as much as possible. The throat will automatically contract down and it will induce a yawn if you ride it.

    Also, whenever I fall asleep I get these violent, uncoordinated kicking in the legs that wakes me up and stops when I’m fully aware. But I have this problem when trying to fall asleep. How the hell do we fall asleep or let this thing happen instead of waking up?

    Yawning has always had this effect but I think I’m stopping the progress.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Thanks for the nostril tip, will try.

      Are you sure the leg thing isn’t a hypnic jerk?
      If so then that’s nothing to do with what we’re doing here; animals get them too.

    • Illuminatus says:

      If your disruptive leg tremors are NOT hypnic jerks (which can be ignored) then I will give some guidance now regarding sleep.

      There are two “phases” you can enter when lying down. The first is the gross unwinds that give rise to these often violent tremors. The legs take on a huge amount of tension during the day if your mood and work habits are poor (e.g. stress, “gripping” while sitting etc.). These are best released in dedicate “hard surface” work such as those techniques listed here:

      I get deep leg tremors when first lying in bed and I consider them normal. The question I ask myself is how long am I willing to indulge these tremors? I am at a fairly good place now whereby the major ones don’t last that long; maybe 10 minutes. I let them play out.

      Then there is the time when I decide to sleep and not do tremors any more. This is what I am calling the second phase of lying down, the sleep phase. I will neutralize my jaw and let my body settle into a comfortable(ish) position; one which no longer induces severe tremors. Then I will put my awareness on my breathing at my top lip and simply leave it there. This will often cause the breath to pause. The pause is due to the lungs trying to expand into a space currently congested with myofascial tension (winds). However, REM itself can resolve these. The result is that, if I stay with the paused breath long enough, it eventually gives way, there is a quite huge “snore” sound, and my breathing immediately descends into ultra-deep animal sleep breathing. This feels wonderful and will take me off to sleep in literally seconds. You just have to stay with the paused breath knowing it will resolve, and give it as much time as it needs.

      What we are doing here is relearning how to use this ancient animal hardware in the correct way. The good news is that when it starts working again the resultant emotional states with the joy you would expect nature to have furnished us with.

      Human malaise is all conditioned; there’s nothing natural about the mental dysfunction we suffer. And it can all be reversed.

      • Axel says:

        Thanks for the answer. I get the hypnic jerks right now because I’m not doing any “bodywork”. I get the kicking when I do some yawn-inducing exercises or I float around (swiming pools, beach). I think that kicking will look like what a spine injured wheelchaired person does (that’s what it reminds me of anyway), but a little differently. It feels like my legs are actually moving in all directions, rotating and doing just about everything they can and each of them separately, like what one is doing has nothing to do with what the other is doing.

        The kisssmile thing I think it’s not for me. Andy Hutchinson says that pouting releases tension from center of forehead…well I have an uncle and cousin who pout and frown when they are deep in thought, watching a movie or playing a videogame…I do the same from time to time and specially when I hang with them. I think I will play around with this type of yawns more.

        Does the breath pause happen at the end of an exhale? Also you focus on the point between top lip and nose or actually on the top lip? I want to try it.

        Thanks again.

        • Illuminatus says:

          “Thanks for the answer. I get the hypnic jerks right now because I’m not doing any “bodywork”.”

          Hypnic jerks are nothing to do with body work. Didn’t you read the Wikipedia article I linked to?

          “The kisssmile thing I think it’s not for me. Andy Hutchinson says that pouting releases tension from center of forehead…well I have an uncle and cousin who pout and frown when they are deep in thought, watching a movie or playing a videogame…I do the same from time to time and specially when I hang with them.”

          The pout is to be done while looking up vertically which is functionally different from an emotionally expressive pout. I don’t think invoking things you saw Tom, Dick or Harry do once while looking up the price of cheese in Amsterdam is really a very good way to determine what is a good thing to try for body work — you are better off listening to people with experience.

          “Does the breath pause happen at the end of an exhale?”

          Yes, it is a pause waiting for an inhale to happen.

          “Also you focus on the point between top lip and nose…”


  12. Edo says:

    last year August there was a discussion with Andrew Hutchinson about the smiling and kissing technique.

    how do you see this now? Do you think this new technique is a replacement for this kiss and smile technique?

    • Illuminatus says:

      Andy Hutchinson’s “hard surface” work is the best around, and his sleep tech is great, too. They are all in the Techniques article at the start of that site.

      Kiss/smile, in my mind now, is basically a hack version of genuine yawning. Techniques that trigger genuine yawning like my article here should be used to completely supersede kiss/smile, in my opinion.

  13. Rigz says:

    Will the tongue pull down generate unwinding by itself or is the idea to use this technique to generate true yawning with ear rushing and REM? Can unwinding occur without these?

    • Illuminatus says:

      In my current model there is “gross unwinding” which is the overt turns, tremors etc. and these are mainly fixing the outer layer or “sleeve” of fascia that forms the bags that muscles sit in. Anything we are doing can trigger that.

      Also, something great for this is just lying on a hard surface and letting the body move as it wants. Or even lying in bed and just letting the neck go — my head will turn to some angle and stay there, then body tremors will generate, and the neck will become freer. This is because the outer “skin” of fascia joins down around the whole body, and sleeping with a pillow stores a whole “body turned” shape with the chokepoint at the nerves in the neck and head. So, the tremors release this “body shape”. The neck is really important in all this.

      Another great position is lying back with hands behind head, fingers interlocked.

      Another thing I will do is lie in bed and scan for a tight spot (and I have them in predictable clumps, e.g. around one of the nerves in my calf). If I put my awareness on that knot then “relax” it, the whole body will enter tremors after which the knot is noticeably looser.

      Back to your question, though, there are very fine winds also in the internal fascia, and a different fascia mode is required to release these on a microlevel (i.e. you won’t notice it happening unless you have VERY fine awareness (I do)). Tongue pulling down can trigger either of these, and the throat opening and pulling down is equally important here. These are automatic programs though so you shouldn’t worry them. The microfine unwinds tend to occur while very relaxed and in a good mood. Hope you trigger some relaxation with the yawn then go about your business.

      So you have two “aims”: 1) Triggering a yawn when you wake up, and every time you get up from sitting etc. to trigger various relaxation and unwinding programs; 2) Conscious relaxation e.g. lying on your back in bed or lying on a hard surface where you let your neck go and see how your head wants to turn etc. or relax a nerve in your leg, or arm, or whatever.

      Ultimately this is a marathon not a race and this should all be done in good spirits and not in frustration (which is counterproductive). Don’t get obsessive over it. The goal is to reach a place where sleep, work and mood habits are good so they don’t add many winds. Winds always accumulate in the day anyway and a good night’s sleep and some genuine yawning should be enough to release all of these, in the eventual goal state.

      • Rigz says:

        Will gross unwinds be met with a discernible “release”? I feel like muscles are always on the edge of “releasing” but they never quite seem to go, so I’m not sure if unwinding is actually happening.

  14. AJM99 says:

    Tried this now a couple of times and when start to pull down the jaw with my tongue immediately got major spasms that got me half squatting and bending forwards and then back up again and backwards. Did this like 4 times on the last one got my jaw further open. Have to try it out later a bit more.

  15. sebster says:

    Hey, I wanted to chime in that I am still testing this out. And yes I am getting the yawning going. And it feels great. But I have difficulity keeping it as a smile, is that important.

    And yes I can really feel that something is realease, my walk and stride feels a lot more comfortable and loose after an hour maybe in total session time with this.

    • Illuminatus says:

      No, keeping it as a smile isn’t important. In fact you should try to get into it as naturally as possible and let your face go how it wants, and let your awareness especially move to any areas of the body that “highlight” themselves. I’ll write a follow-up article containing all the components of a yawn and how to use them consciously to do a complete unwind/release at some point, but until then just keep gently playing with the tech and finding out how to use it.

      The rules of this are simple things like:

      – No sudden movements
      – No pain
      – Staying within what your body is comfortable with

      And other than that just try to figure out how it all fits together. Working out the very fine stuff does take some time so don’t feel you have to rush (and you can’t rush this anyway).

      I have been discovering a lot from the head down pose (#1 in “MORE POSITIONS” in the above comment).

  16. Jake says:

    Hey Illuminatus, I’m a long time lurker and I wanted to mention that I’ve been trying this tech for a couple days and it has been great! Specifically, I’m noticing less upper back and shoulder tension. These areas have always been my biggest issues due to computer work.

  17. Vick says:

    I tried it for three days and it looks very promising, my shoulders feel almost aligned, before it felt like they were going in different direction when pulling back.
    First day felt the usual pain in the bicep area, now its pretty much gone.
    Another big one is my right leg and hip, because of driving (or probably even before that) it was pointing outward and now it feels like its getting back in place.
    Also when meditating and sitting in general my body would pull right and the entire mid right section along with the thigh would tense up, it still does but significantly less.
    I found I get better results tilting my head up just a bit, too much and my neck starts hurting.

    One annoyance though is after doing it for a few times the inner ear thingy just sticks and I can hear the breath and heartbeat loudly, can’t meditate with it.

    I started puffing the cheeks a bit throughout the day it it seems to bring some release by itself.

    • Illuminatus says:

      “One annoyance though is after doing it for a few times the inner ear thingy just sticks and I can hear the breath and heartbeat loudly, can’t meditate with it.”

      I would suggest that you integrate those into the meditation. Add the breath sound to the “breath object” — the more sense data about the breath you have, the more you can make it into its own object. At the start, become mindful of the heartbeat for as long as it takes to no longer mind it. This should manifest as a spontaneous letting go of your dislike towards it.

      • Vick says:

        I tried but if I keep the sound in the awareness field it feels like my ear is being irritated by the breath, it also make me feel spacey.
        Today I just did my best to ignore it and it went away after a while.

  18. Illuminatus says:

    To everyone reading:

    The way to round this tech off is to lie in sleep positions similar to those that created the problems (but without a pillow), relax, and breath in a special way, visualizing the throat going down all the way to the feet. This will create mad tremors in certain positions. To navigate these, close the lips gently and breath in through the nose, “inflating” the body around where the tremors are emanating from. This calms 99% of them. Then, they will probably happen again as things shift around internally; repeat the above. Navigating tremors is a strange sort of art form and it helps if you understand why they occur and what is generally going on with the fascia overall. I’ll write a new post about all of this.

    Meanwhile, for the yawn tech, when your head is back, can you try visualizing energy (or water, or whatever) flowing from your face (especially the forehead) down your neck and into your body (especially the middle of the neck, i.e. the spine). This should induce something more like the full cat yawn from the video very quickly.

    You can forget about smiling for now.

  19. sebster says:

    Just wow! I did a 1h session yesterday. And just now when stod in front of the mirror I could pull my facial muscle to a smile with ease. The muscles(fascia?) around my eyes was soft and easy to pull with. 🙂

  20. Edenist Whackjob says:

    Illuminatus, I was thinking about psychic phenomena and productivity.

    Quick thought:

    It’s easy to look back at your past self and solve your past problems from your current POV.

    “I was so stupid – I should have done X, Y, Z”.

    It’s harder to solve your current problems – you lack the experience and “ascended perspective” that comes with having solved the problems already. You’re generally reasoning from your current frame of what is possible and what options are available to you.

    But what if you could somehow peek into the future and “look back” at your current self and see exactly how problems should be solved – from the POV of someone who’s already solved them.

    What do you think – can this be done?

    • James says:

      That in my experience is trusting your intuition. It’s borderline having a cheat code.

      • Edenist Whackjob says:

        How to develop this further? Ie is visualization the way to go – or affirmations – or something else?

        • James says:

          silencing the mind – once you have all of your own useless chatter cut out – your intuition will ring loud and clear.

          I had a pretty big breakthrough with the technique today. I didn’t yawn at all but instead my jaw unhinged, and slowly moved in certain ways. From the left part, to the back of the neck, to the right side all moved/unwinded muscle knots. Even my gums relaxed.

          My jaw is so relaxed and loose now it feels like having a whole new one. I feel like I just undid years upon years of the tension that occurs while one is consistently punched in the face. Focusing on the damaged area from it being dislocated, my whole jaw unhinged and relocated and sits different in my face now.

    • Aldous says:

      There’s a concept in Western Magic called ‘The Holy Guardian Angel’ and a huge part of Crowley’s system of magick was contacting this thing. What it actually is depends on who you ask and believe me, wankers in the occult community will never give you a straight answer because of the perceived power element of ‘I know something you don’t know.’ However, the clearest it’s been put to me by a freind and author on the subject, in addition to being a meditation practioner and a committed psychonaught, is that it is your future, perfected self. It’s you, completely done. And when you connect with it, it will guide you towards itself. It will also aide you in any current challenges or decisions you face in order to draw you to the correct path. The simplest way to work with it is the tech Alan Chapman developed a couple of years ago – put his name and HGA into Google and you’ll find it, if your interested.

    • Illuminatus says:

      Edenist Whackjob, we have a forum now for these kinds of off-topic questions:

  21. P_locked says:

    Just checking in again. This technique has vastly improved my posture. Like you’ve said, I’ve been doing this when I wake up, every time I get up from sitting, before and after meditation, and before sleep. When I found that yawns became a little more difficult to get out of the standing position, I tried with the other positions that you listed. Just to outline my interpretation of how you wanted these positions to be utilized:
    For standing, my arms are to my side, my palms face outward, and I look down, close my eyes, smile, then slowly draw in air through my nose. While doing that, I start opening my mouth and pulling my tongue back in the L shape. This forces me to start lifting my head up until I end up at the original position and my palms turn in. I then yawn.
    Same for sitting on a chair and couch, minus the arms.

    To explain the results, my feet usually point out by quite a bit with my right foot turning out more so than my left foot. Now they are basically pointing straight. For a while, I was trying to force my feet to point straight since it would actually take a load off my back while walking or standing up for long periods of time so I can tell now even without looking down that my feet are straighter since when I walk now, my back feels supported and strong. As a result, I stand up straighter and feel a significant difference when I pass my awareness through my body in how comfortable it is to be in my body. I also sometimes feel the urge to sit up straight instead of slouching since it feels more comfortable. My concentration is also much better and rests at a higher base line.

    Also, my emotions are less effected by the environment. I feel less anxious and stressed and things that I thought meant a lot to me don’t as much anymore. I do consider this technique to be a big factor in me feeling this way but also, I have to consider that I’ve been going through a sort of re-identification process with my world view. I feel like my locus of control is mostly external and even though I have internal drive and have had experience with intention-manifestation, I feel somewhat powerless. I still haven’t gotten jhana since my first time and I’m not going to lie, I’m suffering from a lack of morale. Anyway, my dumbed down emotional response may come from just an acceptance that things are far more out of my control than I think.

    • P_locked says:

      Interestingly, I’ve been experiencing soreness in some areas of my body. I experienced the soreness in my traps, neck, shoulders and calves respectively in phases (each day the soreness would appear in one of these places but not two or more at the same time). It’s gone now but I expect to see some more in the future as I continue.

      My sweating has gone down significantly. I use to sweat all the time under my arms but now it’s much more under control. I wonder if increased perspiration, even in a relaxed state, is correlated with tension residing somewhere in the body.

  22. lp says:

    This is a really wonderful technique. I have been playing around with it for the past few days and the tension in my upper back is just melting away. Several years ago, I observed in a plant medicine ceremony that the body had several ways of purging stress and trauma (not just the vomiting that is normally associated with the medicine). Crying, yawning, hot/cold, shaking, etc were all in built-in ways of releasing. Vomiting was really just the most intense form of release. The vomiting is usually considered a result of the plant medicine being an emetic but vomiting does not always occur, even in people who have not built a tolerance to the emetic effect of the plant, so I suspect there are other factors at work. More recently I discovered that these “purging” behaviors are the same physical responses that body workers have observed when myofascial unwinding occurs. I never thought to try to induce yawning on it’s own, so many thanks for coming up with this and sharing it! I’m really excited to continue experimenting with it and look forward to hearing more about it’s ongoing development and other’s experiences.

    • Illuminatus says:

      I’m glad it’s working for you.

      You named most organic forms of release I have tracked so far. I didn’t have vomiting on the list and am not sure I would be inclined to add it. My first thought is that any deep release that would occur would be as a result of activating nerves deep in the abdomen, around the base of the spine. However, tremors are a far more efficient way of doing this. Also, you can do this by saying “Ahhhhhhhhh!” in a very deep voice several times.

      Information I had not confirmed when I wrote this method: The REM is the most important part of yawning and general myofascial release. The eye muscle fascia connects to every millimetre of the body and can be used to release myofascia from any nerve, combined with the mental location of the target nerve via the visual cortex. This is the purpose of REM sleep. So my latest technique involves locating “buried nerves”, those which have so much myofascia wound around them that they no longer function correctly or show up on the nerve “map” of regular movement. I had one at the left nerve near the base of my spine. Turning this back on by meditating on it released a fuck ton of stuff. Finding these nerves is part of my current method.

      By the way, the REM-location-release is one reason meditation works, since during meditation REM will occur and the base brains will scan and find such nerves. They are implicated in the storage of emotional patterns, too, since spinal nerves which acquire myofascial winds as a result of chronic contraction also trigger endocrine function, e.g. the adrenal spinal nerves. So, progress is happening in my model, albeit slowly as usual.

      • James says:

        do you think a vegetarian diet would help?

        • Illuminatus says:

          I don’t see the connection.

          • James says:

            If you want to put on muscle mass, you would eat more and do heavy weight lifting.

            If you want your body to heal, you would eat light, relax and stretch.

            everything has a connection and i’ve found diet to be one of the most important things as far as making changes to your physical/emotional/psychological systems.

  23. lp says:

    Ha, yup, I would not be inclined to add vomiting to the list either. The “Ahhhhhhh” sound was also something I observed in these ceremonies and often accompanied the yawning. Interestingly, sounding “Ahhhhh” repeatedly is a method Dzogchen practitioners use to relax and find the presence of awareness in the dimension of sound. I don’t have any experience with EMDR, but it sounds like there are some connections to the discoveries you’re making. Best of luck!

  24. James says:

    vomiting is good for you.

    • Illuminatus says:

      The acid is terrible on the throat and teeth and chronic vomiting can deplete electrolytes resulting in death.

      So, context before giving potentially dangerous advice please.

      • James says:

        The context is plant ceremonies – the vomiting from those ceremonies are a release of bad energy, and are good for you. Sometimes you won’t vomit sometimes you will, but its been my experience its very beneficial.

    • Illuminatus says:

      One other note however is that the afterglow from a very intense vomit is the only thing that comes close to the transcendental bliss of jhana, as so much beta-endorphin is released. But that is not a cue to start vomiting for kicks.

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