Have you ever worked with a person who’s paralyzed on one side because of a stoke, and noticed that they yawn on both sides as if there were no paralyis?
According to a New Yorker article on the “science of yawing” you weren’t imagining it—people paralyzed on one side of their bodies have access to motor functions on the affected side for the duration of the yawn.
Yawning has been studied extensively for generations. In addition to knowing what we can all see — that sometimes a yawn is contagious, or inopportune, or irrepressible — we also know that babies yawn spontaneously in the womb. There’s evidence that we’re more likely to yawn in empathy when family members yawn than when we see some random stranger do it.
You and your dog might yawn at the same time, and Darwin took yawning in animals as evidence that we are all built on the same structure.
Moshe Feldenkrais said that yawning meant the brain needed oxygen…
What happens when your client yawns? Do you yawn along? Do you change what you’re doing? Do your gremlins come out and tell you that you’re boring? Or do you take it as an opportunity for something new?
A yawn during a session is a signal… what do you make of it?
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