Last week, I visited a friend with whom we went to theology school. We share similar interests; therefore, we went into a lengthy conversation.
As we talked, my friend kept yawning, and at one point, I told him we should get something to eat as he seemed hungry or tired. He quickly said he was neither hungry nor tired; instead, he insinuated that the yawning had a biblical meaning.
Although we did not delve into that, I could not help but wonder what my friend meant. For the next couple of days, I read through several books and researched online to find out if yawning was anything more than an involuntary reflex.
Despite the Bible not mentioning the meaning of yawning, I found fascinating biblical meanings attached to this act. This discovery inspired me to write this post and share the possible biblical meaning of yawning with more people.
The Bible does not specifically mention yawning, let alone give its meaning. However, Christian scholars have come up with suggested meanings of yawning. For instance, they suggest that yawning while reading the scripture signifies taking in the Word. Others imply yawning while praying symbolizes that your prayers are being heard.
I invite you to join me in discussing the biblical meaning of yawning. I have highlighted beliefs of the symbolization of yawning and its meaning in different cultures.
In addition, we will look at the spiritual meanings, myths, and misconceptions of yawning.
Read on to find out more.
Does the Bible talk about yawning?
Sadly, the scripture does not talk about yawning. However, teachers of the scripture and Christian scholars have come up with beliefs of yawning.
These interpretations vary with the setting in that the yawning happens. Some imply that yawning symbolizes spiritual resonance. In this context, they argue that it is a form of divine guidance from God.
Others suggest that yawning is a temptation from the devil. They believe that when this happens, it encourages you to stay alert, especially if it occurs while praying or reading the Bible.
Some suggest that it symbolizes readiness to receive the message or Word of God. Some Christians believe it brings positive energy.
They suggest that you inhale positive energy through yawning, which builds your focus on your faith.
What does yawning symbolize?
People suggest various interpretations of yawning. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Some suggest yawning signifies spiritually losing oneself. Others believe that yawning shows you are not aware of life’s purpose.
In that, they suggest you do not stand for anything and that you are just moving along. Also, they imply that you have neglected some life aspects, such as your relationship.
Need for self-care
People suggest that yawning calls for self-care. They imply that yawning is the body’s way of communicating your soul’s and body’s tiredness.
Therefore, they suggest that you practice self-care. They recommend that you start as simple as soaking your feet in warm water, doing facials, hiking, yoga, or cooking your favorite meal.
Some believe the environment you are in influences yawning. For instance, if you are in a stuffy room with shut windows and doors, it may make breathing difficult.
In this way, people believe yawning is a way of breathing in good air. Also, they suggest that yawning symbolizes not getting good sleep.
Some experts believe that yawning calls for one to be alert. They suggest that when you yawn, it signifies that you are sleepy or tired. In this regard, they believe you are vulnerable to harm’s way.
For instance, they suggest yawning while driving exposes you to a road accident. Therefore, experts suggest you do something to stay awake
Some believe yawning signifies that you need help. They suggest that you need something in life that you are not getting. In this regard, they imply you may know what is missing and what you require.
Therefore, they believe yawning is a sign to go after the missing piece.
Sign of anxiety
According to some experts, yawning happens when you are anxious, which shows your level of anxiety. They suggest that yawning happens when something triggers your anxiety levels.
For instance, they believe you may be anxious about settling certain bills, concern over health conditions, romantic relationship issues, or discomfort at work.
You need to calm down
Others believe that through yawning, your mind is cautioning you. They believe you need to calm down if you are too heated or emotional.
They suggest that you think through all sides before reacting. Also, when you yawn before making a big decision, they suggest you take time before pronouncing your judgment.
In this regard, they believe you should exercise caution in all situations.
Releasing something bad
Some suggest yawning is a way of releasing negativity or bad aspects of your life into the air. They suggest that your body expels the bad air if you are not feeling well when you yawn.
Some refer to the Greek Physician Hippocrates, who implied that yawning was a way the body expelled bad things out of its body.
Others suggest that yawning is a kind of empathetic communication. Most people believe yawning is contagious, which they suggest is a form of communication letting each other know you are tired.
In this way, they believe that it allows each person to feel empathy for the other person. They suggest yawning allows you to see things from another person’s point of view.
Some believe yawning symbolizes calmness. Others imply that when you are still, and your mind is relaxed, it may make you feel tired or sleepy.
Through yawning, you express your state of tiredness or being sleepy.
What is the meaning of yawning when you’re reading the Bible or praying?
There are certain beliefs about yawning while reading the Bible. Some suggest that it symbolizes that you are open to receiving the message or Word of God.
Some believe that yawning while reading the scripture or praying shows you are inviting spiritual guidance and positive energy.
In addition, they believe that it helps you focus on your spiritual journey.
Others simply interpret yawning to suggest it shows fatigue, stress, hunger, or sleepiness. They believe you can breathe in enough oxygen and exhale harmful substances through yawning.
Some suggest that yawning signifies humility. In that, they believe yawning while praying or reading the scripture signifies your humility before the Lord.
Scientists suggest that yawning while carrying out any activity shows the body’s lack of oxygen. They also believe it signifies thermoregulation of the brain.
They believe that when the skull’s temperature rises, the body regulates the temperature in the head through yawning. In addition, they believe when you are within confined rooms such as a church, you are likely to yawn in order to lower your temperature.
Spiritual meaning of yawning in the middle of prayers
There are various spiritual meanings for yawning in the middle of prayers. Let’s have a look at some
It signifies prayers are being heard
Some suggest that yawning while praying signifies the presence of divine energy. Others imply that your prayers have reached God and will be answered. In addition, they suggest that you draw divine energy from God to you.
Also, they imply that it shows a strong connection between divine beings and you.
A spiritual person being in close vicinity
Others argue that yawning while praying signifies close-by spiritual presence. They believe that the spiritual person’s energy and yours are connected.
Some associate yawning with spiritual attunement. They believe that yawning while praying is a form of receiving divine guidance.
In this context, they believe your body is an instrument ready to receive divine wisdom. Others believe yawning is letting go and accepting God’s control.
Some suggest that yawning while praying shows your level of distraction from praying. Others believe that evil spirits are trying to distract you from your devotion.
Others believe it shows that the evil spirits have already infiltrated you. Also, some believe yawning shows your lack of commitment to your religion.
Cleansing oneself from bad energy
Others believe yawning releases bad energy. They suggest that you get rid of spirits sent to distract or enter your body through yawning.
They believe that when you yawn, you release negative energy, which leaves you feeling calmer and lighter.
Temptation from the devil
Others argue that when you are praying, it is likely that you are in a relaxed state of mind. They believe that the devil uses this opportunity to tempt you to let your guard down.
In this context, they reference itching and sneezing as the devil’s distractions to tempt people during prayer.
Some suggest yawning while praying corresponds to the passion one has while saying a prayer. Others suggest that the body uses energy and mental concentration to say a meaningful prayer.
In addition, they imply that the mind operates on a high oxygen level while praying. In this process of deep prayer, they believe that yawning promotes better oxygen circulation and deep breathing.
What is the spiritual meaning of yawning when talking to someone?
Some suggest that when yawning while talking to someone shows that you have a spiritual connection with the person. In addition, they suggest you may yawn if you have an emotional attachment to the other party.
Others believe that yawning while talking to someone may signify that the person is trying to steal your energy or enter your body.
Therefore, they suggest you be watchful of those you surround yourself with.
Others believe yawning while talking signifies fatigue, boredom, sleepiness, or hunger. They believe the body communicates the need for rest, food, or sleep.
Therefore, they suggest that you attend to your body’s needs.
Others believe that yawning when talking to someone signifies aligned spiritual energies. Some believe yawning is contagious and is a form of social communication.
In this regard, they imply that the other person may have yawned, thus triggering you to do the same.
Myths and superstitions about yawning
There are superstitions and myths that different religions and cultures have about yawning. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Yawning is contagious
For a long period, people have believed that yawning is contagious. People suggest that people yawn after they see another person yawning.
Scientists have held this narrative, terming it as social mirroring, where living organisms copy each other’s actions.
Other assumptions are that mirroring may happen without looking at the other person. Also, some believe simply talking about the act initiates one to yawn.
In other cultures and religions, they believe that one exhales one’s soul through yawning. They believe evil spirits are roaming, which may steal one’s soul through their mouth.
Hence, they believe one should cover their mouths to prevent this.
It helps bring in oxygen
Scientists believe that yawning helps with oxygen circulation in the mind. They believe that if the brain lacks enough oxygen, the body will initiate yawning, which will bring in oxygen. However, many tests and research are being done to prove this superstition.
Meaning of yawning in other cultures
According to Islamic culture, they believe that yawning while praying is a test from Allah. They believe that Satan takes great pleasure in diverting your attention.
This way, they believe the devil tries to humiliate and deviate your focus from praying.
In Hinduism, they believe that certain evil spirits, called ‘bhuts,’ try to enter the body through the mouth while yawning. In addition, they also believe it could also signify a body trying to exit the body. Also, in ancient times, they believed yawning showed their sexual desires.
Back in 590AD in Europe, they believed yawning was fatal. Following a tragic plague, they insinuated that souls left people’s bodies through the mouth either while sneezing or yawning.
Therefore, they would protect themselves by placing a hand over their mouth.
Is it bad to yawn during prayers or when reading the Bible?
There are various interpretations of what yawning symbolizes while reading the scripture. Therefore, making a conclusive statement on whether it is right or wrong to yawn while reading the Bible is a personal decision.
The personal stand on this depends on your religious beliefs. For instance, if in your religion they perceives yawning to have a negative meaning, it suggests that yawning while reading the Bible is an offense.
The setting which you are in will also influence whether yawning when reading the Bible is bad or not. Some may find fault and find it rude, especially religious leaders, while others do not mind.
Also, others suggest yawning is a form of distraction by the devil.
Yawning happens naturally; therefore, it may be hard to control. In this regard, you should not beat yourself about it; rather, bring back your focus to pray. After prayer, consider the possible causes of your yawn, whether scientific, spiritual, or natural.
As a theologian, I have always been curious to learn more about the Christian Faith. That is why I pursued a Certificate in Christian Studies, Certificate in Christian Foundations and a Masters in Theology. I also have an immersive experience in editing for numerous websites. I have worked as an editor for over a decade and am currently the editor-in-chief at Christian Faith Guide. I enjoy working as an editor and feel privileged to share my expertise and help spread God’s word. You can read more about me on the about us page.