What Is Laughter Yoga?
Laugh Your Way To Great Health!
Even before you know all the details about laughter yoga you will want to give it a shot, simply because laughter yoga sounds like so much fun! So what is laughter yoga? This unique yoga form was the brainchild of an Indian physician, Dr. Madan Kataria. He started the first laughter club in 1995 in a park and since then, laughter yoga has gained exponential popularity with 6000 plus laughter clubs established in about 60 countries! Did you know that fake laughter and genuine laughter is perceived as one and the same thing by your body? In effect, you get the same psychological and physiological benefits regardless of whether your laughter is forced or for real! Laughter yoga cashes in on this scientific fact by generating laughter without using any form of humor. It may sound strange to someone who has not participated in a laughter yoga session, but ask a regular participant and they will tell you that it really doesn’t take much time for the simulated laughter to turn into real, genuine, uncontrollable laughter!
Laughter Yoga Exercises!
Are you ready to laugh all your anxieties away? Laughter yoga exercises are simple and fun! You might feel a little awkward forcing yourself to laugh for no reason at all, but before you know it you’ll be hooked!
- If you are in a group, maintain eye contact and laugh until everyone has been infected by the laughter bug. If you are at home look at your reflection in the mirror and laugh.
- Stretch your arms upwards to the ceiling and laugh ‘ha, ha, ha’. Continue the laughter for 1 minute.
- In this laughter yoga exercise you must alternate between the chest and the abdomen. Clap your hands in front of your heart. Then train your attention to your stomach and laugh ‘ho, ho’. Immediately after, train your attention to your chest and laugh ‘ha, ha’. Now keep alternating between your stomach and your chest really fast so that you laugh along the following lines, ‘ho, ho, ha, ha, ho, ho’.
- Place your hands on your head and laugh ‘he, he, he’ inside your head, then focus on your chest and laugh ‘ha, ha, ha’, next you should focus on your stomach and laugh ‘ho, ho, ho’, and lastly trample your feet as you laugh out ‘hu, hu, hu’.
- Bend your upper half down towards the ground with your arms stretched downwards too. Then propel your body upwards as you laugh out, ‘ha, ha, ha, ha’! This is known as the laughing wave and can be performed several times.
- To end the laughter yoga exercise session, sing the Om song in your own tune and at your own pace until your feel calm and at peace.
Laughter Yoga: The Benefits!
Laughter yoga leaves you feeling fresh and tension free! It releases endorphins (feel good hormones) into your blood stream which counter the negative effects of cortisol, the stress hormone. It reduces high blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health! Moreover, laughter yoga leaves you with a very positive and upbeat frame of mind which not only helps you cope with the stresses of your daily routine, but also makes you appear pleasant, calm and composed to the people around you. It is sad that adults only laugh 10 to 15 times a day whereas in their childhood they laughed at least 300 times a day! Let’s bring that playfulness and simple joy back into our lives with laughter yoga!