I was walking through a park in Venice, Florida almost two years ago when a woman called out, “Come laugh with us!” She was standing next to a colorful sign that said, “Laughter Yoga.”
I’d never heard of such a thing, and I consider myself fairly knowledgeable in the emotional wellness realm. I was in no mood to laugh that morning, but I joined her circle anyway. As a longtime writer/blogger, I’m all about the story and I needed to know what this was about.
What is laughter yoga?
Laughter Yoga, also known as “Hasya Yoga,” is a unique exercise routine that combines laughter with yoga breathing techniques. It was created by Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician from India, in 1995. The idea behind laughter yoga is that laughter is a universal language that can bring people together and improve overall well-being.
One of the key principles of laughter yoga is that laughter is a physical activity. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins, which are known as the “feel-good” hormones. These hormones can help reduce stress, improve mood, and boost the immune system. Additionally, laughter yoga also promotes deep breathing, which can help improve oxygenation throughout the body.
Not in the Mood to Laugh? No problem!
One of the most unique aspects of this form of exercise, is that it is not dependent on having something funny to laugh about. Instead, laughter yoga encourages participants to fake laughter, which then naturally turns into real laughter. This is known as “laughing on command.” The act of laughing in this way can help to create a positive and uplifting atmosphere, even if you may not feel like laughing at first.
Laughter yoga can be practiced in a group setting or even by yourself. It can be done in a park, office, or even at home. Sessions usually start with some light stretching and deep breathing exercises, followed by laughter exercises, such as clapping, chanting, and laughing.
Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Laughter can be beneficial for people of all ages and backgrounds. It can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and increase overall well-being. It can also be a fun and enjoyable way to exercise, and is a great way to bring people together and promote social connections.
In conclusion, laughter yoga is a unique exercise routine that combines laughter with yoga breathing techniques. It is a simple, yet powerful way to improve overall well-being, reduce stress, and increase happiness. So, next time you’re feeling down or stressed, try out a session, and see how it can improve your mood and overall well-being.
I was in a deep pit of heartbreak and despair when the woman invited me to laugh with her group that day. After half an hour, my overall lookout on life felt a little lighter and more manageable. I walked away saying, “I need to learn more about this.” And now I’m a certified laughter leader!
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