Laughter Yoga

Laughter yoga is a new form of yoga that promotes the use of laughter as a form of physical exercise. It doesn’t seem like a physical exercise but it is! Yoga is typically a quiet and meditative practice so it may seem odd to have a style of yoga that is so loud. Below is further information regarding this new form of yoga.

Background

Laughter yoga was created in India in the mid-1990’s. It quickly spread resulting in community laughter clubs that promote a non-political, non-religious, non-threatening, non-racial, non-competitive and happy environment. Everyone knows how to laugh so it’s not an intimidating form of practice which is why it quickly gained followers. You don’t have to tell jokes, have a sense of humor, or even be happy to practice laughter yoga. It invites people to laugh for no reason; to fake it until it becomes real.

Benefits

Laughter yoga is not just some random crazy idea; it actually provides a lot of benefits to the body. Laughing strengthens all of your immune systems functions, brings more oxygen to your brain, and can invoke positive feelings. Laughing releases serotonin, which makes you feel more positive and happy. When your body is not feeling the best or you are feeling down, laughter is often the best kind of medicine.

Breath

Even though laughter and yoga seem like they are the complete opposites, they actually have one thing in common; breath. Laughter yoga teaches pranayama (Yogic breathing) exercises as a way to relax the mind and body in between laughter exercises. Yoga teaches the mind and body to work together by linking the two with breath. Breathing techniques help to calm the mind and body and allow you to simply live in the present moment. The rotation between the bursts of laughter and calming breathing results in a mentally and physically clearing practice.

Practice

Laughter Yoga classes are led by a laughter leader who gives commands to start and complete different laughter exercises. The leader guides the practitioners through their laughter journey. During class, practitioners keep moving while establishing eye contact with others in the group. The class is focused on enjoyment rather than force. It creates a very childlike atmosphere that promotes youthful thinking among practitioners.

Laughter yoga might seem silly, but that’s because it is! Life is often taken too seriously and this style of yoga allows people to let loose and have fun. If you need a therapeutic break from the adult world, this is the perfect yoga class for you. Check out this video to learn some of the most popular laughing exercises!

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