Laughter yoga: laugh for no reason
What is laughter yoga? Does laughter yoga really help decrease stress and worry? How to do laughter yoga?
Laughter yoga is a new form of yoga that is found in 66 countries around the world. It is based on breathing and laughter exercises that will let anyone laugh without having a reason to do so, how nice is that?
Laughter yoga started in India by a physician called Madan Kataria in 1995. He wrote an article on how laughter is the best method to relieve stress and anxiety from our lives, so he went down to his garden and gathered four people around him and started telling each other jokes and short, funny stories. However, after ten days, they realized that they ran out of jokes, so they stopped laughing.
Then Madan Kataria told his friends to give him a few days to come up with a new way to laugh without any reason. In other words, his goal was to create something so they can laugh without relying on funny jokes and comedy.
He then got inspired by the small and young children as they tend to play and laugh simultaneously. Then he said, “why not create a club so we can laugh without a reason and start playing like the young children and laugh?” Isn’t this wonderful?
Benefits of laughter yoga
- Improved energy
- Relaxed muscles
- Clear state of mind
- Improved self esteem
- Improved immune system
- Strengthened heart
- Increased production of endorphins
Principles in laughter yoga
1. Breathing and stretching
Most of us are aware that when we are stressed and anxious, our breathing tends to be shallow and we stop breathing in an efficient matter, which in the long turn, it will cause many illnesses. When you practice laughter yoga, you will learn how to breathe correctly, how to inhale and exhale more efficiently.
Relax your shoulders and bend down slowly trying to reach the floor, then go back up and stretch your arms up high while taking a deep breath. Repeat this process a few times.
2. Childish behavior
Yoga laughter contains childish behavior where you start saying something like “ho ho ha ha ha” while clapping at the same time. Make sure when you clap, to put your fingers together and your hands stuck to each other because in the middle of your hands, you have points that will increase your energy according to Madan Kataria.
3. Laughter exercises
Laughter exercises are designed to improve your playfulness and bring you to a child-like state. Exercises can be anything from behaving like your favorite animal to imagining that you are getting an electric shock when you shake someone’s hand. As you and the other participants in the group giggle and laugh, you will begin to loosen up and stress begins to diminish.
The good news about it is that the body doesn’t differentiate between real and fake laughter, so when you laugh, you are getting the same health benefits.
Once you incorporate laughter yoga in your day, it will become a way of life. It will boost and improve your immune system, enhances your happiness, and you will begin to experience more fun in your day, which in return, will help you overcome your excessive stress, worry, and anxiety.
Try laughter yoga and you will begin to feel that your laughter has turned to its natural state like when you were a child. When you laugh, you are doing a good deed, not only for yourself, but for others as well. Remember, you deserve to laugh and be happy.
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