You know it feels good to laugh, but did you know that laughter has very real benefits for your health and well-being?
It’s true! A growing body of scientific research lending weight to the idea that laughter is good medicine. Studies have linked sustained laughter to reduced stress, pain relief, lower blood pressure and faster healing.
So what’s the catch?
Well, to trigger these effects, you need to laugh fairly continuously for at least fifteen minutes. If I laugh for five or ten seconds after a joke, it would have to have been really, really funny. There just aren’t enough funny jokes in the world to support the kind of sustained laughter needed to obtain health benefits. And sometimes we are not in a laughing mood.
Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian family physician, developed a way to make healthful laughter practical. Laughter Yoga™ is a well-tuned laughter delivery system that does not rely on jokes, comedy or humor.
You don’t need to be in a good mood to practice Laughter Yoga.
The truth is that our bodies do not know the difference between “real” laughter and “faked” laughter. We obtain the same physiological and psychological benefits either way. In Laughter Yoga the body leads the mind – we start with the physical act of laughing and our mood improves in response. Doing Laughter Yoga in a group, we cultivate a child-like sense of playfulness. We make direct eye contact with each other and discover that laughter really is contagious.
Laughter Yoga sessions have three basic components: clapping, breathing and laughter exercises. Clapping exercises help to “wake up” the body and improve our attention and coordination. Breathing exercises aerate the body and mind making us feel more energetic and healthful. Laughter exercises extend our deeper breathing, activate our sense of fun and wellbeing and build a feeling of community within the group.
Breathing and laughter exercises often include gentle movement and stretching. Laughter Yoga can be done both standing or sitting and is adaptable to people of almost all ages and physical abilities.
The goals of Laughter Yoga are improved health, enhanced joy, and a greater sense of community. Come laugh with us!