Laughing Yoga Benefits to Lift your Mood

This is sure to make you smile!


Happiness, Yoga
Laughing Yoga Benefits to Lift your Mood | This is sure to make you smile!

Laughter really is the best medicine. That’s why combining the mindfulness of yoga with some belly laughs can help you destress and boost your mood. It’s really no surprise that laughing yoga has grown from one group in India, to over 5,000 clubs around the world, according to Healthline.

Laughing or laughter yoga involves a series of movement and breathing exercises that promote laughter and it is actually designed in 1995 as a remedy for a variety of physical and spiritual ills by Dr Madan Kataria, a family physician in Mumbai. He believes that laughing on cue can help you cope with stressful situations with optimism and positivity.

“We don’t need to rely on jokes or humor to laugh. We initiate laughter as a form of exercise – and it turns into a form of genuine laughter when you practice,” Kataria said on a zoom class.

Humble beginnings
From a class of five people in 1995, reported The Guardian, to zoom classes of a hundred or more people, there are now laughing yoga clubs across Asia, Europe, and North America.

Kataria came up with the idea after he realized that very few people in Mumbai were laughing. “I’d read so much about the benefits of laughter, and how acting out emotions, especially through facial expressions, can create them,” Kataria told The Guardian, “The idea struck me: why not start a laughter club?”

He went around inviting people to join a new tribe and the first meeting was such a hit that Kataria started holding daily sessions. It mushroomed from there.

How to practice laughing yoga
Laughing yoga is practiced in group settings, in clubs, workshops, college campuses, and even senior living facilities according to Healthline, and is led by a trained laughing yoga coach. Sessions typically begin with breathing techniques, chanting, and clapping. One example is clapping rhythmically while chanting, “ho-ho, ha-ha-ha.”

The session may also contain movement, improv exercises,  meditation, and even chanting child-like cheers. The goal is to get people to loosen up, let go of stressors and to start to relax. Laughing on cue, reaps all the benefits of spontaneous laughter.

Real health benefits
Laughing yoga uses real stress reducing activities like deep breathing exercises that allow for more oxygen to enter your body which in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This promotes natural relaxation.

Laughter releases happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine while suppressing cortisol at the same time. This helps to boost your mood and immune system. The group atmosphere also helps to lesson loneliness.

There are no downsides to laughing yoga. So go ahead and be prepared to smile, laugh, and bring some joy into your life.

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