When it comes to laughter, there are two things that hold true. One is that it is the best form of medicine there is, and the other is that it is extremely contagious. While you wouldn’t be prescribed laughter in order to cure your ailments (because whatever said and done, it does sound bizarre), there’s no denying that laughter does help you alleviate stress, and calm your nerves. So it does make sense to count laughter as part of your well-being. This is exactly why laughter yoga has been gaining recognition and popularity all over the world. If you’re wondering what the hype is all about, here’s what we’ve got for you.
What Is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter yoga, often known as laughing yoga, is a set of movement and breathing techniques designed to encourage conscious laughter. It's utilised as a treatment for physical, psychological, and spiritual problems, as proponents claim that simulated (planned) laughter can bring similar benefits as spontaneous laughter (e.g., laughing at a joke).
Dr Madan Kataria, a family physician in Mumbai, India, created laughing yoga in 1995. Laughing yoga, according to Dr Kataria, can help you enhance your mood, reduce stress, boost your immune system, increase energy levels, improve your quality of life, and better manage adversity. Learning to laugh on cue, he says, can help you deal with difficult situations by encouraging optimism and happiness. Because you can't always count on others to make you laugh, learning to laugh on your own might be a useful skill.
Laughter yoga is also thought to help you better manage stress by focusing on regulated breathing. The parasympathetic nervous system, your body's natural relaxing system, is activated as a result of increased oxygen intake.
Adults' hectic lives can cause activities that foster laughter to fall by the wayside. As a result, laughing yoga was created to educate people on how to laugh spontaneously instead of relying on other people or things to make them happy.
Laughing yoga is practised in over 110 countries and is growing in popularity online. Laughing yoga courses are also being brought to people on college campuses, workplaces, and elder care facilities by laughing coaches.
Some of the benefits of laughter yoga include:
1. Supports Immune System
Laughter improves your immune system's resilience to diseases by lowering stress hormones and increasing the growth of immunological cells and infection-fighting antibodies. The lymphatic system is also stimulated by laughter.
2. Relieves Stress
Laughter causes a surge of stress-relieving chemicals like adrenaline and dopamine to be released. A belly laugh oxygenates your body while also providing an emotional and physical relief, releasing tension and leaving your body relaxed.
3. Lowers Pain
Laughter can help relieve chronic pain by releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.
4. Ab Workout
Laughter can help you lose weight and tone your abs and diaphragm while burning calories. When you laugh, your stomach muscles expand and flex in the same way that they do when you work out your abs. Some specialists believe that laughing is a form of "internal jogging."
5. Safeguards Your Heart And Lungs
Laughter raises your heart rate and oxygen levels, which improves blood vessel and blood circulation function. Laughter can help you lower your blood pressure and prevent you from heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.
Exercises To Try
Laughing yoga is usually done in a group context, such as a club or workshop, and is led by a professional laughing yoga instructor who guides participants through a variety of exercises to stimulate enjoyment and laughter.
Some exercises to try out are:
1. Greeting Laughter
Walk around shaking hands and laughing with your palms clasped together at the upper chest in the namaste greeting, making sure to gaze into other people's eyes.
2. Humming Laughter
Hum while laughing with your lips closed.
3. Lion Laughter
While laughing, stick out your tongue, widen your eyes, and stretch your hands out like claws.
4. Gradient Laughter
Begin by smiling, then gradually start laughing with a light giggle. Increase the volume of your laugh until you've attained a full-throated laugh. Then gradually reduce the laughter to a grin.
5. Heart-To-Heart Laughter
Close your distance from someone and giggle while holding each other's hands. People can stroke or hug each other if they are at ease.
6. Silent Laughter
Make a soundless chuckle by opening your mouth wide. Make strange motions and look into other people's eyes.
You'll need to laugh constantly for at least 10 to 15 minutes to get the full health advantages of laughter. When doing this type of yoga, it's crucial to laugh loudly and deeply, depending on the type of exercise you do, and to keep a childlike sense of openness.
Overall, laughing yoga is a terrific way to relax, have fun, and rediscover the joy of laughter.