‘When you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!’ This is what makes the beginning of a laughter yoga session. Yoga is a powerful vehicle for change. As you build strength, you start to believe in your own potential. Yoga has many forms packed with immense and deep knowledge and owns countless life-improving benefits.
Laughter yoga is a new twist on an ancient practice. Not only does it increase happiness, but it also strengthens the immune system, reduces pain and lowers stress.
More contagious than a cough or sneeze, laughter relaxes the whole body. It triggers the release of endorphin, which promotes an overall sense of well-being. When combined with yogic breathing, laughter truly becomes the best medicine, providing extensive health benefits for people of all body types.
What is Laughter Yoga?
In mid-1990s, an Indian physician Madan Kataria developed Laughter Yoga based on the concept, that voluntary laughter could provide the same health benefits as spontaneous laughter. Soon after, Laughter Yoga spread worldwide, sparking the creation of Laughter Yoga Clubs where people would gather to practice.
Instead of using humor, laughter is initiated through creative exercise. Practitioners do not have to master any of the traditional yoga postures, as they simply need to laugh. As of 2011, more than 65 countries were home to over 8,000 laughter clubs.
The 9 Steps of Laughter Yoga Therapy
- The purpose/need of laughter yoga: One must find time and learn this yoga for attaining happiness and content, in their busy schedule, as it is a prime stress-buster and helps in boosting relationships and improving social life.
- Hearty Laughter: Just spread your arms, look up towards the sky and laugh to your heart’s content, by thinking of the funniest moments you landed in recently.
- Greeting Laughter: Greeting your friends and relatives with a wide smile which gives massage to your cheeks.
- Silent Laughter: Try laughing out loud, but without producing any sound. This will give a good massage to the throat from the inside.
- Santa Claus Laughter: Stand in a position like we stand in front of the God (the manner in which we pray). Now place the hands in the middle of the chest in a way that it presses the chest a little. That is where you have your thymus glands and by pressing the middle of the chest, you tend to activate them. Focus on your stomach and laugh ‘Ho Ho’.
- Laying hands on the head: Here, we need to laugh from within, which drives out all the tensions and worries from the mind.
- Laying hands on the chest: Placing the palm of the left hand on the chest, we need to then place the right hand on the top of the left hand and shout ‘Ha Ha Ha’.
- Tapping Feet Laughter: Keeping full concentration on the feet, we need to keep on tapping our feet to the ground and say, ‘Hu Hu Hu’. This gives a good massage to the mouth and relaxes the feet muscles.
- Extending hands to the heaven: We need to extend our hands upwards, stretch it and laugh out loud, like we are welcoming the God.
Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Laughing for a sustained period of time is key to reaping the health benefits of laughter yoga.
- Increased Oxygen Intake
- Increased Blood Flow
- Improved Blood Vessel Function
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Protects The Heart
- Boosts Energy
- Dissolves Stress
- Improves Focus and Concentration
This post is inspired by Give Laughter Yoga a Try for Good Health
Have you tried laughter yoga? Please share your thoughts on the experience.