Laughing Yoga

What is laughing yoga? [Laughter Yoga Therapy Explained]

What is laughter yoga?

This popular new approach to wellness has less to do with yoga than you might think, so you won’t get covered in sweat or crammed into a room and asked to nail challenging poses.

Laugh yoga is simply a modern twist on an ancient practice.

Think of how energised you are after a full yoga class. Or how relaxed you feel after a deep belly laugh.

Laugh yoga combines the two for incredible health benefits!

According to multiple scientific studies, laughter is one of your body’s health-boosting super secrets. It relieves stress, boosts your immune system, protects your heart and releases endorphins (your body’s feel good chemicals).

That’s why laugh yoga therapy isn’t about hitting downward dog pose and giggling. It’s the combination of guided laughter exercises and guided breathing techniques. This creative blend gives you physical and psychological benefits in a gentle, 100% natural and relaxing environment.

Laughing is the tool and yoga is the vehicle (the best combination since vegemite on toast).

This blend of interactive laughing exercises with deep breathing is being celebrated as the happiest wellness program possible – and it’s coming to a Queensland laugh yoga club near you!

Here’s everything you need to know about laughter yoga in the sunshine state.

What is laughter yoga therapy?

Designed by Indian physician Madan Kataria in 1995, laughter yoga is a unique exercise routine that combines simulated laughter with yogic breathing (pranayama).

Instead of practising traditional yoga poses, participants are guided through breathing exercises and laughter exercises, followed by a grounding meditation to finish each class.

More than infectious fun, laugh yoga teaches you the skills of full inhalation and exhalation – focusing on diaphragmatic breathing.

You don’t need expensive supplements and machines to focus on your health anymore. Laughter yoga therapy uses your own biochemistry to kickstart a long list of physical and emotional benefits.

What does laughing do for my body?

Science has shown that your body can’t tell the difference between a real laugh and a simulated laugh.

Both types of laughter lead to the same positive outcome – oxygen rich blood, mood boost, open lungs that calm your body and mind (hence why yoga-esque breathing is added to the mix).

Laugh yoga uses simulated laughter through fun and interactive games and roleplay to drive healthy change. In most cases, simulated laughter leads to real, authentic laughter. But both types of laughs produce the same health-boosting benefits!

In fact, just 20 minutes of laughing can:

  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Reduce pain and discomfort
  • Lower stress levels
  • Increase oxygen intake
  • Improve blood vessel function
  • Boost energy

Best of all, you don’t need any equipment, experience or practice – everyone can join in!

When you learn to mix laughter with deep, calm breathing, you’ll take these benefits (and more)  home with you and have the wellness secret that 99% of Queenslanders don’t know.

How does laughter yoga work?

Laugh yoga sessions typically begin with gentle warm-up exercises. These include stretching, chanting, clapping and guided body movement exercises.

Breathing exercises are also used to prepare your lungs for laughter, followed by ‘laughing exercises’ that lead to prolonged laughter.

When it’s all said and done your laugh yoga teacher will ground you again with guided meditation that most people say leaves them feeling blissfully relaxed.

You don’t need to be in the mood to laugh – or in a good mood at all, to enjoy the benefits of laughter yoga. Because laughter is more contagious than a sneeze, surrounding yourself with laughter can have you crying tears of joy in no time.

More than a guaranteed good time, this unique therapy is ideal for time poor parents, wellness warriors and Queensland seniors.

Why is laughter yoga important?

Let’s just say 2020 hasn’t been the easiest year to navigate.

Whether you’re dealing with financial pressures, struggling with isolation, or just feeling overwhelmed – there’s never been a more important time to unwind and disconnect from everything going on around you.

Laugh yoga isn’t about forcing yourself to feel happy. It’s about preparing your mind and body for happiness.

You don’t actually have to be in a great mood to get started. In fact, laughter yoga is important because it provides a simple, fun and inclusive way for anyone to feel happier and healthier.

Neuroscientists Sophie Scott explains these proven benefits, saying “laughter provides an uptake of the naturally circulating endorphins, and those are the body’s painkillers. You get a measurable increase in your ability to tolerate pain.”

Over time, laughter can decrease your body’s production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and leave you a happier and healthier human from top to bottom.

From dissolving stubborn aches to easing the symptoms of depression, strengthening the heart and supercharging the immune system, laughter is your body’s best kept secret.

Which means it turns out laughter really is the best medicine.

Interested in learning more about laughter yoga? The Gold Coast’s newest laugh yoga club is now open so contact us to find out more

Top 4 Introduction to Laughter Yoga Exercises

It’s hard to piece together how Laughter Yoga is an actual health and wellbeing exercise program, especially since the general mentality towards exercise has been, for a long time, “No Pain, No Gain.” And though there is truth to this, it isn’t necessarily always so.

The act of laughing challenges this mentality, because in laughing, we relieve ourselves of our pain, and the absence of this pain is eventually what you “gain.” Laughter yoga is still an aerobic exercise program, but it does more than just strengthen your lungs and your heart. It also releases you of your inhibitions and pulls your ego down back to Earth. It doesn’t make fun of you, though; it makes fun with you, and because of you.

I took a Laughter Yoga exercise class in college, and while it was squished between two same-building subjects, causing me to travel across campus in record time twice in three hours, it was worth it. You will leave Laughter Yoga classes rejuvenated, and you won’t get bored because it solely requires your time, your creativity, and your laughter. For example, in the second half of my Laughter Yoga classes, three students were required to lead an exercise per meeting.

These were my favorite.

  1. The Gradient Laugh
    In this exercise, the goal is to build up laughter together. You begin by sporting a smirk, and then a smile, for your peers. You are then encouraged to start chuckling together, gradually increasing your volume until you are all laughing your hardest.

It’s always wise to start a class with this, as it breaks the tension in the room and opens the floodgates to unadulterated laughter.

  1. The No-Money Laughter
    This exercise, for a college student, hit home. Even if you’re not in college anymore, you will sure do more than giggle when you try this.

In this exercise, you are supposed to reach into your pockets, (or wallet if you’re wearing something that doesn’t have them) and act like you have no money. You can shake your head in disappointment or start asking for help through physical cues. You then, will start accepting this imaginary situation for what it is, and start laughing with your group.

  1. The Gibberish Discussion Laughter
    This is one of the best group exercises you can have in a Laughter Yoga class.

It starts with all of you sitting in a circle. The first person to talk will stand up and explain something passionately in gibberish; big hand gestures (such as pointing, clapping to make a point, etc.) are not required but are appreciated as this quickly escalates the laughter in the exercise. This goes on until everyone is standing up, passionately discussing in gibberish, and laughing hard.

  1. The Tag-You’re-It Laughter Exercise
    The more physical exercises of Laughter Yoga are either laughter coupled with yoga poses or laughter matched with nostalgic childhood games.

This exercise is basically a game of Tag, but once you are tagged, you are supposed to laugh as hard as you can until you can find another person to tag. It’s a simple rendition of the classic game, and when you finish you will also want a large glass of water.

As you can see from these exercises, Laughter Yoga is simple. You don’t need to have knowledge in complicated gym equipment, or have to show up with a six pack to prove that you can handle it. You just need to tap into your childlike curiosity and be open to new possibilities.

When you join a Laughter Yoga class, you can expect these exercises or you can suggest them, and if you don’t feel like doing these, there will surely be other exercises you can do. One thing is for sure though: you’ll be laughing either way.

What I learned after trying out Laughter Yoga

“Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.”

Chogyam Trungpa

We take ourselves seriously. And why wouldn’t we? We’re human beings equipped with authentic experiences; most of which rooted in pain, success, nostalgia, and pride. When we’re kids, we’re taught that not taking ourselves seriously is what makes us kids, what makes us “immature”. Adults, “successful” ones, at least, were mostly depicted as a stone cold, suit-wearing populace. They were not to be messed with. Not to be laughed at.

Growing up, you try to convince yourself more and more that you are worth being called an “adult”. Jokes are less slapstick; loud laughter slowly starts to morph into subtle chuckles.

I took a Laughter Yoga Gold Coast class in college because I haven’t heard of it prior. I was more interested in its “yoga” aspect, being scared to join a yoga class because of my lack of flexibility. I thought it would be an excellent introduction to this very “adult” practice that I knew of—yoga—and felt that it would ease some tension by making me laugh along the way.

If you’re planning to take a Laughter Yoga class, you must know that I was expecting the wrong things.

The naivete in me thought that Laughter Yoga could not be as silly as its name. I was wrong. It was silly. But it was so refreshingly silly, that everything else that came after it felt like the real joke. It reignited curiosity and playfulness in me, both of which tend to take a back seat when you study for your Bachelor of Science degree.

To be frank with you, it was quite smart to add Laughter Yoga in the college curriculum. College, much like work-life, becomes engrossed into the routine; and routine, while beneficial for one’s mental health, can also drain someone’s creativity. Taking a laughter yoga class, when you’re stuck inside your routine, becomes a mystery box gift from you to you.

Much like every exercise, you start laughter yoga by warming up. You will think warming up your laughter is unnecessary, since it is such a raw, human reaction, but you will need to. Laughter yoga is surprisingly tiring but in an old, childlike way. It breathes new life into your adulthood; it has the midas’ touch on your endorphins.

(1) Making time for fun and making time for play, even as an adult, is beneficial. It wakes up my creativity, my imagination, and it grounds me in reality. It keeps me present.

(2) My ego needs grounding. It’s easy to feel like you’re better than the exercises you’re about to do, and you might feel a bit of guilt enjoying them at first, but trust me, your ego needs it. There’s something about laughing at nothing with people you barely know; it’s just overall humbling experience.

Beyond these, the most prominent net plus laughter yoga has given me is a chance to relearn fun. I have re-learned how to imagine, how to play, how to run around and laugh. Although it can be tiring, because laughing is a form of exercise, it is worth a few hours of your week, or a few minutes of your day.

So how about you join us in Laughter Yoga Gold Coast?

From the Gold Coast to Brisbane, people of all ages are using laughter yoga therapy to support their health and wellbeing.

Will we see you next time? Book your ticket now for our next class!

Top 5 Benefits of Laughing Yoga (Stress-Busting Secrets Revealed)

Feeling overworked and overwhelmed?

Laughter might just be your best medicine.

Laughter yoga is a serious cardio workout that gets the blood pumping and the body moving.

Made up of gentle stretches, laughter exercises, clapping and chanting, this modern twist on an ancient practise can seriously brighten your day and heal your body.

In fact, many of the physical and mental benefits can be felt from the very first session with people experiencing instant boosts to their body and mood.

Did you know that laughter actually helps promote healthy blood vessels and heart health?

More than a fun and affordable way to fill a Gold Coast afternoon, here are 5 stress busting benefits of laughter yoga.

#1 – Banish Stress

Feeling stressed?

Laugh yoga has been shown to lower levels of cortisol and epinephrine – hormones associated with stress.

When your body is flooded with nasty stress hormones it also leads to a weakened immune system. This creates the ideal conditions for colds, coughs and other infections to sneak in.

When you laugh you flood your body with oxygen. Oxygenation is one of the primary catalysts for metabolic reactions, which flushes your lymphatic system and leaves your organs bursting with energy and vitality.

Research has also shown that laughter leads to a form of ‘internal jogging’. This massages and increases circulation which flushes out waste and leaves you feeling energised and balanced.

#2 – Natural Painkiller

1 in 5 Australians live with chronic pain.

This can quickly spiral into anxiety or depression when each day brings the same challenges.

Researchers have found that laughing can increase pain tolerance. That’s why laugh yoga helps chronic pain sufferers by increasing pain thresholds. This helps sufferers to feel more comfortable without the need for constant (and expensive) medications.

That means the next time you run out of panadol, your nearest laughter yoga club has you covered!

Laugh yoga also provides powerful body-mind benefits to those struggling with depression. It takes just minutes for an increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure and increase in blood oxygen to eliminate pain and provide a natural mood boost.

With increased levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, some laughter club members on the Gold Coast have actually reduced their use of antidepressants in as little as one class!

#3 – Strengthen Immune System

You’re only as healthy as your immune system.

This unique therapy is all about bringing in oxygen and letting your body do what it does best.

It’s proven that negative emotions constrict oxygen intake and cause shallow chest-breathing.  Not only has science shown that a lack of oxygen leads to disease, but shallow breathing will leave you feeling anxious and on edge.

Laughter yoga helps open up your diaphragm with deep breaths, flushing stale air from your body and increasing your net supply of oxygen.

You’ll also benefit from an increased flow of lymphatic fluid and boosts your lymphocytes. These are the killer cells inside your body that fight infection. Higher numbers of lymphocytes means a stronger immune system. Which means laugh yoga isn’t just good fun, but protects your entire body too!

People who attend laughter yoga clubs don’t fall sick as easily, and experience less upper respiratory tract infections. It takes roughly 2-3 months of laughter yoga to bring changes to your immune system though, so today is the perfect day to get started.

According to research out of the National Cancer Centre in California, laughter can boost your immune system by up to 40%. So if you’re worried about catching a cold this flu season, find your nearest laugh yoga class in Brisbane!

#4 – Boosts Mood

Loud neighbors. Angry bosses. Naughty kids.

These are sure-fire ways to end up in a bad mood. Which makes the mood-boosting benefits of laughter yoga the perfect antidote.

Your mood goes a big way to determining your quality of life. Laugh yoga quickly releases endorphins (your happy hormones) and leaves you feeling blissed out and thankful.

With a reset on your perspective, loud neighbours, angry bosses and naughty kids suddenly aren’t the end of the world. Once you find the joy in life you won’t sweat the small stuff so much.

Don’t think you’ll only benefit in class either. Laughter yoga teaches you to release pent up frustration, resentment and anger. Instead, you’ll start to notice a natural inclination towards acceptance, understanding and compassion.

Plus, with all the oxygen your brain is inhaling you’ll feel focused and in control – the perfect mindset to wrangle those naughty kids!

#5 – It’s flat out fun!

Who doesn’t love a good, long laugh?

Life can feel very serious at times. With bills, school fees and mortgages (not to mention the virus we won’t name) it’s easy to forget how important the little things are.

Think about how often kids laugh. That’s what this popular Gold Coast pastime is about. Taking time to connect with the kid inside and enjoy life for what it is.

That’s why laugh yoga starts with simulated laughter but quickly turns into the real thing.It turns out roaring in a room full of strangers, who quickly become friends, really is more contagious than the common cold.

Why is laughter yoga important?

With all the elements of a holistic health building activity, laughter yoga brings together physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being in as little as one unforgettable class.

You’ll leave a laugh yoga session feeling energised, rejuvenated and appreciative of the little things in life.

From the Gold Coast to Brisbane, people of all ages are using laughter yoga therapy to support their health and wellbeing.

Will you be next? Book your ticket now for our next class!

Where did laughing yoga come from? (A brief history of laughter)

Have you ever noticed how much better your body feels after a good, deep laugh?

So did Dr. Madan Kataria, the man who created laughter yoga.

While writing an article, ‘Laughter – The Best Medicine’ for a health journal, and looking for ways to reduce stress in over-crowded cities in 1995, Dr. Kataria wanted to put the power of laughter to the test.

A man of action, Dr. Kataria headed to a local park in Mumbai, India. He asked people to join him there in laughing to test the physical, emotional and mental benefits. This was the very first laughter club.

On that first day he was joined by 4 people (including his wife, so it’s hard to tell if she had to come along or not) and took turns telling jokes to make each other laugh.

This small group quickly grew to 50 people, all telling jokes and laughing together. Taking turns to stand in the centre of a circle, each member of this first laugh yoga club had a chance to make the other participants crack up.

Feeling happy, stress-free and balanced, they had 2-weeks full of laughs. Then there was a problem…they ran out of jokes!

This is where laughter yoga originated from

The members of Dr Kataria’s new laugh club were concerned by the stale and tired jokes. They also grew frustrated as people started telling crudge, vulgar jokes.

At one point, two of the participants stepped forward and suggested the group be disbanded!

Instead of letting go of his theory about laughter, Dr Kataria decided to try something entirely new. He asked for 24 hours to come up with a solution…and made a life-changing breakthrough.

He realised that it wasn’t the jokes that were making people laugh. It was watching others laugh that was so funny. Laughter was contagious.

Dr Kataria realised that the brain can’t tell the difference between real laughter and fake laughter – they both drive the same happy biochemistry!

Going out on a limb, Dr. Kataria asked the group to pretend to laugh with him for just one minute. Despite their skepticism (you’d probably have some doubts too!) they went along with it.

The results were incredible.

The group quickly moved from simulated laughter to uproarious laughter. Which went on for a full 10 minutes!

Realising he was onto something extraordinary, Dr. Kataria started to create simulated laughing techniques and added guided breathing exercises (also known as ‘pranayama’ exercises).

Focusing on childlike playfulness, Dr. Kataria mixed elements of yoga alongside simple, interactive exercises to help participants relax into the experience.

And just like that – laughter yoga was born.

From humble beginners in a Mumbai park, laughter yoga is now practised in over 8,000 clubs across 80 different countries and brings joy, mindfulness and health benefits to millions of people (including those across the Gold Coast).

Turns out Dr. Kataria’s research was no laughing matter!

What is the connection between laughter and yoga?

Laughter and yoga might not seem like an obvious pairing.

But the magic of their connection is in the breathing.

Laugh yoga doesn’t require any experience, or flexibility or fancy activewear. Anyone who can laugh, can enjoy laughter yoga.

The mixture of breathing activities and laughter exercises is about opening up your diaphragm and exhaling fully. Most of us breathe shallow, upper lung breaths which limits the amount of oxygen in the body.

Your brain requires a steady influx of oxygen to work at full capacity. When your brain has enough oxygen, your body runs at full speed. Laughter yoga promotes an oxygen rich brain that leaves you feeling healthy and vibrant.

This means you get all the physical benefits of laughter with the mind-body benefits of yoga.

When you deepen your breath you calm your body. Your heart rate slows down and your blood is charged with fresh oxygen. From a calm body comes a calm mind because it’s impossible to be physically relaxed but mentally stressed.

That makes your local Gold Coast laugh yoga club the mind-body balance you’ve been missing.

The incredible journey of laughter yoga since 1995

In just 25 short years laughter yoga has exploded in popularity.

Blending ancient wisdom with modern science, laughter yoga is so popular because it is entirely inclusive. You don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership. You don’t even need to be in a good mood.

Laughter yoga is so effective because it works on a subconscious level. All you have to do is find your local laughter yoga club to get started.

This unique approach to wellness is now available for all Brisbane, Gold Coast and Queensland residents who want a little more laughter, and a lot more enjoyment from life. Click here for our class schedule!

I tried laughing yoga and this is what I discovered about myself…

“Adults don’t laugh enough. Kids do”.

That was the first thing my laughter yoga instructor said. Standing in my first ever laughter yoga class on the Gold Coast, I have no idea if that’s how every class starts or not.

But it’s 100% true.

How many kids do you see cracking up in joyous, body-shaking laughter? Tons.

How many adults do you see doing the same thing? None.

That might have something to do with the fact that breaking into uncontained laughter on a bus or peak-hour train tends to make people think you’re a weirdo.

But that’s exactly why I tried laughter yoga. To break out of routine and see if there was any truth in what I’d been told about this popular new pastime.

I’d heard about this new approach to wellness that mixed breathing exercises (which I have tried many times) and amusing role play and games (which I have not tried many times).

And I’d been told it could melt stress, strengthen your immune system, protect your heart, dissolve aches…pretty much give you a body/mind boost that had to be tried to be believed.

So I went to try it.

Here’s what laughter yoga taught me about myself.

I learned I don’t laugh enough

That’s not to say my life isn’t full of humour. As a Mum of two I’ve got front row seats to a comedy show most nights (it helps to enjoy slapstick humour). But if we’re honest with ourselves, none of us laugh enough.

In fact, our laugh yoga instructor pointed out that the average Aussie adult laughs just 12 times a day. And kids? They laugh hundreds of times a day.

If you don’t know about laughter yoga yet, it’s a mixture of guided breathing techniques and simulated laughter.

The simulated laughter comes from roleplay games and improv. Which might sound pretty alien to your everyday life. You might even think ‘is laughter yoga for me?’.

I was exactly the same.

But I left the 45-minute class feeling playful. Feeling reconnected to my inner joy. And with a poignant reminder to not live so deep in my head (as most adults do) and spend more time in my heart – like kids.

And if you’re wondering what to wear to a laughter yoga class, there’s no need to find activewear or bring a yoga mat. Just bring clothes you feel comfortable in. You won’t be asked to hit complicated yoga poses, but there will be movement for the games and exercises, so comfort is key.

I learned you can use happiness hacks

Laughter yoga isn’t about being amused, it’s just about laughing.

Turns out science has shown that our brains can’t tell the difference between genuine, authentic laughter and forced laughter.

Both types of laughter lead to the same positive outcome – oxygen rich blood, mood boost, open lungs that calm your body and mind (hence why yoga-esque breathing is added to the mix).

On top of all that, you won’t BELIEVE how quickly a small chuckle ignites a room into roaring laughter. I could see how stress melted away as everyone in the room got onboard and let go of their inhibitions.

That’s why laughter yoga isn’t just laughing for a bit of fun. It’s about learning to tap into your brain’s hardwired ability to kickstart relaxation, pain relief, joy – all the ingredients for a happy and balanced life.

I learned that you can start off with fake laughter, and whether it becomes genuine or not (which 99% of the time it did) you can trick your body into releasing endorphins and lower stress hormone, at will.

Pretty cool!

I learned it’s OK to stop and enjoy life

Let’s be honest, life can feel like a lot at times.

Between mortgage payments, school fees and the virus that shall not be named, it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of stress and anxiety.

At the end of my 45 minute class the instructor asked us to think about the difference in how we felt at the start of class compared to the end.

Taking deep, calm and controlled breaths it was clear to me that I’d done more than giggle my butt off. I felt relaxed. I felt calm. But most of all, I felt free.

It’s so easy to retreat into our shells. There’s endless pressure from all angles (including ourselves) to be somebody or behave a certain way. This pressure might come from a good place, but more often than not it leads to disappointment and needless stress.

Laughter yoga let me be silly, fun and fearless for 45 minutes. At first this was hard, but as everyone in class warmed into the experience you could sense a collective change in mood.

More than feeling the blood pumping or the endorphins rushing through my body, I felt like I was myself. In the best sense of the word.

And not only did no one judge me, but I didn’t judge myself.

I went into laughter yoga thinking it was just about laughing. Instead I got a powerful reminder not to get too wrapped up in adulthood.

And that living in the moment, giving yourself permission to be yourself, and letting your inner child out, are all just as important.

To join us at one of our classes register here! Places are limited.

Lisa Devereaux (40 – Gold Coast)

What happens in a laughter yoga class?

You probably have a good idea of what happens in a yoga class.

But what about a laughter yoga class?

This blend of old and new is sweeping across Queensland, with laughter yoga clubs popping up everywhere from Coolangatta to Brisbane.

Laughter yoga works by combining guided breathing exercises (pranayama) with laughter exercises. Together this helps you decrease stress and increase mood. From a stronger immune system to better heart health, a laughter yoga class is like a visit to the doctor and gym all rolled into one.

If you’re looking to enjoy the outrageous health benefits of laugh yoga, here’s what to expect from a typical class.

How to do laughter yoga

Step One: warm-up exercises

You wouldn’t go out for a run without stretching, so you can’t get ready for laugh yoga without warming up the lungs!

These warm-up exercises will prepare your body for laughter and make sure you get the full health benefits on offer. Here are a couple of common laughing yoga exercises to look forward to.

1 – Gibberish exercises – Gibberish is a language without meaning. That means you’re already fluent – congratulations!

You don’t have to make sense with this warm-up exercise, just make noise. Speaking in gibberish will help reduce any inhibitions and shyness you have. And as everyone in the class is in the same boat you’ll quickly feel comfortable and at ease.

2 -Clapping Exercises – Clapping hands helps to stimulate the acupressure points and get your energy levels up.

Clapping exercises involve full finger-to-finger and palm-to-palm contact so prepare to be high-fiving your way to good health.

Clapping exercises are typically performed in a rhythmic pattern. Think ‘HO-HO-HA-HA-HA’. These sounds simulate the movement of your diaphragm (which you’ll be focusing on next).

Opening up your breathing is more than maximising laughter. It’s about getting enough air in, stimulating feel-good chemicals, and kickstarting your body’s own ability to make you feel amazing.

Step Two: Deep-breathing exercises

The goal here is to get your diaphragm moving. This will help flush your lungs, oxygenate your blood and create a sense of calm relaxation.

One of the key features of yoga is that exhalation must be longer than inhalation. That means pushing more air out than you bring in.

The reason for this is to activate the calming branch of your autonomic nervous system, known as the parasympathetic nervous system.

And guess what happens to be one of the easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to exhale for longer?

Laughing!


Step Three: Laughter exercises

Laughter exercises are typically playful (it’s tough to have a serious laughing exercise!) and may involve roleplay to help you get fully immersed in the experience.

There are 3 common types of laughter exercises for you to enjoy.

1 – Playful Exercises –

These are designed to melt away shyness and leave you roaring with laughter. You can expect to engage in method-acting techniques (next stop Hollywood) to shift your mindset and open you up to wellness.

Playful exercises may include Milkshake Laughter, Mobile Phone Laughter and Animal Laughter.

Not sure what these are? You’ll have to come along to a yoga laughter class and find out!

2 – Value-Based Laughter Exercises –

These exercises are created to attach positive feelings to experiences in your life. The goal is not just to feel energised and refreshed in the moment, but to change the way you react in your everyday life.

Imagine being able to laugh when something goes wrong and feel stronger, happier and healthier. That’s 100% possible!

Value-based laughter exercises may include Appreciation Laughter, No Money Laughter and Forgiveness Laughter.

3 – Physical Laughter Exercises –

Are you feeling a little stiff and sore? Physical laughter exercises help get your body moving and the blood pumping.

You won’t end up drenched in sweat. But you will enjoy a relaxing stretch that helps dissolve neck stiffness, frozen shoulder and much more.

Expect eye contact, group dynamics and a whole lot of laughs (that shouldn’t come as a surprise by now!).

Step Four: Grounding exercises

Now it’s time to cool down and unwind. For many people, this is the most enjoyable part of laughter yoga.

With your energy levels high, your blood pumping and your heart beating, it’s time to ground your laughter and stabilise your body.

Your laughter yoga instructor will guide you through calming and peaceful relaxation, bringing awareness to each part of your body as you enjoy the moment and take all the lasting benefits with you out the door.

Click here to explore our class rates and timetable

What happens in a laughter yoga class?

You probably have a good idea of what happens in a yoga class.

But what about a laughter yoga class?

This blend of old and new is sweeping across Queensland, with laughter yoga clubs popping up everywhere from Coolangatta to Brisbane.

Laughter yoga works by combining guided breathing exercises (pranayama) with laughter exercises. Together this helps you decrease stress and increase mood. From a stronger immune system to better heart health, a laughter yoga class is like a visit to the doctor and gym all rolled into one.

If you’re looking to enjoy the outrageous health benefits of laugh yoga, here’s what to expect from a typical class.

How to do laughter yoga

Step One: warm-up exercises

You wouldn’t go out for a run without stretching, so you can’t get ready for laugh yoga without warming up the lungs!

These warm-up exercises will prepare your body for laughter and make sure you get the full health benefits on offer. Here are a couple of common laughing yoga exercises to look forward to.

1 – Gibberish exercises – Gibberish is a language without meaning. That means you’re already fluent – congratulations!

You don’t have to make sense with this warm-up exercise, just make noise. Speaking in gibberish will help reduce any inhibitions and shyness you have. And as everyone in the class is in the same boat you’ll quickly feel comfortable and at ease.

2 -Clapping Exercises – Clapping hands helps to stimulate the acupressure points and get your energy levels up.

Clapping exercises involve full finger-to-finger and palm-to-palm contact so prepare to be high-fiving your way to good health.

Clapping exercises are typically performed in a rhythmic pattern. Think ‘HO-HO-HA-HA-HA’. These sounds simulate the movement of your diaphragm (which you’ll be focusing on next).

Opening up your breathing is more than maximising laughter. It’s about getting enough air in, stimulating feel-good chemicals, and kickstarting your body’s own ability to make you feel amazing.

Step Two: Deep-breathing exercises

The goal here is to get your diaphragm moving. This will help flush your lungs, oxygenate your blood and create a sense of calm relaxation.

One of the key features of yoga is that exhalation must be longer than inhalation. That means pushing more air out than you bring in.

The reason for this is to activate the calming branch of your autonomic nervous system, known as the parasympathetic nervous system.

And guess what happens to be one of the easiest (and most enjoyable) ways to exhale for longer?

Laughing!


Step Three: Laughter exercises

Laughter exercises are typically playful (it’s tough to have a serious laughing exercise!) and may involve roleplay to help you get fully immersed in the experience.

There are 3 common types of laughter exercises for you to enjoy.

1 – Playful Exercises –

These are designed to melt away shyness and leave you roaring with laughter. You can expect to engage in method-acting techniques (next stop Hollywood) to shift your mindset and open you up to wellness.

Playful exercises may include Milkshake Laughter, Mobile Phone Laughter and Animal Laughter.

Not sure what these are? You’ll have to come along to a yoga laughter class and find out!

2 – Value-Based Laughter Exercises –

These exercises are created to attach positive feelings to experiences in your life. The goal is not just to feel energised and refreshed in the moment, but to change the way you react in your everyday life.

Imagine being able to laugh when something goes wrong and feel stronger, happier and healthier. That’s 100% possible!

Value-based laughter exercises may include Appreciation Laughter, No Money Laughter and Forgiveness Laughter.

3 – Physical Laughter Exercises –

Are you feeling a little stiff and sore? Physical laughter exercises help get your body moving and the blood pumping.

You won’t end up drenched in sweat. But you will enjoy a relaxing stretch that helps dissolve neck stiffness, frozen shoulder and much more.

Expect eye contact, group dynamics and a whole lot of laughs (that shouldn’t come as a surprise by now!).

Step Four: Grounding exercises

Now it’s time to cool down and unwind. For many people, this is the most enjoyable part of laughter yoga.

With your energy levels high, your blood pumping and your heart beating, it’s time to ground your laughter and stabilise your body.

Your laughter yoga instructor will guide you through calming and peaceful relaxation, bringing awareness to each part of your body as you enjoy the moment and take all the lasting benefits with you out the door.

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