Tag Archives: Laughing Yoga Classes

Jul 2, 2020

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)

I tried laughing yoga and this is what I discovered about myself...
Laughing with Aspiral Yoga
What happens in a laughter yoga class? Jun 23, 2020

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.

Grounding Exercise Laughing Yoga

It’s fun, fully inclusive and a fantastic health boost.

The only downside?

You have to wait until the next class starts to do it all over again!

Wondering how much a laughter yoga class costs? Click here to explore our class rates and timetable

What happens in a laughter yoga class? Jun 23, 2020

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.

Grounding Exercise Laughing Yoga

It’s fun, fully inclusive and a fantastic health boost.

The only downside?

You have to wait until the next class starts to do it all over again!

Wondering how much a laughter yoga class costs? Click here to explore our class rates and timetable