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?
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