Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body.
It incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. Laughing yoga is a popular movement and breathing exercise that aims to cultivate joy, bring out your inner child, and help you let go of daily life stressors.
What is Laughing Yoga?
Laughing yoga, also known as laughter yoga, involves a series of movement and breathing exercises to promote deliberate laughter.
It’s used as a remedy for physical, psychological, and spiritual ailments, as advocates believe that intentional (simulated) laughter can provide benefits equal to those of spontaneous laughter (e.g., laughing at a joke).
Along with this, laughter yoga is believed to help you better manage stress through controlled breathing. This allows for greater uptake of oxygen, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, your body’s natural relaxation system.
As adults become busy with life, activities that promote laughter can go to the wayside. As a result, laughing yoga was designed to teach people how to laugh on cue rather than relying on people or things to bring them joy.
Laughing yoga is accessible in over 110 countries and becoming increasingly popular online.
How to do Laughing Yoga?
Laughing yoga is usually practiced in a group setting, such as a club or workshop, and led by a trained laughing yoga instructor that coaches attendees through various exercises to promote enjoyment and laughter.
Most sessions begin with simple breathing techniques, clapping, and chanting to help people relax. For example, you may begin the class by clapping rhythmically 1-2, 1-2-3 while chanting “ho-ho, ha-ha-ha.”
Does Laughing Yoga work?
You’ve probably noticed that laughing can provide immediate benefits, such as improved mood. However, more attention is being placed on the long-term benefits of regular, daily laughing.
First, laughing releases endorphins and “happy” hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
Plus, it suppresses stress-hormones like cortisol. These effects are linked to a better mood, reduced pain, lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and lower stress levels and rates of depression
What’s more, laughing with other people can increase social connectedness and bonding, as well as strengthen relationships. It’s also linked to feelings of security and safety, allowing a person to feel more relaxed.
13 Benefits of Yoga that are Supported by Science
Practicing yoga is said to come with many benefits for both mental and physical health, though not all of these benefits have been backed by science.
- Can Decrease Stress
- Relieves Anxiety
- May Reduce Inflammation
- Could Improve Heart Health
- Improves Quality of Life
- May Fight Depression
- Could Reduce Chronic Pain
- Could Promote Sleep Quality
- Improves Flexibility and Balance
- Could Help Improve Breathing
- May Relieve Migraines
- Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
- Can Increase Strength
Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga.
Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.
Finding the time to practice yoga just a few times per week may be enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your health.