People who practice yoga often share anecdotes regarding its beneficial effect on their mental and physical health. Intrigued by such reports, some scientists set out to verify whether the benefits are real. Indeed, some studies have found that different yoga practices are able to improve a person's general sense of well-being, as well as various aspects of their physical health, as previously noted. Here Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, reflects on laughing yoga; what it is and does it work:
“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.
Considering that laughter is contagious, it’s no surprise that laughing yoga has grown from one small group in Mumbai, India to over 5,000 clubs worldwide. Though advocates claim it relieves stress and reduces your risk of chronic disease, you may wonder whether it really works.
This article tells you all you need to know about laughing yoga.
What it is
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).
Though laughing therapy has been used for decades, laughing yoga was discovered by Dr. Madan Kataria, a family physician in Mumbai, India, in 1995.
Dr. Kataria claims that laughing yoga will help lift your mood, reduce stress, strengthen your immune system, increase energy levels, improve your quality of life, and help you better manage hardship.
He believes that learning to laugh on cue can help you deal with stressful situations by promoting optimism and positivity. Since you cannot always rely on external influences to make you laugh, learning to laugh on your own can be a valuable tool.
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 (1Trusted Source).
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 (2Trusted Source).
Laughing yoga is accessible in over 110 countries and becoming increasingly popular online. Furthermore, laughing coaches are bringing laughing yoga workshops directly to people in places like college campuses, workplaces, and senior living facilities.
How to do it
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.”
Though it may seem silly at first, the intention of this exercise is to remove any internal judgment you may have and leave your ego at the door.
The session may also include improv exercises, citing positive affirmations, gentle stretching, yoga breath work, and meditation. Collectively, these practices are intended to help you laugh, let loose, and take yourself less seriously.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/laughing-yoga#how-to-do-it
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