What is Laughter Yoga?

Posted on August 24, 2013
My cousin and I being thoroughly entertained by a clown on the boardwalk in Alicante, Spain.

My cousin and I being thoroughly entertained by a clown on the boardwalk in Alicante, Spain.

A few years ago I saw a short clip about Laughter Yoga on the show Wife Swap. Of course the couple who taught Laughter Yoga classes were the easy targets to be portrayed as crazy hippies. But despite the stereotype, something still intrigued me enough to actually attend a Laughter Yoga session 4+ years later. Here are some ways Laughter Yoga helps with life balance:

- Physical/Exercise: ”When you laugh for 15 minutes, the increase in the diameter of the blood vessel is similar to what you get when you run, jog or do aerobic-like activity,” says Dr. Michael Miller, director of the Center of Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center on CNN.com

- Physical/Health: Laughter releases good drugs in your body that help fight diseases, including tumors, according to Discovery.com

- Mental: Multiple studies have been conducted where laughter has reduced the symptoms of depression. If it can do that for depressed people, just imagine what laughing can do for you when you’re already feeling good.

- Social: Laughter is the universal language, how can it not help you socially?

What should I expect at Laughter Yoga?

There’s no beating around the bush here- Laughter Yoga is awkward. You will feel like you’re acting like a toddler and feel self-conscious. The biggest saving grace for me is that this is the only place I’ve ever been that it’s entirely socially acceptable to laugh at normal, everyday people sitting next to you (as opposed to a comedian or actor that is trying to make you laugh). Everyone is acting goofy so you stick out if you’re not acting like a fool too. I don’t know how long it will take, but I can’t wait until I feel comfortable enough to completely let down my guard and just go with the flow – at Laughter Yoga and in life.

Here’s a video that gives you an idea of what to expect at a laughter club.

How to find a Laughter Yoga near you:

Meetup.com is how I found a club near me. But if you can’t find one, here are some good videos of laughter exercises you can do on your own.

Will I go to Laughter Yoga again?

Definitely. There is no such thing as too much laughter in your life.

Do you have any experience with laughter yoga? Why do you or do you not like it?

 

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