Laughter yoga How about a dose of ha ha ha?

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Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone…”

What is laughter yoga?
Also called Hasyayoga, this is a concept initially devised by Jiten Kohi, an Indian yoga expert, and made popular by Dr. Madan Kataria in an exercise form. True to its name, it is about making individuals laugh and no it needn’t be by remembering or watching something funny. On the other hand, it could entail laughing for no reason at all. Another way of describing laughter yoga would be – a combo of laughter + breathing exercises.

How then does one start laughing?
The process involves a group of individuals staring into each other’s eyes, indulging in childish pranks, and deep breathing among other things. Laughter is infectious, so when one starts laughing, others laugh as well.

What is the objective?
The idea is to increase the level of oxygen in the body and the brain. Laughing as everyone knows is highly therapeutic. It has psychological as well as physiological benefits. Experts say that laughter, both natural and artificially-induced (as practiced in laughter yoga), has the same effect. Once individuals get into the thick of laughter yoga they will be bidding depression goodbye. So good is laughter yoga that the effects or the positive energy gained by all tittering and guffawing will always be there as a buffer to combat any bad feelings.
A seasoned laughter yoga practitioner can laugh continuously for 15-20 minutes.

How popular is this kind of yoga?
The practice of laughter yoga is becoming very popular the world over and lots of groups are taking to it in parks, laughter clubs, associations and the like.

Advantages:
« Can be practiced anywhere;
« Is very simple;
« Can do you no harm;
« Very economical;
« Has great therapeutic values and if practiced regularly is a great anti-depressant with long-lasting or everlasting effects;
« Inculcates in an individual a sense of humor and enhances it in individuals who already have it;
« Strengthens your resilience and makes you a more positive individual;
« Improves your communication skills;
« Laughter yoga classes are usually free with teachers offering voluntary service;
« Laughter yoga is very beneficial for seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; and
« Is also highly recommended for special children because practice of laughter yoga has resulted in marked improvement in their motor and expressive skills.

What celebs say
Oprah Winfrey: Laughter yoga combines laughter with yogic breathing exercises. It is a perfect way to laugh and get exercise at the same time. Laughter is a body exercise, so it’s easy to laugh even if you’re depressed or in a bad mood.

Did you know?
« Certain clinical studies have proved that laughter suppresses stress hormones and increases the level of immune system antibodies in your body.
« Children laugh 300 to 400 times a day while adults just laugh 10 to 15 times a day.

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