Yoga of laughter: Why it’s not only fun but also useful

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What is laughter yoga? How does laughter yoga affect health? Does it suit everyone? How often should you laugh? Laughing for no reason – is it possible? How can you laugh when you are in a bad mood?

Today, yoga of laughter is a unique set of exercises that is practiced in 110 countries. In the classroom, the participants begin to laugh in an exercise format, but very soon this laugh turns into a real laugh. 

Health benefits and contraindications

Laughter yoga is a gift for everyone’s physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. It helps to maintain a positive attitude during difficult times and can even replace cardio training. Just 10 minutes of laughter equals 30 minutes on the rowing machine.

How can this be? When we laugh, we are actually breathing out. The main thing is to make the laughter “come out” of the abdomen in order to activate the diaphragm. When you laugh, the exhalation lasts much longer than with normal breathing. Laughter and deep breathing exercises “turn on” the entire volume of the lungs and open the airways.

Laughter yoga is one of the fastest ways to reduce stress and is a great way to release emotions. It helps to reduce the manifestation of symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, and also improves blood circulation, maintains emotional balance, strengthens the immune system, helps to overcome stress and depression, relieve anxiety attacks and panic attacks. 

laughter yoga

Laughter yoga concept

The idea of ​​laughter yoga is based on the fact that the body does not distinguish whether laughter is real or artificial, and a person receives the same psychological and physiological advantages as with sincere fun.

How is the lesson going?

Each laughter yoga class consists of 3 parts:

  • greeting, deep breathing warm-up;
  • laughter meditation is laughter in its purest form: we just start laughing slowly and easily, gradually increasing the intensity of laughter, soon it becomes infectious for everyone;
  • relaxation – yoga mudra – a relaxation and recovery technique that lasts 15 minutes and helps to quickly recuperate. It is equal to an hour of sleep.

Exercises you can do yourself

The most popular self-practice exercises and life hacks in emergency situations.

  • Aloha. Raise your hands and chin and start talking, stretching out: “A-a-a-lo-o-o”, then, speaking loudly: “Ha-a-ha-ha-ha,” – laugh. Keep laughing as long as you have your breath. Repeat three times.
  • Laughing cocktail. Pick up imaginary glasses of cocktail, pour the liquid from one to the other three or four times, then pretend to drink one of the cocktails and laugh at the same time.
  • Telephone. Hold an imaginary phone to your ear and laugh, pretending to hear something funny.
  • Laughter at the bills. Pretend you are holding a rent bill or whatever. Imagine that this is a large enough amount. Point to the count and laugh.
  • Laugh with cream. Pretend to put some cream in your hand and laugh as you rub it on your face.

Phone, laughter with a bill and with cream can be used as life hacks in everyday life and difficult emotional situations.

How to laugh alone?

Laugh on your own for 40 days – and it will become a new habit. You can start with five minutes, gradually increasing the duration of the exercise to 10-15 minutes with breaks for breathing practices.

Open your mouth wide. Stretch your arms forward, then inhale, clench your hands into fists and pull them back to your chest. Hold your breath for two or three seconds and, exhaling in the letter “ah-ah-ah” and imitating a cough, burst into laughter. Repeat 2-3 times.

The following exercise makes it easier to move the diaphragm upward by squeezing the press. Lie on your back, hold your bent knees together with both hands and slowly bring them closer to your chest. While you are doing this, lift your chin up and, opening your mouth slightly, exhale. Then let go of your knees and breathe in, breathe deeply for some more time.