By: Donna Byrne
As I continue to worry about how stressed many people are, I find a lot of information about how to manage our stress. I have talked about yoga and in another article I talked about how “laughter is the best medicine.” I am now learning more about “Laughter Yoga.” The more I read, the more I laughed. U tube videos show us how you can laugh and get the benefits even if you fake it. Try to imagine laughing quietly in your own head because you want to laugh but everyone is sleeping. Find the u tube “Laughing Yoga. Alone with Dr. Kataria “and see if you can avoid laughing.
There are more than 400 laughter clubs across the United States alone, and 6000 groups worldwide using laughter yoga. It is seriously taking hold as a great workout. It is an infectious workout regime that helps you to stop taking things too seriously and to concentrate on the funny side of life. If you’d like to go laughing through the day, with all the benefits laughter brings, practice laughing yoga. Laughter is healthy. Learning to laugh again will help you regain happiness all too easily repressed in our serious, somber and speedy modern world. Turning this trend back to laughing more frequently can only be good. Here is how to get started in Laughter Yoga.
Learn about the purpose of Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga was started by Dr Madan Kataria in 1995. It combines gentle yoga breathing (Pranayama), stretching, and simulated unconditional laughter. When the laughter is practiced in a group setting, the laughter soon becomes genuine. The health benefits of laughter are extensive. After laughing, the positive effects of laughter last up to 45 minutes, benefiting the cardiovascular system and reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that people suffering from heart disease are 40 percent less likely to laugh in many situations compared to people without heart disease. Laughter even speeds healing. Laughter is a means to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as fostering a positive attitude and feeling of happiness. Within minutes of laughing, stress levels drop.
Laughter Yoga workouts are good for your heart, diaphragm, abdominal, intercostals, respiratory, and facial muscles. As part of the “workout”, endorphins are released; giving you a sense of well-being. Laughter restores playfulness in your life. Children laugh up to 300-400 times a day during their formative years, and this reduces to 10-15 times a day as an adult. It even helps reduce wrinkles to leave you looking and feeling younger! Laughter can make you more attractive to others, improving your communications and relationships.
Accept that you don’t need a reason to laugh – just start laughing. Perform the Laughter Yoga exercises. The following steps will explain the Laughter Yoga exercises that make up each class or session. Your teacher or group may develop their own variants, but these basics are standard and knowing them will help you to practice at home as well as within the group.
Clap your hands in front of the heart chakra.
Focus on your stomach and laugh “Ho, ho.”
Focus on your chest and laugh “Ha ha.”
Change constantly between your abdomen and your chest up and down, and shout, “Ho ho, Ha ha, Ho ho”.
Lay your hands on your head. Laugh inside your head “He he he”, to clean your head of tension.
Then lay your hands on your chest and shout “Ha ha ha”.
Lay your hands on your stomach and yell “Ho ho ho”.
Concentrate on your feet and trample with your feet on the ground, saying: “Hu hu hu”.
Do the laughing wave. Bow your upper body to the earth. Have your hands facing down. Focus on the ground. Send your hands upward to heaven. Wail like a siren: “Ha ha ha ha.” Perform the laughing wave several times. Through your laughter, connect heaven and earth.
Do the welcome laughter. Within a group, keep eye contact and laugh, until all people in the group are happy. At home, look in the mirror and welcome yourself. When you look into the mirror there is always something to laugh about.
Think the mantra: “May all beings be happy. Let there be a world of laughing.” See all people in the world and see ourselves as laughing Buddhas. At the end of your Laughter Yoga, sing the mantra “Om” for one minute. Sing it with your own melody. Sense in which part of your body the Om resonates best. Sing the Om until you are calm. Then proceed optimistically through your daily life.
Comments, ideas, suggestions are welcome.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or at 514-695-3131 Monday to Friday between 8:30 to 4:30.
Health Access Home & Nursing Care