Laughter yoga good for the body, soul and funny bone

A Laughter Yoga class at Day Yoga. Day Yoga will host a two-day Laughter Yoga Certification in June highlighting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of laughter. Day Yoga has previously offered laughter yoga classes. CONTRIBUTED
A Laughter Yoga class at Day Yoga. Day Yoga will host a two-day Laughter Yoga Certification in June highlighting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of laughter. Day Yoga has previously offered laughter yoga classes. CONTRIBUTED

If laughter is the best medicine, then it stands to reason that laughter yoga is good for the body and soul.

Yes, laughter yoga.

The movement began in the mid-1990s when Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India, was conducting research for an article about the benefits of laughter. That research evolved into practice as he started a laughter club. Over time, and with the help of his wife, a yoga teacher, Kataria developed a series of laughter exercises and integrated stretching and breathing techniques into the practice — laughter yoga was born.

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There are now more than 5,000 laughter clubs worldwide, about 200 in the United States. Laughter yoga is taught in studios, schools, community centers and senior living facilities.

Day Yoga will host a two-day Laughter Yoga Certification in June highlighting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of laughter. Day Yoga has previously offered laughter yoga classes.

“Everybody who leaves is just beaming,” studio manager Emilie Jones said. “I was super happy the rest of the day after class.”

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LAUGHTER YOGA 101

Classes include a variety of laughter exercises with genuine chuckles mixed with forced laughter alike. Participants are given cues to help them learn how to laugh.

“Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it,” Jones said.

There are interactive exercises and games designed to induce laughter. And anyone, regardless of their age or fitness level, can participate.

“Laughter is universal; that’s what I really love about it,” Jones said. “It’s a mental break, something we all need.”

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LAUGHTER BENEFITS

From decreasing stress levels to boosting the immune system, laughter has multiple benefits.

“Laughing induces a chemical reaction in your brain,” Jones said. “By the time you leave, you’re so uplifted.”

But it’s not just your outlook that will feel the effects of laughter.

“You don’t even know how much muscle you’re using. My abs were so sore from laughing so hard,” she said. “Some people were belly laughing so hard they were crying. It just feels so good physically.”

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To learn more about the laughter yoga teacher training, visit https://dayyogastudio.com

5 BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER YOGA

(Source: Laughter Yoga International)

• Good mood and more laughter: Helps change your mood within minutes by releasing chemicals from the brain called endorphins. You will remain cheerful throughout the day and will laugh more than you normally do.

• Healthy exercise to beat stress: Like aerobic exercise (cardio workout), laughter brings more oxygen to the body and brain thereby making you feel more energetic and relaxed.

• Health benefits: Reduces stress and strengthens the immune system.

• Quality of Life: Laughter is a positive energy that helps people to connect and improves relationships.

• Positive attitude in challenging times: Laughter helps to create a positive mental state to deal with negative situations and negative people. It creates hope and optimism to cope with difficult times.

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