Laughter does not need a sense of humour, and laughter yoga proves it. Laughter yoga is a unique concept; laughing for the sake of laughing.
Laughter yoga combines simple laughter exercises, light physical activity, and gentle yogic breathing. To start, laughter is initiated as a body exercise using child like playfulness, but through eye contact it quickly becomes genuine laughter, which as we all know is contagious!
Laughter Yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria in India in1995. The Dr. was writing an article (Laughter—the best medicine) for a health journal. As he began to research the topic he was intrigued by the countless scientific studies that described the many proven benefits of laughter on the human mind and body. He decided he had to do something with this knowledge, so he decided to start a laughter yoga club. Today it is now practised world wide in over 6000 laughter clubs in over 72 countries!
We just cannot depend on our sense of humour to laugh. In today's fast paced world there are many reasons why people are left feeling sad, depressed and lonely; by cultivating laughter into your life you will feel better about yourself and the people around you.
Have you ever found that you were letting life get a little too serious? At times we feel awkward when someone is acting silly because we feel a strong bond to being serious. Laughter yoga allows us to achieve sustained hearty laughter without involving cognitive thought. It bypasses the intellectual systems that normally act as a brake on natural laughter. In other words, if your sense of humour doesn't think it is funny you won't laugh. Even if you feel at first as though you are faking the laughter, the body doesn't know the difference. You get the same health benefits!
Children laugh over 300 times or more a day! They laugh through playing and being silly and they laugh with their bodies. Watch a child laugh; you will see their bellies shaking. When did we lose this? Laughter yoga re-connects us with the child within us.
Stress is the number one killer in today's society. Laughter has been scientifically proven to undo the effects of stress. It lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, elevates the mood, boosts the immune system, increases confidence, improves communication, improves social skills, and decreases cortisol—the stress hormone!
Feel- Good Hormones
Laughter yoga releases the feel good hormones endorphins—endorphins that create a positive state of mind, optimism, self confidence and feelings of self worth.
Connecting People of All Backgrounds
Everyone loves to laugh. You don't need to speak their language or come from their country to laugh with them. It breaks down barriers and enables connection.
Laughter yoga creates what is known as internal jogging, which promotes circulation in the digestive and lymphatic system, improves circulation and leaves skin glowing and radiant.
Improves Emotional Intelligence
For children, social play is critical to develop social skills and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can even be improved as we become adults.
Laughter makes us feel good about ourselves; we feel safe and more self confident. It eases our anxiety and awkwardness. When we look into someone eyes and make them laugh we feel a boost of confidence.
Laughter Yoga creates a positive state of mind. It makes it easier to cope with life's challenges. It helps us defuse and process emotions like fear, anger and boredom by releasing the energy. It can also reduce or eliminate negative emotions and thoughts. Depressed people seldom laugh and laughing people are seldom depressed.