When was the last time you really, really, laughed? At absolutely nothing?
I bet you can remember times that you laughed so hard that your face hurt, you couldn’t move for the pain in your stomach muscles and you were crying with joy! Despite the pain in your muscles you felt great, like nothing else was going on in the world but the joy that you were immersed in.
So what stops you from laughing like that more often?
Life? Growing up? Responsibilities? Friends moving away? All the heavy stuff?
You don’t have to give in to a laugh without laughter. You really don’t!
I get asked a lot by my clients about my Laughter Yoga Leader work and every singe one of them want to know how to get involved and how to get more laughter into their lives – BRILLIANT and EASY I say.
Let me tell you a little bit more about Laughter Yoga for those of you who are new to it.
Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine which combines unconditional laughter with yoga breathing. Anyone can laugh without relying on humour, jokes or comedy. Laughter is stimulated as a physical exercise while maintaining eye contact with others in the group and promoting childlike playfulness. In most cases, this exercise will lead to real and contagious laughter. It has been proven that the body cannot tell the difference between real and fake laughter. Laughter Yoga is the only technique that allows adults to achieve sustained hearty laughter without involving cognitive thought. It bypasses the intellectual systems that normally act as a brake on natural laughter.
Laughter Yoga was founded by Dr Kataria in Mumbai, India where he developed Laughter Groups – where groups of people would gather in the morning to laugh together and to carry out laughter exercises to set them up for the day. He discovered the benefits of laughter in well-being and for feeling good for the rest of the day. These groups have developed and are now available throughout the world.
You may have identified with the intellectual systems acting as a natural break. As you get older, life and external forces make you consider your actions before taking them e.g. laughing uncontrollably in the middle of a business meeting and this can then translate into other parts of your life where it might be absolutely fine to laugh.
When you observe children, you will see that they laugh without any particular reason, it is part of their play and development and they do not think about the reason behind it. Because you are conditioned through your life, you tend to over think things and judge the appropriateness of your behaviour – Laughter Yoga allows those inhibitions to be removed and to let you be free in play and laughter.
Throughout my life I have constantly been told off for laughing even once being told to leave the class for laughing too much and in recent years being told to leave the playground (I was working doing a school playground renovation) for laughing by my business partner. It seems the over thinking of laughter didn’t develop with me! It was because of this that I decided to explore the opportunity to become a Laughter Yoga Leader and to help others to feel the uninhibited joy of laughter in their life!
Laughter Yoga is best practiced in groups as it is a benefit of connecting with other people and by using eye contact to help build the laughter. The Yoga sessions are based on a number of exercises that build the laughter, bring in child-like playfulness and deep breathing exercises. You will also do some laughter meditation in the session which will be guided by the leader.
So why would you want to get involved with a group of people laughing over Skype or together in a public place? Well, it is an amazing boost for both the mind and the body – happiness boosts the immune system – and connects you with other people which is also proven to benefit your health.
You also get to be playful and to leave the stresses and strains of life behind you, even for a short time. You will be able to harness the joy of laughter and with more and more experience draw on it in situations where you find difficulty.
Laughter Yoga can be carried out alone – you may find that when you really start using laughter in your life that it will come more and more naturally in your every day life. Here is one of my favourite videos of Dr Kataria lone laughing! I bet it will make you laugh too!
Here are 7 reasons why laughter really is the best medicine:
Laughter causes deep inhalation which flushes the lungs and brings greater measures of oxygen into the blood.
It strengthens the muscles in your stomach and diaphragm. By increasing strength in your diaphragm, you can reduce the amount of stress that you are feeling.
Laughing with other people creates a personal connection and is not limited by language or culture as laughter is a universal language that everyone speaks.
Laughter Yoga builds the ability to laugh and see the lighter side of life enabling you to laugh at things that may have previously been difficult for you.
It allows you to be able to be silly and to embrace the creativity of play. This can help clear your mind and actually help you to see things more clearly and with a fresh perspective.
6. Feel Good
Laughter makes you feel good and released endorphins that flood your body and have an all over good effect.
7. Natural Pain Killer
Laughter acts as a natural pain killer as it released happy hormones in your body that helps to calm pain receptors ailments.
I am considering starting a Your Happy Life Laughter Yoga Skype Group – would you be interested in joining me? HA HA HA! ;-)