Someone mentioned laughing yoga to me the other day I thought, how have I never heard of this phenomenon?! They mash my two favourite things to do and I’m a firm believer that laughter, like yoga, is a healer for the soul. As it turns out, laughter yoga uses gentle stretches, exercises and breathing to cultivate laughter and joy, encouraging happiness within. You can read all about some of the health benefits here, on the laughing yoga website. I found myself reading article after article about the improvement of one’s heart health as well as assisting those with mood disorders and various other health benefits. There are even laughter clubs that have originated from those who also love laughter yoga.
I began seeking testimonials from those who had been to these classes, since all I can picture is a ridiculous group of people forcing giggles and I hate nothing more than forced laughter (hence my hatred for comedy clubs). But most of the people I know who have tried it felt it was truly helpful to them and almost all of them have returned again and again and developed deep friendships with the other yogis in their studio. A friend of mine said it was like a lesson in full belly giggles, which left her feeling refreshed and happy. Researchers have said that if people find themselves to be unhappy, that the simple act of smiling can significantly improve mood. I wonder if the same can’t be said for laughing yoga. You may go into the studio in a bad mood but some out happy as a clam.
Is laughing yoga for me? I certainly gave it a good college try but ended up feeling a bit silly, and although there’s nothing wrong with a bit of silliness, it ended up stressing me more than making me feel relaxed. That being said, I’m a pretty uptight individual, so perhaps this just isn’t the kind of practice that works right for me. But what I love about laughing yoga is that it’s just another type of practice that is upping the ante and bringing people together to stretch, breathe and rejuvenate. And I’m a fan of anything that can do all those things just by finding inner joy.