What Is Laughter Yoga?


I have to admit that the first time I found myself at a laughter yoga class I took my time to join in. As much as I loved the idea of laughing for fitness, I was feeling uneasy and self-conscious. What would they make me do? So I came up with the feeble excuse that I had to keep an eye on the kids and I stayed out of the action (while the kids I was supposedly looking after jumped straight in and loved it).

It turned out that I didn’t need to start laughing like a maniac from the get go. The instructor got everyone warmed up with easy exercises like taking turns to say ‘Ha’, then increasing the number of ‘ha’-s after each round. Funny noises were encouraged, but not required. Laughter started happening all on its own when we got to ‘ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha’ and counting the ‘ha’-s became slightly challenging. People would make thoughtful faces while counting, make mistakes, start again and soon everyone was able to see the humour in what we were doing. The class continued with more laughing exercises, which included the sounds ‘ha’, ‘ho’ and ‘he’ combined with easy, gentle movements.

Laughter yoga is a way to embrace the health benefits of laughter and bring more fun into your exercise routine. Laughter is known to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and produce a general sense of wellbeing. Laughter yoga offers a structured approach to incorporating laughter into your week for a significant period of time – laughter yoga classes go for 30-60 minutes.

Unlike other types of yoga, I haven’t heard of anyone doing laughter yoga by themselves. In theory, it’s possible, but it’s much easier to stimulate laughter when you’re playing with others, engaging in eye contact and using each other’s energy. So here is an added bonus for you – while ‘exercising’, you also get to meet other joyful, laughing people.

Image by Guiliamar via Pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova