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We all laugh differently. There are the roarers that guffaw at the top of their lungs, the silent laughers that just open their mouths and nod, the gigglers that chuckle excitedly, the snorters and then, our personal favourite, the ones who try to stifle their laugh and often find that it comes out like a giant raspberry instead.
Regardless of how you do it, laughing is one of the best feelings and it turns out it’s much more than just a hoot. It’s been proven to lower the level of stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine) in the blood and that’s a good thing for both your mind and body.
Following this research, Laughter Yoga was founded in India by Dr. Madan Kataria and since then it’s gone global.
How it works:
If you’re imagining a room full of people giggling like hyenas then you’re spot on. First you find yourself fake laughing but the infectiousness (and awkwardness) of the other yoga bunnies around you turns it into a real laugh.
Our favourite exercise was ‘hearty laughter’ where you spread your arms out, look up to the sky and laugh as loud as you can right from the bottom of your belly. You’ll feel like a complete loon but won’t be able to stop smiling for at least half an hour after.
Why it’s good for you:
- Laughter oxygenates your body and brain, which make you feel healthier and more energetic.
- As you giggle, you exhale out toxins, which lifts your mood and mind state.
- It’s also good for your stomach muscles as when you laugh, they contract.
You want to like yoga but can’t quite find a class to suit you, you need a positive influence, work is stressing you out and you need a release or you’re just curious to find out more.
So if you’ve been inspired, try out your local Laughter Yoga class. We have to say, it’s pretty contagious…