The benefits of Laughter Yoga are amazing. Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine that combines laughter exercises with yogic breathing which brings in more oxygen to the body and brain making one feel more energetic and healthy. It is a powerful cardio workout. In fact, 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equal to 30 minutes on a rowing machine. The foremost benefit of laughing is that one remains cheerful throughout the day. This sense of wellbeing comes from the release of feel good hormones called endorphins.
It decreases the negative effects of stress on your body which is the root cause of all illness. Laughter Yoga is a single exercise that deals with physical, mental and emotional stress simultaneously. It also strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, controls blood sugar and keeps your heart healthy. It is a powerful antidote against depression – the number one sickness today.
Laughing promotes a healthy heart. In a good bout of laughter, there is a dilation of blood vessels all over the body. We’ve all seen or experienced this as a flushed appearance and feeling of warmth. Pulse rate and blood pressure rise as the circulatory system is stimulated before settling down, below the original levels. In a nutshell, laughter helps tone the circulatory system of the body.
Laughter and breathing exercises help to increase the breathing capacity of the lungs and increase the net supply of oxygen to the body. Laughter sessions, along with deep breathing, are like chest physiotherapy – especially for those who smoke and suffer from bronchitis and respiratory airway obstruction.
A weak immune system is a major cause for almost all sickness and ill health. Laughter boosts immune system. Oxygen is one of the primary catalysts for all metabolic reactions in the human body. Ongoing scientific studies show that lack of oxygen is the major cause of most diseases. Laughter Yoga flushes the lungs and fully oxygenates the blood and major organs leaving one bursting with energy and vitality and free from disease.
Diabetes is emerging as a major health hazard worldwide. Japanese scientist Murakami’s experiment to ascertain the effect of laughter on the blood sugar levels has affirmed that laughter has a lowering impact on blood sugar. Murakami indentified 23 genes that can be activated with laughter. In addition, it also reduces the stress hormone cortisol responsible for increase in sugar levels and stabilizes the immune system, which if weakened, can affect the production of insulin in the pancreas.
Laughter has a profound positive impact on allergies, with many practitioners reporting complete disappearance of all symptoms of asthma, skin and other allergies. Though not an intervention for countering physical causes of allergies; Laughter Yoga is a definite tool to remedy stress. It helps to reduce the risk factors by boosting the immune system, encouraging deep breathing and flushing the lungs of stale air and generating a feeling of wellness.
Those suffering from life threatening diseases not only go through physical pain; they also face immense psychological trauma. Not just the patient, but family, friends and care givers all need positive reinforcement. Having a positive mental attitude greatly influences the course of the disease. We have had many members suffering from cancer, immune disorders, multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases who have reported relief from their symptoms, thereby reducing their medications.
Depression is often associated with physical pain, feelings of despair, loss of appetite, immobility, insomnia and other cardiovascular problems. Practicing Laughter Yoga regularly helps to resolve most of these ailments as it is one of the fastest ways of boosting heart rate, reducing blood pressure, providing an excellent cardio workout and alleviating pain. Extended hearty laughter is a body exercise with powerful body-mind healing effects.
The combination of natural pain killers with movements in laughter exercises makes Laughter Yoga a powerful tool for physiotherapy. Many practitioners have reported reversal of frozen shoulder and other movement limitations due to stroke, arthritis, and injury. Endorphins released as a result of laughter help in reducing the intensity of pain in those suffering from arthritis, spondylitis and muscular spasms of the body.
Scientific studies have proved that a few days of laughter exercises and deep breathing lowers blood pressure thus reducing the risk of a heart attack. Having too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries in the major vascular systems. A daily dose of laughter opens the arteries and allows the blood to flow freely to all parts of the body thus preventing a cardiac failure.
Stress is the number one killer today, and most illnesses are stress related. Laughter Yoga is an instant stress buster which takes care of physical, mental and emotional stress simultaneously. It has been scientifically proven that laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and enhances positive emotions.
Laughter exercises are short and easy and can be added to your existing fitness programme. It can be a value addition to Yoga groups, Tai-Chi groups, aerobic centres, meditation centres, health clubs, sports and fun activities. Laughter Yoga is the latest health craze sweeping the world where anyone can laugh without any reason. It is truly a life changing experience for millions. It is scientifically proven and a lot of fun. People can feel the benefits right from the very first session.
JAGAT SINGH BISHT
Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher
(Excerpted from 'Laugh For No Reason' by Dr Madan Kataria)