Laughter Yoga master trainer Lotte Mikkelsen, recently conducted a successful Laughter Yoga session at the University Of Sheffield for the students who were introduced to the many benefits of laughter.
The session incorporated yogic breathing and laughter and started with simple vocal exercises: "Ho ho, ha ha ha, ho ho, ha ha ha” followed by laughter exercises and the most daunting among them was the opera laugh - loud, exaggerated and with a flamboyant musical flourish.
The group was willing which helped to ease any tension almost instantly. The session ended with Laughter Meditation, which involved lying on the floor and “engaging with our real laughter.” By this point people were sufficiently relaxed that it was really just one big giggle.
Even those who weren’t finding the session amusing were assured by Lotte that faking it is fine as she explained that the body can’t tell the difference between real and fake laughter, and provides the same health benefits. “If you counterbalance stress with laughter you boost your immune system and are more capable of fighting off illnesses,” she added.
Throughout the session, Lotte stressed on the fact that the key to enjoying the benefits of Laughter Yoga is to incorporate it into everyday life, and for this she gave lots of quirky tips to the students, for example - the fake phone call.“When you’re on a bus or train you can still laugh, just get your phone out and pretend you are having a really funny phone call,” she said. “Although make sure your phone is on silent!” she adds.
University of Sheffield Skills for Life coordinator Steve Delaney said: “We’re always looking for ways to help people relax and take a break from their studies. We want to engage people in a better side of themselves and help them not take things so seriously. Anything that helps people to let go is really beneficial and laughing is a great stress reliever.”
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