Laughter Yoga For Fitness
One of reasons why people fall sick is because of lack of exercise. Most exercise programs become monotonous and boring after a while. People don’t feel motivated to continue their exercises, which is a lot of hard work. That is why we call it a workout. It has been found that most treadmill machines are used regularly for two months, after which they are used for hanging clothes! One of the great things about Laughter Yoga is that one can get similar benefits of any aerobic exercise, without sweating on the jogging track. Moreover, laughter exercises are a lot of fun for the person practicing it as well as for those who are watching!
Best Cardio Workout: As life has become more sedentary and stressful, people find it hard to stick to any exercise routine; Laughter Yoga is an ideal alternative. It can be compared to any aerobic exercise, except that you don’t have to wear fancy shoes or clothes. You don’t need to slog on a tread mill or the tracks. Just laugh yourself fit and healthy. According to Dr. William Fry 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine! This is in respect to cardiopulmonary endurance. Laughter Yoga is ideally suited for busy professionals and business people who have very little time to exercise. Twenty minutes of Laughter Yoga can give you similar results as those of going to gym for one hour.
Aerobic exercise: Laughter can also be equated with aerobic exercise. Laughter Yoga exercises are devised to facilitate longer exhalation and deep breathing through the diaphragm. This helps in flushing the lungs of stale residual air and increasing the net supply of oxygen to the body and brain.
Increases Blood Circulation: Research studies have shown that laughter dilates blood vessels and improves pumping of the heart, thereby increasing blood circulation. It is like ‘internal jogging’ that massages and promotes circulation to the digestive and lymphatic systems. It increases circulation to flush the body and organs of waste products leaving us ready to operate at peak performance.
Best Stress Buster
Life is stressful and stress-related diseases are on the rise today. People try a number of relaxation techniques such as exercise, massage, yoga, meditation, going on holidays, picnics, and outings. All these measures are time consuming and expensive. Laughter is one of the easiest and most economical de-stressing measures. It has been scientifically proven that laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine and enhances positive emotions.
Our body’s stress response system was developed in prehistoric times. In response to stress it dumps a cocktail of chemicals and hormones into our blood to shut-down body systems that are not needed for a possible ‘fight or flight’ reaction demanding extreme physical action. In prehistoric times stress situations occurred occasionally so the body had time to dissipate stress chemicals & hormones.
According to the Mayo clinic typical stress symptoms include a negative state of mind with a cynical, sarcastic and critical outlook. Stress leads to irritability, lack of energy, disillusionment, lack of productivity and efficiency. It also leads to a loss of the ability to experience joy.
Laughter is nature’s counter to stress – in fact laughter and stress are physiological opposites. The stress cocktail shuts down or disrupts a number of important body systems not required for ‘fight or flight’ action, including the immune, circulatory, digestive and sexual systems. It also constricts many capillaries and blood vessels to reduce bleeding in case of a wound (increasing blood pressure), dumps huge amounts of glucose into our blood to provide fighting energy (disrupting the body’s sugar control system), pumps up muscle groups for fighting or fleeing, and more. Stress, worry, fear and emotional problems stifle learning ability, creativity, teamwork, productivity, efficiency and motivation while laughter boosts and strengthens these attributes.
Laughter Boosting: By increasing energy levels, optimism, communication skills, self-confidence and endorphin levels laughter yoga is increasingly being used as a preparation for stressful events. This practice is known as ‘laughter boosting’ and is gaining popularity with public speakers, actors and other public performers to prepare them for public performance. Hollywood heartthrob Harry Hamlin recently used pre-performance laughter yoga sessions to boost his scores on the popular US show ‘Dancing with the Stars’. We hear people are using laughter boosting to prepare for job interviews.
In an educational context laughter yoga boosting is used to prepare students for examinations, and also to prepare sports teams for optimal performance before competition.