Laughter Yoga Changes People For The Better


It is now an established fact that Laughter Yoga reduces one’s negative response to stress and conflict-triggers and promotes feelings of happiness and wellbeing. It helps cope with challenges and conflict better because it gives us a better perspective. In fact, if we laugh about the several stressors we confront in daily life, they actually diminish. Laughter allows us to re-program automatic responses and changes people for the better and allows better functionality.

For instance, you’re driving in your car down the road, minding your own business when somebody cuts you off. Rather than uttering a word or two that exemplifies your frustration, you start laughing. It begins half-heartedly, but then takes hold, a bold, hearty, heartfelt laugh that seems to push all your anger and frustration away.

That’s the impact of Laughter Yoga, which enhances our wellbeing through the power of positivity. It relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins and protects the heart says, Laughter Yoga practitioner and middle school teacher Rhoda Ross, who leads a weekly Laughter Yoga class at the Unity of Sebring Life Enrichment Centre, in south Sebring.

Laughter Yoga does not involve any poses at all, but gets its name from the yoga-type breathing exercises that accompany a variety of role play exercises. After three laughing exercises, the group does a breathing exercise, such as blowing out imaginary candles or blowing their troubles into imaginary bubbles and popping them. The entire class lasts between 45 minutes and an hour.

Participants of her class report:

Carol Lambert, 72: It’s easy. It’s fun. It doesn’t require any homework. It de-stresses and energizes me. Whatever bothersome things I might have had on my mind when I go into the class aren’t there anymore when I leave.

Mindy Goodyear: The first time my mom invited me to attend Ross’ class; I thought it sounded kind of ridiculous. I went along just to give my mom company. It was a blast. It’s been life-changing actually. I always have believed in the power of positivity and trying to keep negativity out of my life as much as you can. Negativity can just suck the energy out of you.

Steve Sekely: I believe laughter does help you get through life and brings the problems of life down to something you can deal with. I feel I get the most benefit from the cooling down period and meditation that takes place at the end of the class. It’s very comforting.

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Photo Curtesy: Chronicle Journal