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Laughter Yoga: Yogic Exercise
"Yoga - the new age fitness mantra", but Yoga is not new age at all. It's just that the
benefits of the same are being discovered again. Yoga is a way of life, an art of righteous
living or an integrated system for the benefit of the body, mind and inner spirit. This art
originated, was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago.
What could be best possible medicine than ‘Laughter’! All over the world Laughter Yoga is
becoming known and sought after. The fun and the health benefits are amazing, plus we all
know that laughter just feels great! It's easy to lead, anyone can do it, all ages, and all
walks of life. Laughter is nature's stressbuster. It lifts our spirits with a happy high that
makes us feel good and improves our behavior towards others. Laughter therapy is gentle
exercise. It fills your lungs and body with oxygen, deep-clears our breathing passages and
exercises our lungs.
When we laugh our bodies release a cocktail of hormones & chemicals that have startling
positive effects on our system. Stress is reduced, blood pressure drops, depression is lifted,
and our immune system is boosted. This laughter practice moves progressively from the ho
ho, ha ha exercise to other types of simulated laughter. It is called as 'laughter cocktail.
This “cocktail" includes hearty laughter, greeting laughter, open-mouthed silent laughter,
humming laughter, lion laughter (an adaptation of Lion Pose), and swinging laughter, with
arm movement. Each laughter is sustained for up to 45 seconds, and followed with deep
breathing and stretching exercises. Laughter exercises almost always lead to real laughter,
especially when practiced in a group. Laughter yoga is one of the best stress management
known so far.
Many people might be surprised to think of laughter as a form of meditation. Not only is
laughing meditation one of the simplest forms of meditation, but also it is a very powerful
one. The physical act of laughing is one of the few actions involving the body, emotions, and
the soul. When we laugh, we give ourselves over to the immediacy of the present moment.
Practiced in the morning, laughing meditation can lend a joyful quality to the entire day.
Practiced in the evening, laughing meditation is a potent relaxant that has been known to
inspire pleasant dreams. Laughter also can help open our eyes to previously unnoticed
absurdities that can make life seem less serious.