By Bhavan Kumar
Laughter Yoga has many health-enhancing benefits for a variety of populations. Some of the primary benefits of Laughter Yoga are the lightening of one’s mood and the energizing effect of laughing for twenty minutes at a time. The pranayama exercises of Laughter Yoga also help to improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system and improve circulation throughout the entire body. The less visible benefits of a regular practice of Laughter Yoga are the improvement in the functioning of the participants’ immune systems and the relief of stress, anxiety, social isolation and chronic depression.
Laughter Yoga is often practiced outside in nature at local public parks. This may also help boost serotonin levels in the brain if the day is sunny. A low level of serotonin has been well documented as one of the primary causes of depression. Gathering together in a group to practice Laughter Yoga also gives people an enjoyable and fun activity to look forward to where they can make new social connections. All of these aspects have a cumulative beneficial effect on Laughter Yoga club member who practice the set of pranayama and laughing exercises regularly.
Laughter Yoga has been introduced into many schools throughout India. In the morning, the children and the teachers practice a shortened sequence of Laughter Yoga exercises for about ten minutes. There is also a brief Laughter Yoga session at the end of the day lasting for five to ten minutes. The results are quite remarkable. Both the students and the teachers report having a more optimistic outlook on their school day. They also report feeling more energized. Additionally, there are far fewer discipline problems. The attendance records and grades of the students even improved. Laughter Yoga sessions are now starting to be implemented in classrooms in other countries particularly in the United States.
Laughter Yoga is also being introduced into retirement homes through Europe, the U.S., Canada and India. Seniors often suffer from age-related depression and isolation. They can also suffer from a lack of exercise and poor circulation. Although Laughter Yoga does not offer a vigorous form of aerobic exercise through full body movement, it does offer cardiovascular benefits equivalent to aerobic exercise without having to even stand up. This is an incredibly important benefit for seniors who may be wheel chair bound or unable to participate in traditional forms of exercise. The practices of Laughter Yoga also help to brighten the moods of seniors who may be struggling with age-related diseases and loneliness.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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