Laughter yoga is not your typical yoga practice. Instead of complex poses and stretches, it revolves around hearty laughter and deep breathing exercises. Created by Dr. Madan Kataria in the 1990s, this unique form of yoga combines simulated laughter with yoga breathing (pranayama) to promote overall well-being.
There are a ton of physical and mental benefits to laughter. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, our body’s natural feel-good chemicals. This instantly reduces stress and promotes a sense of relaxation. Additionally, regular laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing the production of immune cells and antibodies, making you less susceptible to illness. Regarding the mental benefits, laughing floods the brain with serotonin, the happiness neurotransmitter. This helps alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.
To start, find a local laughter yoga group or attend a virtual session if there aren’t any groups near you. Incorporating laughter yoga into your routine can be a powerful tool for maintaining a positive outlook and cultivating happiness. Remember, laughter truly is the best medicine, and the more you laugh, the happier and healthier you’ll become!