Laughter Yoga with Cynthia Curtis, Vishwa Prakash and fellow students
Laughter Yoga is a series of mild cardio exercises, voluntarily done sitting or standing, with the express purpose of inducing laughter. To understand the dynamics of such a session, please try one. It takes only 20 minutes, needs no experience or equipment and its always free. Come to Perfect Christmas Tree Farm, on every Sunday at 7:00 PM, NOW, until June 11, 2017.
By breathing gently and doing playful exercises, we soon reach crescendos of excited belly laughter. No tricks, no tickling, no alcohol and no jokes. The laughter comes straight from the heart as pure joy. We go to the gym for physical exercise, but a Laughter Yoga session is a gym of the soul. 😊 Laughter Yoga is nonpolitical, nonreligious, non-racial, non-threatening and non-competitive.
Laughter is the easiest form of meditation. It brings instant relaxation in a pleasant way. Dr. Lee Berk of California labels laughter as a state of eustress, which in psychological terms, is the opposite of distress. Specifically, his research concludes that laughter:
Benefit of Laughter Yoga 😊
• Increases the secretion of immunoglobulin A which helps protect against respiratory tract infections and strengthens the immune system.
• Increases gamma interferon – the immune system’s frontline defense against viruses.
• Increases B cells that produce antibodies directly against harmful bacteria.
• Increases complement 2, a combination of proteins that acts as a catalyst in antibody reactions.
• The act of laughter instantly lowers blood pressure for hypertensive persons, stimulates the brain, expands and enriches the blood vessels with oxygen, and sends more blood racing to the extremities.
• Laughter vastly reduces levels of the stress hormones epinephrine & cortisol in the body and instantly relieves stress, tension, and depression. Conversely, the happiness hormone oxytocin level is enhanced which triggers a spike in immune-boosting antibodies.
• Sustained laughter gradually increases the levels of cytokine in the blood – a white blood cell enhancer which builds antibodies and helps prevent illnesses.
• Laughter increases the levels of endorphins in the body –natural pain killers which greatly help in coping with the suffering from arthritis, spondylitis, migraine and muscular spasms, and all aches and pains.
• Laughter causes the tissue of blood vessels – endothelium – to expand and therefore increase blood flow – exactly what aerobic exercise does. During mirthful laughter, the joy-inducing chemical neuropeptide is released into the body, something cancer patients are prescribed at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars per shot. Finally, the chemical opioid which produces the obvious calming effect associated with its name, and also enhances the immune system.
• Laughter is a form of internal jogging and provides the same health benefits as any aerobic exercise by stimulating the heart and blood circulation. Laughter burns up to 400 calories per hour!
• Laughter increases lung capacity and therefore promotes the body’s ability to store oxygen. That helps us stay young and disease-free. This is good news for asthma and bronchitis patients. A daily dose of laughter is anti-ageing and beats any pill on the market.
😎 A recent study at Stanford concludes that laughter stimulates the parts of our brain that use the “feel good” chemical messenger dopamine. This puts laughter into the “necessary” category of activities that are pleasurably addictive, and more so in the myriads of health benefits that accrue. Perhaps even more important than the physical health benefits of laughter are the mental and emotional benefits, with the following results within easy reach:
• Vastly reduces mental and physical stress, anxiety and depression
• Enhances emotional intelligence (EQ), creativity and peak performance
• Enhances communication and teamwork, improves leadership skills
• Improves attitude, mood and self-esteem
• Clears negativity and develops personality and confidence
• Builds tolerance to connect people, fostering greater cooperation and harmony
• Replaces negativity with hope & optimism, enabling love, peace, joy and happiness
• Increases energy levels and productivity
• When we laugh, we exercise 15 muscles facial muscles which turn our faces pink with a happier glow – beats any cosmetic in replacing wrinkles and worry lines with the laugh lines of youth!
One of the best ways to lighten up is to laugh and release yourself from fear’s grip. Laughter instantly raises your energy, heals you and clears away negativity, confusion and mind chatter. Literally, it chases the devil away which is illusion, distortion, and confusion and instead re-energises you to lose your ego and merge with the divine.
Above all, laughter is “the shortest distance between two people” and improves interpersonal relationships. It removes your inhibitions, develops your personality and enhances your leadership qualities.