LOL with Laughter Yoga
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine & Co-Founder Cosmic Yogi Movement
Above Photo by Kyle Sterk on Unsplash.com
A couple of weeks ago I attended a weekend Yoga Immersion Workshop presented by Sri Sri School of Yoga. Yogacharya Krishan Verma lead an incredible weekend of yoga basics to recenter our body, mind and soul. One of the most memorable and fun parts of the weekend was exploring Laughter Yoga. Although I had heard about it, I had never attended a Laughter Yoga class and I had no idea how much fun and uplifting it was going to be. Have you ever been with a friend or a group of friends and everyone starts laughing and then everyone laughs harder and no one can stop? It’s so much fun and that’s exactly what happens to you in Laughter Yoga. Once you get started laughing, you can’t stop. Then when things start to calm down a bit someone will undoubtedly burst into laughter again starting everyone laughing again. At Immersion Yoga Weekend, there were hundreds of people in attendance. The laughter just kept going and going…like the Energizer Bunny. Crazy as it may sound it was an incredible breath and abdomen workout. After the weekend, I was not sore anywhere except my abdomen where I had been laughing hysterically.
Laughter Yoga thrives in places all over the world including India where it was created. Public interest in Laughter Therapy has come to fruition with scientists and therapists finding laughter to be healing both mentally and physically.
Laughter Yoga is a form of exercise that uses laughter as a method of physical exercising like walking, swimming or cycling. Laughter Yoga originated in the 1990s in India and grew throughout the world promoting a community of co-existence and acceptance of everyone. Just like yoga, it is a place where an assortment of people gather and promote an atmosphere of non-judgement and love.
The idea is your body automatically knows how to laugh no matter what state of mind you are in. I must also note Laughter Yoga does not rely on someone telling jokes and you don’t even need to have a sense of humor. Laughter is contagious and comes naturally. Just start off laughing without really meaning it and then next thing you know you will be laughing from your gut for real.
“Laughter is the best medicine.”
After my Laughter Yoga experience, I believe this philosophy whole heartedly it was refreshing, fun and energizing. Laughing has many benefits including:
- Decreased Stress Hormones
- Brings more oxygen into your body
- Boosts your immune system
- Nurtures positive feelings & awareness of well being
- More endorphins are released (the happy feel good chemical for your body)
- Relieves both physical and emotional pain
The best part of Laughter Yoga is you don’t have to be into yoga. It’s not about the poses…it’s all about the breath. It does encourage certain breathing exercises and reminds you to focus on the breath when you are not laughing uncontrollably. When the laughter finally does die down, deepening your breath relaxes your body as your heart rate slows down. Once all the stress is released and you are in a state of stillness you can focus on the present and the now.
“AJ” Amy Jo Crowell holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a Best Selling Author of the book Loved Back to Life. She is the Publisher/Owner of Dallas Yoga Magazine and is a yoga enthusiast who has practiced yoga for decades. AJ is also the Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement hoping to unite all yogis by bringing yoga festivals to Texas.