It’s Happiness Happens Day: Start a Laughing Yoga practice to celebrate

Last year, I was certified to begin leading Laughter Yoga. I offered some free community classes and now I’m bringing them back for a limited time. Starting next week, I’ll be offering FREE Zoom sessions for the remainder of August. I’ll offer one lunchtime session on Mondays at 11:30 a.m. Eastern and one morning session at 7:30 a.m. on Fridays. That way you can start or end your work week with some feel good positivity that can help you in your happiness practice.

If you were paying attention here last week, you know I’ve been preaching the importance of happiness for our holistic health. Laughing yoga is a wonderful way to get an instant boost for your health and happiness.

Laughing Yoga combines deep, controlled breathing with simple stretches, childlike-playfulness and self-simulated laughter. Anyone and everyone can develop a Laughing Yoga practice. It can be done in a chair and does not require any special equipment or complicated physical movement or poses to be effective. This means almost anyone can participate and benefit. The deep breathing with self-simulated belly laughs provide aerobic exercise in a gentle, no-impact way.

Laughter is the best medicine. Your body can’t produce stress hormones if you’re laughing. We spend too much time in “fight or flight” mode. That stress makes our immune system work overtime. This contributes to many physical difficulties: high blood pressure, aches, pains and inflammation. Laughter counteracts the cortisol and epinephrine produced by our sympathetic nervous system. Laughing produces endorphins, dopamine and serotonin instead. It helps calm and strengthen our immune response. It reduces pain, lowers our blood pressure and makes us feel better in other ways, too. Laughter heals our body.

Laughing together combats loneliness. It helps build friendships and strengthen relationships. Spending a few minutes laughing together creates bonds and connects us. That connectedness helps us feel safe and secure and allows us to feel more relaxed and supported even when we aren’t together anymore. It is much harder to feel resentful, angry, scared or anxious when you laugh, especially with someone else. Laughter heals our heart and spirit.

Developing a laughing yoga practice helps develop self-confidence and improves self-esteem. Participating in simple, playful movements while laughing requires we get in touch with our inner child. If we can embrace our inner child, we can heal them and us. If we can embrace our playfulness and leave our inhibitions behind, we learn to grow outside our comfort zone. If we can quit taking ourselves and everything so seriously for even a few minutes, we can learn to love to laugh and do it more often and more easily. Laughing helps us better cope with difficulties and helps us feel less overwhelmed by stressful situations. Laughter heals our mind.

You don’t have to be or feel funny or get the joke either. The benefit of Laughing Yoga exercise is that your body doesn’t know the difference between genuine laughter and self-simulated laughter. You gain all the same health benefits without having to feel funny. Combine laughter with some deep breathing, and you can reprogram yourself and feel better holistically – body, spirt, and mind.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what participants are saying:

“I didn’t realize how much I missed genuine laughter last year, especially with friends. What a gift.”

“Far more powerful – emotionally and psychologically and even physically – than I imagined. Could be addicting!”

“Just completed my first laughing yoga session – a truly exceptional and beneficial experience. Good for the heart, body and soul.”

I’m so excited to be offering this service to the community again with free preview classes in celebration of Happiness Happens month this August. Ask me for more information and to register to receive your Zoom link, and discover a powerful and effective way to practice your happiness.

Come crack yourself up.

Published by MKChurchman

Certified Care Consultant and End of Life Doula Specialist. I offer assistance with end of life planning, elder care, end of life and after death care through my practice Shoji Bridge Departure Doula. My passion is to bring death into the light and inspire my community to be more comfortable with and compassionate to people who are dying. My mission is to be a guide to help people pass through the final barrier on this plane of existence and move gently onto the path to the next.

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