The question I would ask is “Why not laugh?” If you are like most adults you may not have laughed today or even in the last week. It is estimated that the average child laughs 400 times a day and the average adult, only 17. (www.selfgrowth.com) Even as an estimate it suggests that adults have lost the ability to laugh.
As we get older we believe we need a reason to laugh.
We pay money to be entertained by comedians and we watch funny movies to find our laughter. If we have a pet or child in our life there is often more opportunities for laughter in our lives. None the less, our “laughter zone” is very narrow.
This is where a delightful pranayama (breath control) practice called Laughing Yoga swoops in to save the day! Laughing Yoga offers us the opportunity to laugh for no reason. But why, you may ask, should I laugh? In fact, laughing is very good for us, mentally and physically. Prolonged laughter (10 min or more) has been shown to reduce stress, boost confidence, and increase creativity. Who couldn’t use a less strees and more confidence in their lives? No one I know.
One of my favorite places to practice Laughing Yoga is in traffic. I’m a stuck in the car with nowhere to go and often plenty of time on my hands. A little (or lot) of laughter relieves my frustration, passes the time, and very well may entertain other drivers. If my laughter encourages others to laugh, awesome!
Think about how good you feel after watching a funny movie or sharing a joke with friends. Why limit that joy to just those moments? I vote that we laugh for no reason and find that joy every day!
Gretchen began her yoga journey 8 years ago when she started practicing yoga as a method of stress relief. As her practice grew she found the physical benefits of the practice to be valuable as well. Gretchen is a certified RYT200 yoga teacher and has taken teaching intensives in Laughing Yoga and Yoga Nidra. She believes that yoga is for everyBODY and the benefits of yoga, including balance, breath, and focus, can be utilized off the mat, in every area of our lives. www.meetup.com, www.laughteryoga.org
If you want to learn more about Laughing Yoga or try it for yourself you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the following resources to search for Laughing Yoga groups in your area.