How to Overcome Depression, Sickness and Improve Mood with Laughter Yoga
We recently sat down with Laughing Love Bugs Yoga to discuss how they are helping people overcome depression, sickness, and improve mood as result to quarantine, COVID-19, and the stresses of everyday life.
Smile Natural Products(SNP): What is laughter yoga?
Laughing Laugh Bugs Yoga (LLBY): “We are certified laughter yoga teachers, and laughter yoga is a unique concept where anyone can laugh without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. You’re basically laughing intentionally, to reap the psychological and physiological benefits of laughter.
(SNP) How did you guys come up with this concept or how were you introduced to it?
LLBY: This concept was created in India by a medical doctor named Dr. Kataria in 1995. He started a laughter club with 5 people, and now their thousands of laughter clubs all over the world. Initially it started where they would tell jokes to each other and they would laugh, but after a while the joked weren’t funny anymore so people would stop coming. So he did research about laughter and like my shirt says “laughter is the best medicine” it really is medicine. With his research he found that the body doesn’t know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. Therefore, even if you faking laughing, your body doesn’t know the difference and you can still reap the scientific benefits of laughter?
SNP: What are some of those benefits of laughter, whether it be real or forced laughter?
LLBY: Some of the benefits of laughter are, first of all, increases the feel-good hormones which are the serotonin and endorphins and it reduces the stress hormone, which is cortisol. It also raises oxytocin. As adults we’re always responsible, we’re logical, we’re thinking about what we’re going to do next--always in our heads. We’re always using the left side of our brain, which is logical and analytical. With laughter yoga you’re activating and giving the right side of the brain more exercise which helps increase creativity. Its where the inner child is!
SNP: How often do kids laugh compared to adults?
LLBY: A child laughs about 300 times a day!
SNP: How does that compare to adults?
LLBY: Adults only about 20-30 times a day.
SNP: So kids laugh about 10 times more than adults do?
LLBY: Yea, with laughter yoga some people ask, “why do I need to take a class? Why can’t I just watch a funny movie or tell a joke.” The difference between laughter yoga and watching a funny movie is the 3 D’s- depth, duration, and dependability. You can’t get that with a joke because first of all the joke has to be funny, you’re waiting for the punch line, and all the time the clock is still ticking…
SNP: So with what you guys are doing, you’re guaranteed to laugh as long as you’re following instructions right?
LLBY: You’re pitching yourself a home run every time. You’re guaranteed to boost your immune system also! Along with all the other benefits like lowering blood pressure, it helps protect the heart and lungs, increases our blood flow and vessels. When we feel good our immune system works better. We were inspired to share the awareness about what laughter yoga is because my uncle and aunt tested positive for [COVID-19..] and when we laughed with him for 15 minutes a day he recovered from the ICU!
SNP: What was your first experience with [laugh yoga]?
LLBY: I was looking for ways to relieve stress. I was diagnosed with hypertension at one point and I was looking for ways to relieve stress and I found a laughter yoga class.
SNP: Were you already familiar with it?
LLBY: I just googled unique ways to relieve stress and I found laughter yoga!
SNP: Give me an overview of a typical class.
LLBY: We start off with an introduction [...], we usually do it in a group in person, but we offer a variety of sessions sometimes we’ll do couples, corporate or 1 on 1s. As long as you’re willing to laugh, and you’re able to laugh! You don’t even have to be in a good mood laugh and you still reap the benefits. As I said earlier your body doesn’t know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. We go over the guidelines, the laugh yoga steps, then we get into laughter exercises, laughter meditation, etc. The yoga part of laughter yoga is the laughter exercises and deep breathing exercises-- there’s no need for a mat.! All you do is be present, shut down your brain and follow our laughter exercise instructions and that all! Maybe bring some water, all that laughing makes you thirsty.
SNP: How often should one do laugher yoga?
LLBY: As much as possible, in order to reap the benefits you need to do 15 minutes of sustained laughter!
To book a laughing yoga session, check out https://www.laughinglovebugs.com/ !
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