One Breath, One Smile, One Laugh at a Time

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As a Wellbeing Practitioner with over 20 years in the complementary medicine field I found myself in a very depleted state.
Life events including caring for my mum who died of cancer had taken it’s toll on my inner spirit.
I didn’t feel like smiling and I didn’t feel I could laugh.
For some it can seem strange to seek to laugh when there isn’t a lot to laugh about, but the body has a wisdom of it’s own and often people will know what they need to do to improve their health if they listen closely enough.
I was drawn to laughter as I needed to laugh.
The many benefits of laughter have been documented from well known and scientifically backed up sources ie “Anatomy of an Illness” by Norman Cousins where he attributes laughter as a large part in his journey back to health. Dr Robert Holden’s pioneering Happiness Project within the NHS, and ground breaking Laughter Yoga started by Dr Madan and his wife Madhuri Kataria with just 5 people in a park in Mumbai in 1995.
So effective that now there are thousands of Laughter Yoga Clubs in over 70 countries world wide.
I felt such an impact to my emotional and physical wellbeing, I did all the trainings to qualify to lead and teach others.
My background and training in holistic mind and body understandings allowed me to integrate and blend this knowledge with the therapeutic effects of laughter.
Laughter is an innate ability that we are born with.
Laughter  like tears is a natural built in balancing mechanism that allows whatever emotion is bubbling under the surface to be seen, heard and released.
For many who are living a more “unnatural fast paced life style”  gyms are necessary to exercise, swimming pools are created so we have a safe place to swim, some of us juice so we get the vegetables needed to stay healthy. Basic needs that need to be met.
We are seeking to redress the balance.
Laughter used in a therapeutic way is a highly effective and enjoyable body- mind work out. creating immune boosting endorphins, positive chemical reactions in the brain. It has been shown that it burns per minute more calories than going on a rowing machine and is as strengthening to the stomach muscles as doing the plank
Sometimes there is not enough , outside ourselves for  laughter to  spill out, yet having a good laugh and the supressed emotions this releases is cathartic and healing.
It can be part of the journey back to knowing and really feeling the innate wisdom and wellbeing inside of you.
Medical research has shown the body-mind doesnt know the difference between real or simulated laughter – so laughter play and the breath work that results, gives all the amazing health benefits anyway.
The contagious effect spills over into real laughter which dissolves stress, brings more oxygen into the brain and is life affirming uplifting and fun.
One lady said to me she hadn’t laughed for so long that the sound of it almost startled her.
Another said “I have just remembered who I am”
Another example is of someone who having come out of an abusive relationship rediscovered her confidence through self expression and has gone on to do the training so she can support and help others who are going through similar experiences.
Emotions that have been suppressed can rise to the surface. Accepting how you feel whatever it is in that moment, allowing yourself to feel it without judging it good or bad , creates an opportunity to release possibly through tears first, and then paradoxically, the way is clear for laughter and a peace and acceptance to find its way in.
There is an old saying “If you can find a way to laugh about it – you can get through it”
Laughter in this way can be seen as a self development and  self acceptance tool.
With this kind of therapeutic unconditional laughter you can let go of judgement about yourself and others.
After the release of cathartic Laughter a feeling of deep peace and a higher perspective can be experienced, supporting a happier, healthier way of navigating through life.. the ups, the downs and everything else in between!

Shake it Out!

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Emotional, Physical, Spiritual Medicine-

Laughter is an ancient response – innate.

When we laugh our muscles are engaged.

Muscles have memories, old trauma, and tensions can be stored there.

The Psoas muscle is attached to the diaphragm – it gets a lot of shaking when we belly laugh – this can result in a cathartic release of laughter and tears. The Body’s own innate balancer

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As long as we live we will think and feel. When feeling our thinking isn’t helping, exercise the Laughter Muscle – deep wisdom can be revealed.

“If we feel better after we laugh, then laughter must come from a source other than happiness” Good news – there is no need to wait til something on the outside makes you laugh!

Breathe, Smile, Laugh

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What Is Laughter Yoga And Why Is It So Good For You?

Laughter has long been known as a medicine.

Research shows that it increases your overall wellbeing and really can make you feel better

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Why Laughter Yoga?

Laughter Yoga is a fabulous wellbeing work out!

It’s easy to laugh when things are going well and you feel good. But if you are feeling stressed or going through a difficult period in your life you may not feel like laughing at all.

Studies have shown that the breathwork, laughter exercises and meditation which are all incorporated into a laughter yoga session help improve mental health as well as having benefits similar to exercise. Laughter yoga activates the endorphins serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine – the body’s feel-good chemicals and natural painkillers – this in turns lowers the stress hormone cortisol.

When you laugh, on the out-breath the old air released reduces toxins and stress from the system, the new breath you take in is filled with more oxygen and nutrients which support brain and body functions giving you more energy and supporting the immune system which in turn builds productivity and resilience.

Laughter is the antidote to stress

Taking time to have fun helps create balance. Laughter is contagious and can support the process of opening your heart to giving and receiving. Smiling and laughing comes naturally but as we transition from child to adult, we can lose this natural joyful expression. You can connect back to this innate ability, still within us, by making more room in life for smiling and laughter

A good laugh can help you release stress and feelings that may have been held down for a while. If left to build up, this can lead to depletion  burn out and ‘dis-ease’

If you liken the ability to laugh to a muscle, like with any muscle the more you use it the stronger it becomes. Laughter Yoga can support this ability to smile and laugh more easily and spontaneously, even if you haven’t felt like it for a while.

Won’t I feel weird faking it?

Medical research shows the body doesn’t know the difference between real and simulated laughter done with willingness, all the great benefits can be experienced. The endorphins produced also act as the body’s natural pain killers. For sufferers of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management.

A good laugh can help you release stress. A shift in mood takes place and life can be seen from a more positive perspective.

Get connected

Laughter breaks down barriers and supports better communication. Whether with friends, loved ones family co-workers or total strangers, to step back and find a way to laugh can see you through many of life’s challenges. When you are laughing you can’t be worried about yesterday or thinking about tomorrow, or your personal worries, all things that keep us from fully living in the present moment.

The verdict

Breathwork and meditation practices used in Laughter Yoga help individuals, groups and release stress in a therapeutic and fun way which can have a positive impact on health and in all areas of life.

 

Past Event

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When we were babies we knew how to breathe from our bellies – we didn’t make it happen it was innate

There wasn’t a joke to “get” we just laughed – pure joy – innate 

Get back in touch with your Innate Body Wisdom

Can be as simple as a deep belly breath and a laugh. 

Engage the diaphragm muscles –

Breathe out through your mouth with an ooo like you are blowing out candles on a birthday cake tummy muscles go in

Breathe in through your nose – let your belly expand like a balloon

Breathe out the old 

Breathe in the new

Turn the corners of your mouth up

Smile

Breathe in.

Breathe out engaging belly breath with sound – a gentle ha ha ha hahaha

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