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Laughter Yoga As Good As Any Exercise

Wednesday, 27 May 2015
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Regular exercising is difficult to sustain for a lot of people as it invariably gets monotonous and boring after some time. A recent research in UK shows that 70 per cent of people would exercise more if it was fun, and almost 60 per cent claimed that laughter would be an ideal form of exercise.Laughter Yoga has in fact proven to be an ideal exercise routine not only for its physiological and psychological benefits, but also because it is easy to do and is a lot of fun. Several practitioners have reported that they do not want to miss a single session as it leaves them rejuvenated and feeling good.With this inspiration, the Go ahead! Laughter Yoga Studio in London with laughter expert, Melanie Bloch, recently hosted a series of laughter classes to nourish both the mind and body to create the ultimate feel food experience. According to them there wasn’t a better way of making people feel good than through Laughter Yoga, which has been proven to help revitalize both mind and body.According to research, both exercise and Laughter Yoga increase cardiopulmonary endurance and the net supply of oxygen to the cells. They help to reduce the stress hormones and combat depression and anxiety by increasing the level of endorphin or the ’feel good’ hormone in the body. They both uplift the mood and boost the morale and improve energy levels.For full report click here:
Source: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/health/reasons-why-laughter-is-just-as-good-as-exercise-789973.html

10 reasons why laughter is as good for you as exercise

Healthier biscuit brand, go ahead!, recently conducted research into the UK’s exercise habits and discovered that 70% of people would do more exercise if it was more fun, and 60% claimed that laughter would be their ideal form of exercise.

With this in mind, this inspired the launch of The go ahead! Laughter Yoga Studio with laughter yoga expert, Melanie Bloch, hosting a series of free classes to nourish both the mind and body to create the ultimate feel food experience.

Nichola Knevitt, go ahead! spokesperson: “Our go ahead! range offers a variety of deliciously fruity snacks that taste great and feel good – and we can’t think of a better way of making people feel good than through laughter yoga, which has been proven to help invigorate both mind and body.”

To celebrate the launch of the Studio go ahead! has worked with Melanie to create a quick guide to why laughter yoga should inspire us to laugh more…

Both activities reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which can help to combat depression and anxiety

According to research, 100 belly laughs are the equivalent of 10 minutes of rowing for both your mind body*

Laughter Yoga is a great cardio workout, as it acts like an aerobic exercise. The activity increases cardiopulmonary endurance and the net supply of oxygen to the cells

Both exercise and laughter produce mood lifting, pain reducing endorphins to help you feel good

Regular laughter has the same ability as exercise to increase blood flow to the heart and support healthier vascular function – boosting the heart rate and lowering blood pressure

Just like cardio exercise, a good giggle session improves your lung capacity, generating improved respiration

Both activities stimulate a reduction in stress, teamed with increased blood flow to the face and body – which can help to make you look younger (bonus)

Both exercise and laughter stimulate the release of endorphins, which (amongst scores of other benefits) boosts morale and improves energy levels – the all-famous ‘runner’s high’

People who laugh and/or exercise regularly will enjoy a boost of T-cells (white blood cells) to strengthen the immune system

When you are laughing the stomach muscles expand and contract, which means it’s a great workout for the abs and your core – in fact, it has been suggested that 10 minutes of belly laughter is equivalent to 30 minutes of the plank

http://www.goahead.co.uk

This is exactly why you should have a crack at Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga may seem like a joke to some but the unorthodox exercise habit might be more than just a stretch and a giggle.

This is exactly why you should have a crack at Laughter Yoga

Not only does the it raise spirits and smiles, it also boasts numerous mental and physical benefits too – in fact, just 10 minutes of belly laughter has been proven to be the equivalent to 30 minutes of the hard-core planking for your core.

So that being said, we tagged a long for a session of chuckles run by the biscuit brand go ahead! and a Laughter Yoga expert Melanie Bloch to find out if the unusual work-out regime was really as good as it seemed… Click here for the video

Why I would love to continue Laughter Yoga

Mid of May, we were invited by the lovely people at Go Ahead to try the Laughter Yoga session and they were very brave enough to admit me with the children, especially my ever so busy little Miss M.

Healthier biscuit brand, go ahead!, recently conducted research into the UK’s exercise habits and discovered that 70% of people would do more exercise if it was more fun, and 60% claimed that laughter would be their ideal form of exercise.

Laughter Yoga Wordings

With this in mind, this inspired the launch of The go ahead! Laughter Yoga Studio with laughter yoga expert, Melanie Bloch, hosting a series of free classes to nourish both the mind and body to create the ultimate feel food experience

I have heard a lot of Laughter Yoga recently but have never thought about giving it a go but after the session, I was so impressed with the outcome (We did it only for half an hour) and decided to continue the Laughter Yoga session. More than me and everyone in that hall that day, I think, Miss M was the one who enjoyed it to the fullest. 

LaughterYoga

It’s a known fact that “Laughter is the best cure to any illness and the world’s best Stress reliever”

And I definitely fall within the 70% of people who would love to exercise but not in the boring usual way talking to machines and rollers.

In fact, 10 minutes of belly laughter has been proved to be the equivalent to 30 minutes of the plank for your core.

Laughter Yoga Teaching

Laughter Yoga is not the usual stretch and twist. It is done rhythmically with laughter and giggles. Instead of building your muscles, you relax your entire body and there are so many other benefits.  Few of them are

  1. Boosts the T-cells, strengthening the immune system
  2. Reduces the stress hormone, cortisol.
  3. Produces mood lifting, pain reducing endorphin.
  4. Increases blood flow to the heart and supports healthier vascular function, boosting the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
  5. Improves lung capacity, generating improved respiration
  6. Can strengthen focus and concentration

Laughter Yoga Dance

You dance to the music, Do all the silly thing you are afraid of doing in Public and your ultimate aim is to laugh and make others laugh! In short, You turn into a child and forget about the surroundings and just laugh and relax. 

Miss M was the perfect student and the teacher in the class tho enjoyed it to the fullest and was keenly observing everyone when everyone was concentrating and I am sure she must have been wondering throughout the session that

“Why do people take so much effort to do something that I do almost everyday and every minute.”

Here is a small tip to feel good in five minutes:

It has been shown that smiling for 10-15 seconds creates the motor neurons to light-up, signalling to the brain to create endorphins. So, how can you get these muscles working?

  1. Put a pencil between your teeth and hold it there for tens seconds. The corners of the mouth automatically turn up when you do this and the endorphin effect is activated.
  2. When you wake up in the morning – even if you don’t feel like it – allow yourself a gentle smile.
  3. When you get up and out of bed in the morning, yawn, stretch and breathe. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself for 10-15 seconds.
  4. Breathe in, hold that breathe for a second, smile, and breathe out with a gentle chuckle…
  5. Repeat twice and you will feel uplifted!

Laughter Yoga Family picture

There were loads of tips in the session that We cam home with an extremely relaxed mind full of tips to keep us healthy – and most importantly, the good 30 minute laughter did a wonder that the kids were too tired on the way back home and look what happened in tube. 

Sleeping

Thanks to Go Ahead and Laughter Yoga for the wonderful Session and hope this blog post impresses at least a few of my lovely readers to try out Laughter Yoga.

Laughing is the trendy new therapy

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bloch screenshot 

 An uncontrollable urge to laugh is building within me.

My shoulders start to shake and my tummy quivers. Then a chuckle comes out of my mouth and I use my hands to cover it. But it doesn’t work: the laughter just keeps on growing.

I let out a titter, a snort, then I feel a full-on fit coming. I haven’t laughed so hard since history class at school, where giggling in a lesson resulted in me being sent out of the room.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I double over and can feel tears come to my eyes. Luckily, everyone around me is in the same state – and it’s wonderful.

No, we’re not watching a first-rate comedian or cracking up at a witty dinner party joke. We are taking part in a very trendy – and rather bizarre – form of therapy that harnesses the power of laughter to boost mood and health.

I’m in a suburban semi in Stanmore, North-West London, in a living room with a nice beige sofa and the sound of a lawnmower going next door, and along with a group of others, have been told to force myself to laugh.

Laughter groups such as these are appearing all over the country. People meet with just one purpose: to laugh for an hour or two at absolutely nothing. Advocates believe it relieves stress and loneliness, and increases confidence. And thanks to the workout it gives stomach muscles, it can even be the equivalent of 30 minutes in the gym.

Laughter therapy was started in 1995 by Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria, who found that controlled breathing, combined with laughter, had great health benefits.

Big corporate organisations such as accountants Ernst & Young are now offering laughter therapy to relieve stress, while the NHS has introduced it for staff to tackle its soaring number of sick days.

We all know laughter is the best medicine – but do we really need to throw ourselves into a room of strangers to do it? Surely we can just switch on a comedy show and have a giggle with friends and family?

“A lot of us live a stressful, fast-paced lifestyle which means there’s not a lot of room for laughter,” says Melanie Bloch, the laughter therapist I visit.

“The average child laughs 400 times a day, while the average adult laughs only about 15 times. Truth is, there aren’t always enough funny things going on in our lives – and we might need a bit of help.”

Mel explains that she started the class after her own mother died. As an alternative therapist, she was well-versed in different forms of treatment, and immediately felt the benefit of laughter therapy. She now uses it to help people with depression, anxiety, shyness and low self-confidence.

In my case, I would say I’m a generally content kind of person, but I don’t laugh very much – and certainly not like I did as a child. In fact, I think I’ve become quite serious and worthy now I’m in my 30s. I watch weepies, not comedies, and I’m more likely to be having deep conversations with friends than having a laugh.

Maybe it’s time to lighten up. So I join one of Melanie’s monthly sessions. There are eight of us, aged from 30 to 60, in her bright living room – seven women and one brave man.

There’s one other newcomer besides me. The others are monthly regulars. They greet each other warmly and already seem to be a happy bunch.

“You’ll love it,” says Gaby Cohen. “The first time I came, I was self-conscious and felt silly, but you learn to let go.”

Letting go and feeling silly are not my strong points. I feel strangely nervous.

We begin by putting our hands on our midriffs and do deep diaphragmatic breathing. As we breathe out, we are told to make the literal sound: “Ha, ha, ha, ha…”

Next, we have to walk around and make eye contact with everyone in the room while exaggerating our laughter, as if we find something so funny that we can’t contain ourselves.

I feel stupid and shy gawping at strangers and cackling at them, but everybody else seems quite at home with it all. They’re doubling up and giving each other high-fives and slapping each other’s arms.

Mel explains that it doesn’t matter if your laughter is genuine: “Your body doesn’t know the difference between real and pretend laughter, so even if you don’t feel like laughing, you’ll still get the endorphins going.”

Laughter is contagious, of course. Studies show we are 30 times more likely to laugh if someone else does.

Mel talks over our mirth by explaining some of the health benefits of laughter. Researchers from Indiana State University found that the right dose of laughter can boost the immune system by up to 40 percent, protect against heart disease and increase our pain threshold.

But the best part about the class seems to be the bonding between all of us. People who were total strangers one hour earlier now feel like my friends. Looking into each other’s eyes and shrieking like a banshee is not only an ice-breaker, it feels strangely intimate.

That’s because studies have found laughing is a key mechanism for bonding with others. Research at University College London established that couples who laugh with each other get over tensions quicker than partners who don’t.

Another UCL study showed that strangers who watch a funny film together are more likely to share intimate information afterwards.

“Laughter opens us up to feeling more connected with others,” says Melanie. “It’s why so many friendships are made in our groups.”

So by the time we’re pretending to throw our negative thoughts into an imaginary pot in the centre of the room, while cackling like witches, I feel that I’m surrounded by friends.

And when we lie in a circle with our heads all together in the middle, while wiggling our legs and singing and giggling, I am having the kind of fun I don’t think I’ve had since playschool.

A week later and I am still laughing at anything and everything. I suspect my friends think I’ve turned into a laughing idiot. Which, of course, I find very funny.

Daily Mail

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