Thursday, 15 March 2012

Laughter Yoga can have Calming Benefits, I agree

Written by Anil Singh

I being a Yoga instructor doesn’t mean, I stop acknowledging the goodness in other forms of fitness activities.

So, when a friend told me about a latest study which says Laughter Yoga is as effective as Hatha Yoga; then irrespective of my preoccupation with my trade, I instantly acknowledged the health benefits Laughter can impart. Benefits, which are not limited to laughing two times a day, but with laughing in general.

The study, which led to the discussion, is,

According to Laughter Yoga International, reducing stress is just one of the benefits of Laughter Yoga. Among other benefits is calming the nerves and releasing the stress.

I agree to the finding. A hearty laugh does calm the brain and relieve the stress. To be aware of this, you don’t need to be an expert. Everybody laughs -- some more, some less -- and very well know, laughter relieves the mind and the Body of the stress.

But, the fact that, Laughter Yoga classes which normally include breathing exercises, light stretching and last but not the least making each other laugh; is being promoted as a replacement to Conventional Yoga, makes me uneasy.


For simple reason: First of all, as already said, a hearty laugh in itself is a good exercise, it puts many not-much-worked-up muscles in the face and body to work; instantly increases blood circulation and hence brings a glow. Secondly, under the name of Laughter Yoga, many proponents are just mixing the teachings of conventional yoga with laughter (breathing exercises, stretching are in conventional yoga).

So, my humble request is: Teaching Laughter Yoga and devising a good programme for the benefit of a disease free world is good. You and I are working for the same objective, a healthier world. But don’t equate laughter Yoga to Ancient Indian Yoga.

The latter, is much richer than Laughter Yoga.

[Guest Article by Yoga Teacher Rajendra Pandey. You can find him at Yog Master]

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