& dont say namaste here!- hahaha...


Yoga!  One word conjures up many images!  In fact, there are many different types of yoga; Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal, Anusara, Jivamukti.  It can be done at a gym, at home, even in a chair.  Its aim is to make you just as flexible as it is!  But now we can all do it and leave with a very big smile!

In the past I have attended yoga classes and have to say it was a serious business.  There was an edge of the unknown mixed with awe and fascination to how the older members were suppler than ever expected and perhaps most of us were on best behaviour with absolutely no sniggering even when doing the goddess pose (it was meant to be!) due to the yoga teacher being absolutely drop dead gorgeous (apart from his long toe nails).  No one wanted to lose face by doing something stupid, let alone laugh!  So, any giggles were suppressed even when a woman on the mat next to me broke wind whilst doing a happy baby pose! 

But now laughter is the new yoga described by some as internal jogging as it massages the internal organs and promotes circulation to the digestive and lymphatic systems.  Its aim is to develop joyfulness, not happiness.

What’s the difference?  In contrast to happiness, joyfulness is the unconditional commitment to have fun despite all the possible problems that we are faced with in life. You fake it until you get it! It is a physical process, but the decision comes from the brain - when you do good you feel good! 

Eee Eee Eee Eee! Aye aye aye aye! Ah ah ah ah! Ho ho ho ho! Ooo ooo ooo ooo! Uh uh uh uh! – Feels good?

Laughter Yoga like flares, funky fur and spandex is a trend once again coming back and taking off even though it was founded in the mid 90’s by medical Doctor/Laughter Guru Dr Madan Kataris who was motivated by research on the benefits of laughter.  It is said that just a mere twenty minutes of laughter is enough to develop physiological benefits!

It is a breakthrough laughter delivery system enabling you to laugh continuously for 15 to 20 minutes with short breaks of yogic breathing based on the scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter and it is fabulous, an absolute tonic  (no gin required!) and just what the doctor ordered!   The only requisite for you to succeed in Laughter Yoga is to decide to laugh no matter what!

To get the most out of it, you have to breakdown any feelings of being silly, lose the must be mature attitude and simply join in – its infectious!

Aaaaa ha ha ha ha ha Eeeee he he he he he Iiiii hi hi hi hi hi Ooooo ho ho ho ho ho. Uuuuu hu hu hu hu hu

But why?  Laughing is a must!  It is a good thing and one we probably don’t do enough!  With humour being the only tool available, regretfully unreliable and not on tap so seldomly it leads to continuous hearty laughter.  If there is a guaranteed or effective system to deliver laughter, then we just must bring it on as laughter has so many good things attached to it! 

Research tells us that laughter is an important part of life as by laughing it lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and increases muscle flexion. It increases the circulation of antibodies in the blood stream and is an easy way to strengthen all immune functions, bringing more oxygen to the body and brain, fostering positive feelings and improving our interpersonal skills. Blood and all major organs are fully oxygenated leaving us bursting with energy!

It also leads to the release of endorphins, a self-manufactured natural opiate that has been scientifically shown to carry messages of attachment and bonding and stimulate feelings of caring and forgiveness in addition to acting as a natural painkiller. Endorphins create a positive state of mind and boost optimism, self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. 

People who laugh don’t worry as much as people who don’t laugh and seem to enjoy life more. Laughter makes circumstances seem less serious and tolerable and makes it easier for us to cope with life and all its challenges.

Another plus has to be that the facial exercise of laughter reduces wrinkles and sagging by firming and toning facial muscles – so far, it’s a win/win situation and certainly something to smile about!

So, what are you letting yourself in for?  Laughter yoga sessions generally start with gentle warm-up techniques including stretching, chanting, clapping, eye contact and body movement.  All will help to break down our inhibitions and encourage a sense of playfulness and then a series of laughter exercises that will have you in stitches!

I recently watched This Morning and have attached a YouTube video – I highly recommend it as a taster which I am certain you will want more of!

How true is the saying “Laughter is the shortest distance between people”.