We celebrate World Laughter Day on the first Sunday of May very year, which falls on 5th May this year. Anju Shahani tells us more about this remarkable technique to relieve stress.
Before we get into the science of this amazing technique, Laughter Yoga for me is by far the ‘Worlds Happiest Workout’ which is a combination of an excellent cardio and mid-body workout with a full inhalation and a full exhalation which helps to release those Feel Good hormones called Endorphins that make you feel happy, confident and positive within minutes..
Science tells us that the brain needs 25% more oxygen than other body organs for anyone to be at his peak performance. Laughter yoga is that technique that immediately increases the net supply of oxygen because of the deep breathing techniques that we incorporate in between the laughter exercises.
Laughter Yoga is a unique concept where anyone can laugh without any reason, or without relying on any jokes or humor. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on the scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter if done with willingness, and one can reap the same physiological and psychological benefits. The reason we call it Laughter Yoga because it is a blend of yogic deep breathing, stretching, and laughter exercises that cultivate child-like playfulness.
A typical Laughter Yoga session starts with gentle warm up techniques which include stretching, chanting, clapping and body movement. These help to break down inhibitions and develop feelings of child -like playfulness. Breathing exercises are used to prepare the lungs for laughter, followed by a series of ‘laughter exercises’ that combine the method of acting and visualization techniques with playfulness. These exercises when combined with the strong social dynamics of group behavior, lead to prolong and hearty unconditional laughter.
Laughter is the only technique that allows adults to achieve hearty laughter without involving cognitive thought. It bypasses the intellectual systems that normally act as a brake on natural laughter.
Hearty group laughter has many profound short and long term effects on our mind and body.
-The deep and diaphragmatic breathing activates our parasympathetic branch of autonomic nervous system which is the opposite of stress arousal system called the sympathetic system thus unwinding the negative effects of stress by reducing the stress related hormones.
-Endorphins released create a positive, compassionate and confident mind set.
-Laughter increases the level of immunoglobulin-A which is a quick boost to the immune system to prevent from so many basic infections.
-Great cardio workout with a combination of deep inhalation and exhalation inspires excellent ventilation and a wonderful rest.
-Internal Jogging that massages and promotes circulation to the digestive and lymphatic systems. It increases circulation to flush the body and organs of waste products leaving us ready to operate at peak performance. Facial Flushing from improved circulation leaves the skin glowing and radiant.
-Laughter promotes the childlike playfulness behavior and according to a new research playful adults continue to learn social skills and thus enhance their Emotional Intelligence.
-Laughter has deep healing abilities; any suppressed or blocked emotions causing ongoing physical, mental and emotional problems can be released through laughter which can be life changing.
Anju Shahani – Laughter Yoga Coach
Anju Shahani, born and raised in India, lived for twelve years in Moscow, Russia and has been living in Dubai for the last couple of years.
Anju is one of the Certified Laughter Yoga Trainers in the World helping to grow the movement of Laughter Yoga for Health, Happiness and World Peace.
Since 2011 she has brought joy and happiness to thousands of students and participants across Russia, UK, USA, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, India, Australia and now in UAE. She has also trained and certified over 100 Laughter Yoga leaders across these countries who in turn are spreading the movement further.
Anju has conducted several corporate seminars all over the world and recently many in Dubai bringing laughter and happiness via reducing stress in the workplace.
She has been certified by the Laughter Guru, Dr. Madan Kataria who is a medical doctor, founder of the Laughter Yoga University in Bangalore. Anju has also been appointed as an official Ambassador of the university for her work in this field.