Laughter yoga

Laughter yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria, “The Laughter Guru”, who believes in the power of laughter and its ability to provide physical and holistic benefits. To reap the scientifically proven benefits of laughter, you will laugh continuously for at least 10 to 15 minutes loud and deep, like a belly laugh coming straight from your diaphragm.

Warm up by clapping your hands

Warm-up involves clapping and synchronizing your movements. Begin by clapping with your hands parallel to each other, which will stimulate the acupressure points on your hands and increase your energy level.

  • Continue to clap with a 1-2-3 rhythm, moving your hands up and down and swinging them from side to side as you clap.
  • You can then try your first chant, in rhythm with your hands. Say “ho ho, ha-ha-ha”, breathing from your belly with deep inhales and exhalations.

Lion laughter exercise

Another warm up you can try is lion laughter, which is derived from the Lion Posture. Stick your tongue out fully and keep your mouth open. Stretch your hands out like the paws of a lion and roar, then laugh from your belly. You should feel a nice stretch in your facial muscles, your tongue and your throat. It will also help you to loosen up and play around.

Deep breathing exercises with laughter

Activate your breath in your diaphragm, which is located just below your ribs. Place your hands on your diaphragm and focus on taking full inhales and exhales through your nose, expanding and contracting your diaphragm.

  • Inhale deeply for the count of four and then exhale through your nose to the count of four. As you exhale, release one to two big belly laughs.
  • You can also chant a mantra as you inhale and exhale, such as “Forgive, forget, live, let live, release, heal”.

Do playful exercises

Loosen up by trying playful exercises to encourage laughter and joy. The idea is to motivate you to laugh for no reason other than out of joy and fun.

  • Try the electric shock laughter exercise by pretending every surface and object you touch gives you a shock of static electricity, from touching a wall to touching a part of your body. Jump back every time you touch something, smiling and laughing as you do this.

Try value based laughter exercises

In these exercises, you will confront a strong emotion and learn to laugh at it, finding the fun and joy in negative emotions.

  • Start with the embarrassment laughter exercise, where you think of an embarrassing incident and retell it out loud in gibberish, laughing as you re tell it.
  • Try an apology or forgiveness exercise, where you think of a person you would like to apologize to and say “I’m sorry”, or think of a person you would like to forgive and say “I forgive you”. You can then laugh after you show forgiveness or accept an apology.

There are also holistic benefits to laughter yoga, which can help to improve your overall health, physically and emotionally. Improve your emotional intelligence and your social skills, increased sense of joyfulness. Also, you can exert a better sense of control over negative emotions that may be bringing you down, such as depression, anxiety, and stress.