You’ve heard of laughter, and you have probably heard of yoga. But have you ever considered putting the two together? Laughter yoga is a revolutionary exercise routine suitable for all ages. Laughter yoga combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing. Laughter yoga classes typically begin with fake laughter, which quickly turns into contagious laughter (we talked about contagious laughter in our last blog). Learn more about this fun and funny new exercise regimen.

Start laughing. The body cannot tell the different between fake and real laughter. Therefore the body still received the health benefits of laughing, even when the laughter is fake. So, think of something funny and start laughing!

Gather around. Bring your loved ones along for the fun. The fake laughter at the beginning of the class is contagious, and quickly turns into real laughter. You are more likely to let loose and giggle with people you know around you.

Seniors and Laughter Yoga. Some seniors find their physical and mental faculties on the decline. For those with compromised cognitive abilities, they may find it difficult to comprehend humor. Laughter yoga is ideal for exercise this skill and experiencing healthy laughing.

If you have never given laughter yoga a try, you definitely should. I participated in a laughter yoga class for the first time last Friday. Senior Helpers sponsored a laughter yoga class at the Monroe Senior Center and it was a blast. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant at first, but five minutes into it I had a big smile on my face. I arrived all stressed out. It was pouring and I had to carry in bags of refreshments. I was soaked and unhappy. It must be true; however, that laughter relieves stress because by the end of the program I was feeling pretty good! Many of the local senior centers are sponsoring laughter yoga programs. There is also a Wellness Community Laughter Program in Eatontown and a woman in New Brunswick who runs laughter programs, she calls herself the “Jolliologist.”

I learned something very interesting the other day at the Monroe Senior Center. A lovely Indian man told us all that laughter yoga has been going on in India for a very long time. He explained that hundreds of people gather in the many parks each morning. Some are groups of 30 or 40 people while other have as many as 300-400 people. They gather there for none other than laughter yoga. He gave us a small demonstration of what they do in India which in turn brought an even bigger smile to everyone's face! The physical and mental benefits of this type of yoga are countless, so find a class and start laughing your way to better health today.



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