Yoga is mainly about breathing and dexterity. A relatively new phenomenon is laughter yoga, which is about breathing and laughter as healthy exercise.
Researchers have long known that laughter has health benefits. When combined with the deep breathing of yoga, laughter yields physiological benefits similar to yoga.
Yoga is a 2,500-year-old physical and spiritual practice designed to help individuals discipline their bodies and minds to better control stress and better respond to their environments.
The practice of yoga:
Laughter has been shown to lower stress-related hormones. Laughter also:
The link between yoga and laughter is in deep breathing. Research studies have shown an obvious improvement in health when laughter yoga was practiced. One theory is that while laughing, individuals not only reduce stress by the endorphins released by laughter, but also exhale a larger amount of volume of air out of the lungs which lowers the carbon dioxide level. This increases the oxygen to carbon dioxide concentration, increasing the level of oxygen and helping our cells function more efficiently.
Laughter yoga reportedly has been practiced by businesses in 100 countries since it was created in 1995 by an Indian physician, and has been employed among high-stress students in several case studies. All results seem to prove the old adage that laughter can be the best medicine.