Laughter wellness does not mean humor! It means simulated laughter, not pressurized by brain. This fake laughter brings changes in the body that are beneficial for health. The best part is that fake laughter, if done with playfulness, becomes infectious by the end. So let’s try it once
My Experience with Laughter Yoga
When I was in Shanghai there was a request from my college to run a session to guide my colleagues and students towards laughter wellness. As an educator and a life coach, I am always interested in organising life-skill courses for children and adults, but this was something new I was about to try. In the beginning I felt a bit nervous, as I was about to do a silly (but awesome) thing, but I kept following my heart rather than my mind because I personally feel that laughter yoga is good for our health.
Read here: Laughter Yoga & its benefits
If Laughter cannot solve your problems, it will definitely DISSOLVE your problems; so that you can think clearly what to do about them. -Dr. Madan Kataria
Now, the challenging task for me was to create a session plan that must hit the nail in one go. After reviewing my course lessons, watching various videos, reading laughter articles, and with a little experience, I planned a session that seemed promising to work for me and others.
My Laughter Yoga Session
Step 1- Warm up
Similar to other exercises, laughter yoga should also start with warm-up exercises. They involve clapping and synchronisation of movements. Clapping with flat palms pressurises acupressure points on your hands and increases your energy level. Clapping with a rhythm of 1-2-3, move your hands up and down and swing them from side to side as you clap.
Step 2- Breathing
Take deep breath from your belly, bend your knees slightly and encourage longer exhalations.You can then try your first chant, in rhythm with your hands. Inhale with a smile, take a pause of few seconds and burst out “ho ho, ha-ha-ha”, through longer exhalations. It will bring you the feeling of freshness in your mind.
Step 3- Playfulness
Child like playfulness through games or activities will help you to be attracted by every little thing around. Look at something beautiful and shout like a child,’very good very good yay’
Exercise-Singing a playful song, ‘every cell in my body….’ or ‘alphabet song’
Exercise– electric shock laughter exercise is also a fun creating activity- pretend that every surface and object you touch gives you a shock of static electricity. Jump back every time you touch something, smiling and laughing as you do this.
So with deep breathing and laughing through physical movements, we can make a connection between our body and soul. Even though laughter yoga is a form of physical exercise, it detoxes all the stress off our mind and brings happiness within.
Exercise– The breathing is easy: breathe in and smile as you lift your arms up, breathe out as you relax.
Read here: Do you know why laughter is necessary for children?
Step 4- Laughing exercises with breathing
Exercise– the leader of the group, will walk around the room and clap, laughing with a “ho ho ha ha ha”. The rest of the group should then respond “very good, very good, yay!” and clap with their arms raised.
Exercise– Inhale deeply and then exhale through your nose. As you exhale, release one to two big belly laughs. Continue to do this, deepen your breath equally on your inhales and your exhales with laughter at the end
Exercise– Applause exercise- clap on hearing someone say something about him/her with a bust of laughter.
Exercise– Balloon-popping laughter: 2 people try to pop each others’ imaginary balloons that you imagine are attached to their ankles
Exercise– “Good Job” Laugh- Give each other “thumbs up” and “high five”, whilst laughing together at the end of a session, as a way for the group to thank and congratulate each other.
Cool down- Floor Laughter Exercises
Exercise-This is the best part of any laughter session because this is when the most people usually choose to “let go” and truly laugh. Sit down first for one or two more laughters, then lay on your back and laugh some more.
The session went well and many people felt the instant effect of laughter on their body and mind. Everyone appreciated the concept and requested for more sessions. All my concerns for the session had been sorted out and I felt confident and content.
*An Ideal session takes 30- 40 minutes, but if you are exercising alone or you are a beginner, do it according to your capacity.
*If you feel uncomfortable while performing laughter exercises, stop immediately and take a rest.
‘Laughter’ is the initial part of a human life because it is a weapon that can remove the negativity prevalent around. If we arm ourselves with laughter, it can cast aside our worries and brings us joy. As the need for a daily dose of laughter is increasing day by day, various organisations and individuals are putting their efforts to make people aware of the simple fact ‘Laughter wellness.’
Laughter Exercises source: http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/150-laughter-exercises/