Recently, it was overheard, “Joy, peace, relaxed, tons of fun, amazing, it moved me out of my comfort zone, gratitude and less physical pain.” These are some of the comments from the people who attended a recent laughter yoga class. People of all ages laugh once a month from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library auditorium. The next session will be held January 8.
Dr. Madan Kataria, the creator of Laughter Yoga, says laughter yoga is “laughing for no reason.” And, the body doesn’t know the difference between spontaneous laughter and intentional laughter. We get the same physiological benefits. Research shows that laughter yoga lowers cortisol levels, increases oxytocin and endorphins, and reduces stress.
According to Diane Cohen, a certified Laughter Yoga leader and facilitator/executive certified holistic and mentor coach, the definition of the practice is yoga through the lens of laughter, joy, fun and playfulness. It focuses on the second prong—pranayama breathing—of the yoga triad of asanas, yogic breathing and meditation.
There are no poses, no mats and no athletic clothes needed. Each class includes laughter exercises such as greetings, gibberish, giggling at what’s stressful, a pretend snowball fight and laughing at ourselves. Whether you’re feeling grumpy or upbeat, just stop by. They would love to laugh with you—and you might love it, too.
Future dates for these free, “just show up” sessions are listed in Natural Awakenings’ calendar; on the Arlington Central Library’s website at ArlingtonVA.libcal.com; or at Facebook.com/ArlingtonLaughterYoga/. For more information, email ArlingtonLaughterYoga@yahoo.com.