It’s not uncommon for people to be left scratching their heads wondering why they should practice laughter yoga. I mean, why not just watch a funny movie or read a comical book to get a bit of laughter in? Well, there are three compelling reasons why laughter yoga (or simulated laughter) is more beneficial than spontaneous laughter (laughing at something) that Dr. Kataria points out in his book “Laughter Yoga: Daily Practices for Health and Happiness”. That is, if we put laughter yoga in a head to head comparison with spontaneous laughter, we have a 1, 2, 3, knockout in laughter yoga’s favor.
The three reasons that laughter yoga excels in providing all of the healthy perks of laughter over spontaneous laughter and why we should practice it daily are as follows:
- Laughter should be sustained.
- Laughter should be deep.
- Laughter should be unconditional.
Let’s address these one by one. First, when we say that laughter should be sustained, this means that in order to get the most benefit from laughing, it needs to last for a minimum of 10-15 seconds at a time, and for maximum benefits, the laughing session should last at least 15-20 minutes. Basically, the longer we laugh, the more benefits we get from it. I can’t speak for you, but if I’m laughing at something like a movie or book, I am lucky to get 4-5 seconds of laughter from it, and realistically, it’s usually just a 2-3 second chuckle. However, in laughter yoga, we laugh for extended periods of time, and we practice it for longer sessions. Thus, knockout 1 of why we should practice laughter yoga – it is the art of sustained laughter, so we reap the most possible benefits from it.
Knockout 2 – laughter should be deep. This means that laughter should come from the belly. The reason for this is that when we laugh from the belly, we are contracting our diaphragm, and that helps to expel more stale air from the lungs, making more room for fresh clean oxygen that can help to oxygenate the body. Furthermore, belly laughter provides a more vigorous internal cardiovascular workout as well as a great abdominal workout! As I just mentioned in the last paragraph, it is often the case that spontaneous laughter simply consists of a small chuckle as opposed to a good belly laugh. Hence, once again, we see that laughter yoga wins out in terms of reaping more benefits than spontaneous laughter.
Lastly, knockout 3 – unconditional laughter! One of the most convenient and lovely things about laughter yoga is that the laughter is unconditional. We don’t need to rely on something to make us laugh in order to laugh in laughter yoga. This is especially important in today’s world of stress, hustle, and challenges. That is, it is often the case that the world doesn’t really give us many things to make us laugh, so if we were to solely rely on spontaneous laughter for these benefits, we may find ourselves in short supply – especially if we are going through a stressful life event or the like. With laughter yoga, we can enjoy all of the wonderful blessings of laughter without having to depend on something to make us laugh – what a gift!
That’s the match, folks! We see we have a one, two, three knockout when it comes to why we should be practicing laughter yoga as opposed to relying on spontaneous laughter for the benefits of laughter! On top of all of this, laughter yoga is fun, cost-effective, a wonderful social connector, and pretty much anyone can do it! Give it a try if you haven’t already, and see what it can do for you!
To learn more about laughter yoga and all of its benefits, continue to follow along with my blog. To give a session a try, please visit my videos page or YouTube channel for both full laughter yoga sessions and quick pick me ups that you can follow along with. Sending love and laughter to all of you!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor a medical professional. The information presented on this site is for educational purposes only. One should always consult with their doctor or medical professional before taking on any sort of new exercise program.