“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.”
It is probable that at some point in your life you’ve heard the old adage:
“Use it or lose it!”
Likely, you came across this in terms of financial matters, vacation time, or within the fitness world realm. However, you may not have ever thought about it when it comes to lung health and lung capacity. That being said, it applies here as well, and laughter yoga can serve as a key player to help one “use” their lungs to avoid “losing” their vitality and health.
In laughter yoga, the breathing we do involves the diaphragm, and we call it belly breathing. When we breathe in laughter yoga, we inhale through our nose, and we exhale through our mouth, often as if we are slowly blowing out a candle. The amount of time that we exhale is longer than the amount of time that we inhale, and there is an important reason for this.
The breathing exercises we do in laughter yoga are meant to strengthen the lungs and to provide them and the body with fresh oxygen. To do this, we must expel any stale air that we have in the lungs so that we can replace it with fresh oxygen that can be dispersed throughout the body. By exhaling through the mouth, it is easier to contract our abdominal muscles to get rid of more stale air. Additionally, by breathing out longer and more slowly than we breathe in, we also expel more stale air from the lungs, making more room for new and clean oxygen to replenish our lungs and keep them working properly.
Fun Fact: A normal breath in contains about 500 mL of air, and a normal breath out contains the same amount of air. However, the lungs themselves have a capacity of 6 liters, which is 12 times the amount of a normal breath in or out!
Breathing exercises allow for more air in and more air out. Hence, if we don’t do breathing exercises and make sure we are taking time to exercise our lungs, then we are not making full use of our lungs. This is where “use it or lose it” comes in, because as we age, the less of our lung capacity that we use, the more they deteriorate. By making sure to incorporate regular breathing exercise in our daily routines, we ensure that we are using and exercising our lungs to fullest keeping them healthy and strong as we go through life.
Another way that we rid the lungs of stale air is by breathing in, and then laughing on the breath out. When we laugh on the breath out, we naturally prolong our exhalation getting rid of more stale air. We also don’t have to think about our inhalation when we are laughing, because it happens naturally. Try laughing for a moment. Notice that the inhalations that are interspersed between the laughter are shorter than the laughter itself. Hence, laughing is a natural way to expel more stale air from the lungs by enabling us to exhale longer than we inhale.
Putting this all together, we can surmise that laughter yoga provides an excellent and effective way of keeping our lungs working properly and up to snuff as we go through life. That is, both the breath work and the laughter that we do in laughter yoga is exactly what is needed to maintain, and even increase, good lung capacity and health. Thus, laughter yoga literally allows us to take a breath of fresh air and enjoy all of the benefits that it has to offer!
To learn more, follow along with my blog and videos and experience all of the benefits of laughter yoga for yourself! 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.