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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

The Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Laugh if you’ve ever done laughter yoga! (ha ha ha) “Or, what is laughter yoga?” you might be wondering. Created in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, M.D. in Mumbai, India who researched the impact of laughter on health, laughter yoga lowers your cortisol levels, increases your oxytocin, releases endorphins, lowers your stress levels and creates other health benefits.

Each session includes the four elements of laughter yoga: clapping and chanting; childlike playfulness; pranayama breathing, which is the yoga piece and laughter exercises, such as laughing for no reason and gibberish; throwing our problems into the middle of the room, which can include stomping on them and laughing with delight and laughing at stresses us out—traffic, work, being late, having too much work; and other fun and wacky exercises.

Laughter yoga is non-political, non-religious, non-competitive and non-judgmental.  Using the theme that “laughter is the best medicine”, it’s about connecting, making eye contact and building community. It’s about laughing at oneself; not at others.  After a laughter yoga session, participants have said they “felt joy, stopped taking themselves seriously, relaxed, moved out of their comfort zone, gave themselves permission to be silly, and were able to let go.”

Everyone from the ages of 5-to-85 (and beyond) is invited to the free monthly laughter yoga sessions at the Arlington Central Library auditorium, 1015 N. Quincy St. The next session is Monday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact [email protected]

May 2020



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