We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine. Well, it’s true! Studies across the world have shown that laughter has a powerful and profound effect on the human body and mind. Not only does laughter help to prevent illnesses, but it also contributes to healing chronic diseases—both physical and mental. LAUGHTER YOGA: Daily Practices for Health and Happiness by Madan Kataria, M.D. is the definitive guide by the founder of the worldwide laughter yoga movement, and Dr. Kataria will show you how to bring laughter into your life at any time of day–no special equipment needed, no new wardrobe, no expensive classes, not even a sense of humor!
In LAUGHTER YOGA, Dr. Kataria shows readers how to combine laughter exercises with yogic breathing to achieve complete wellness. It’s all about voluntary laughter—learning to laugh at will in order to reap scientifically proven benefits, including stress reduction, pain relief, weight loss, heightened immunity, and, especially, enhanced mood. Dr. Kataria emphasizes that we can and should laugh even in the absence of humor; voluntary laughter yields benefits just as meaningful as does spontaneous laughter. If you act happy, you’ll become happy—your body can’t tell the difference.
Yoga studios, gyms, offices, senior centers, schools, prisons, and hospitals all over America now offer laughter yoga classes as a way to relieve stress and promote overall wellbeing. There are 16,000+ laughter clubs, 500,000+ laughter yogis in 108 countries, and five to ten new laughter yoga clubs every week.
April is National Stress Awareness Month
“Laughter yoga is a perfect way to laugh and get exercise at the same time. It approaches laughter as a body exercise so it’s easy to laugh even if you're depressed or in a bad mood. . . . I’ve tried it, and it works.” —Oprah Winfrey
“Laughter yoga exemplifies a form of ‘right brain thinking’ that managers should promote.”
—Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of A Whole New Mind
Facts and Stats from LAUGHTER YOGA:
· The benefits of laughter are numerous and are backed by countless studies showing it is practiced not only as a fitness exercise, but also as a therapeutic treatment to control chronic diseases, such as depression, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, migraines, and cancer.
· Laughter is a powerful antidote for depression as it releases endorphins and increases the levels of dopamine and serotonin which are important for maintaining good mood. By practicing laughter yoga on a regular basis, one is less likely to get depressed.
· Children can laugh up to 300-400 times in a day, but as adults this frequency drops to barely 15 times a day. This is because adults use their cognitive abilities to process humor and then laugh. Children just laugh spontaneously.
· Laughter should be sustained: In order to get scientifically proven health benefits from laughter, one needs to laugh at least for 10 to 15 minutes. Natural laughter lasts about 3-4 seconds and is not sufficient to bring about physiological and psychological changes in our body. Ten minutes of hearty laughter is equal to thirty minutes on the rowing machine. So laugh long and deep!
· Scientific research shows that the body will create a positive response even when you only have the intention of doing something good. Therefore, a willingness to laugh creates a positive mindset that is necessary in order to be fully open to the benefits of laughing alone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Madan Kataria, M.D., is the founder of the laughter yoga club movement that he started in 1995 in Mumbai, India. A sought-after keynote and motivational speaker for corporations and organizations around the world, Dr. Kataria has conducted seminars and workshops for UBS, Emirates Bank, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Volvo, among many other corporations. He has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, and ABC, and is associated with an increasing number of medical research projects analyzing the benefits of laughter.
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