Saturday, 1 November 2008

Health Benefits of Yoga - Reducing Stress and More With Laughter Yoga

There are different kinds of health benefits of yoga. Usually, the benefits received from a type of yoga depend on the kind of yoga a person is practicing. One of the kinds of yoga that is gaining in popularity thanks to its health benefits is laughter yoga.

It is said that children laugh around 400 times each day. Anybody who has been around children know they are typically carefree and full of energy. On the other hand, studies have shown that adults laugh only about 15 times a day on average.

Because adults must deal with more stress, it is understandable that they laugh less. However, one of the key points of laughter yoga is that the more a person laughs, the better they will be able to reduce the stress they feel.

In addition to reducing stress, laughter yoga is also said to be able to boost a person's immune system, strengthen his or her heart and improve overall circulation. A person who wants to try out this kind of yoga to improve his or her health can try the following:

  • Find a class - Laughter yoga is usually most effective when it is done as part of a group, rather than a person doing it on her own. Because laughter yoga includes more than just laughing, an experienced yogi can help a person get the most health benefits.
  • Get ready - Just like any other form of yoga, a person who hopes to truly be able to receive some health benefits of yoga that focuses on laughing must be able to take the time to warm up. When warming up, a person should clap twice, saying "Ho, Ho." Then, he or she should clap three times while saying, "Ha, Ha, Ha."
  • Breathing is important - Breathing is important in any kind of yoga. In laugh yoga, a person can breathe deeply by drawing in a large breath through his or her nose that immerses his or her lungs. Hold the breath for about 10 seconds, and then slowly exhale. Pay attention to the way the air leaves the lungs. This process should be repeated three times.
  • Laugh - This is easier said than done. The fact is that a person who is not comfortable acting "silly" in a group may need some time to get used to this kind of yoga. The best way to get used to doing this yoga is to realize that everybody else looks just as silly. A person should start the laughing by raising his or her arms in the air and laughing heartily as he or she throws his or head back. Use the other people in the group. People can shake hands, nod, wave and laugh at each other.
  • Learn to laugh silently - Laugh yoga does not simply focus on the noises a person makes. Rather, it focuses on the way a body functions as it laughs. Laughing silently can allow a person to get a good abdominal workout, It can also allow a person to work out his or her facial muscles.

If a person has participated in yoga for years, he or she must remember that laughing yoga does not replace all of the health benefits of yoga that has been previously been practiced. A person who is looking to stay flexible will likely want to continue to do other types of yoga.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for Web sites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background also includes teaching, gardening, and fashion. For more of her useful articles on yoga and Pilates, please visit Yoga Supplies, home to many useful articles about health and fitness.

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