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Laugh Yourself Healthy: Benefits of Laughter Yoga by Teresa Dovapage (BLW Contributor)


Laugh yourself healthy

Do you think you have nothing to laugh about? Try a session of Laughter Yoga and you may change your mind.

“Laughter yoga, as an established practice, was developed in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, a medical doctor in India who was researching the effects of laughter on the human body,” said Valerie Clote, a certified Laughter Yoga leader. “He found out that the human body wasn’t able to distinguish between real laughter and fake or intentional one: the benefits were exactly the same, no matter if the people were really laughing or pretending to do so.”

Such benefits include a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, increase in feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins, and improvement of the respiratory, digestive, immune and cardiovascular systems.

“Besides these wonderful physical effects, laughter also helps people achieve better emotional balance,” said Clote. “It relieves anxiety, alleviates depression and fosters a positive mental attitude. This is no laughing matter is today’s stressed our world!”

A funny workout

Laughter Yoga incorporates play, laughter and deep yogic breathing, or Pranayama. Unlike traditional types of yoga, it doesn’t require people to learn difficult postures or hold them for any length of time.

“And yet Laughter Yoga is a form of aerobic exercise,” said Clote. “Only ten minutes of laughter is equivalent to thirty minutes on a rowing machine. It increases circulation and the supply of oxygen to the body.”

Laughing together

The exercises can be practiced alone or in a group, though the collective format tends to produce better results, said Clote.

“Laughter is highly contagious,” she said. “It’s difficult to see someone laughing and not laugh yourself, even if there is no particular reason for it.”

Laughing together establishes a special connection among fellow laughees, a link that goes beyond cultures and languages.

Check out the rest of this great article @ http://teredovalpage.com/2014/11/29/laugh-yourself-healthy-the-many-benefits-of-laughter-yoga/

Group Gratitude by Bare Naked in Public (BLW Contributor)



Late this afternoon I found myself driving on the California freeways as the sun was setting. I was coming home from a day in LA. Pink and blue cotton candy clouds filled the sky and I knew sunset at the beach would be amazing. According to Siri and her skillful navigation, I would be home just in time to catch it.

As I drove down my street, Catalina sat on the horizon, straight ahead . . .  the sun setting behind her, the sky a beautiful magenta. I quickly parked my car and with my phone in hand ran to the beach. In just a couple blocks, I passed several people headed the same direction to join the gathering crowd, some with fancy cameras, some with phones like me, and of course the surfers, just taking it in. I snapped a few shots. Unable to capture the richness of the colors, I decided to enjoy the view with my very own eyeballs.

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As the sun set, I looked around at the people standing on the steps and along the beach trail, all there to take in the beauty of mother nature. Warmed my heart to see the glow of the setting sun on their faces. The appreciation and gratitude was palpable, truly. Makes me happy to witness folks enjoying the simple things . . . the world slowed down for a few minutes . . . and it felt good.

Grateful for a beautiful end to my day.


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