Scientifically Proven Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Scientifically Proven Benefits of Laughter Yoga

This blog post is all about laughter yoga. Here I will share the scientifically proven benefits of laughter yoga that have changed the lives of many people in this world. By regular practice of laughter yoga thousands of people have healed their lives.

Further, I will elaborate on the best laughter yoga exercises that will change your mood instantly. In fact, you will get all the details about laughter yoga in this blog. This is the most complete guide on the internet for laughter yoga.

Let’s dive right in…

Table of Contents

What Is Laughter Yoga?

Laughter Yoga (Hasya Yoga) is one of the latest exercise routines for the body, mind, heart, and soul. Laughter yoga is based on the science of laughing for no reason.

We initiate laughter as a physical exercise which, later transforms into real contagious laughter. Laughter yoga sessions include techniques like stretching, chanting, clapping, and childlike playfulness with body movement.

Who Founded Laughter Yoga?

An Indian physician Madan Kataria discovered laughter yoga. On 13th March 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria started practicing laughing in a local park with 4 people. This was the first laughter yoga club in the world.

Now it followed all across the world. Laughter yoga has many benefits that make it a mandatory health exercise.

Scientific Research on Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga International conducted scientific research on 200 IT professionals in Bangalore, India. The purpose of the research was to study the effects and benefits of Laughter Yoga on the stress levels of an individual.The results of the Bangalore research were positive. Participants experienced following benefits of laughter yoga:

  • Reduction in heart rate.
  • Reduction in blood pressure.
  • Cortisol levels reduced.
  • Positive emotions increased by 17 %.
  • Negative emotions dropped by 27%.
  • Reduction in stress.
  • Alexithymia dropped by almost 9%.

Another study published by Research Gate “The impact of laughter yoga on subjective well-being” describes the effects of a single laughter yoga session on the psychological well-being of people who attended laughter sessions.
Participants experienced following benefits of laughter yoga after the session: 

  • Significant improvements in positive emotions. 
  • Reductions in symptoms of anxiety and stress. 
  • Change in well-being /Energy Level.
scientific benefit of laughter yoga

What are the Benefits of Laughter Yoga ?

Benefits of Laughter Yoga are numerous, but we have mentioned some of the scientifically proven benefits in this post.

Regular practice of laughter yoga improves our cardiovascular, lymphatic and digestive system. Laughter changes our internal biochemistry, releases suppressed emotions and gives clarity of mind.
Laughter yoga works on our physical, mental, emotional & spiritual being.

Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Physical Benefits of Laughter Yoga

1. Laughter is the Best Cardio Workout:

  • Laughter Yoga is an ideal alternative to any aerobic exercise.

  • As per the research of Dr. William Fry 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equivalent to 30 minutes on the rowing machine! (For cardiopulmonary endurance)

  • 20 minutes of Laughter Yoga can give you similar results as those of going to the gym for one hour.

2. Laughter brings more Oxygen in the bloodstream:

  • Laughter Yoga exercises help longer exhalation and deep breathing through the diaphragm. This helps in flushing the lungs of stale residual air and increasing the net supply of oxygen.

3. Laughter Yoga Increases Blood Circulation:

  • Laughter causes ‘internal jogging’. Further, it massages and promotes circulation to the digestive and lymphatic systems.

  • It increases blood circulation. Further, flushing the toxins from organs, leaving us ready to operate at peak performance.

4. Laughter Yoga for Weight loss:

  • One minute of mirthful laughter is equal to a 10-minute cardiac workout on a rowing machine.

  • Laughter Yoga reduces belly fat, which is difficult to shed even with the most intense exercise regime.

  • An hour of laughter can shed as many as 500 calories that help to keep one slim and pretty.

5. Laughter Yoga Boosts Immune System:

  • Laughter increases immunoglobulin levels that help fight infection.  Further, it increases the number of Natural Killer Cells (NK cells) in the blood, which plays a key role in cancer prevention.

  • Laughter increases IgB (immunoglobulin B). IgB a defense against the entry of infectious organisms through the respiratory tract.

  • Laughter increases the concentration of circulating antibodies in the bloodstream. Thus, it raises the resistance against infections.

6. Laughter Yoga a Natural Pain Killer:

  • Laughter is a remedy for the release of emotions and the reduction of pain. The regular practice of laughter exercises has helped thousands with their unattended physiological pain.

  • Laughter Yoga releases endorphins, natural opiates that are more potent than equal amounts of morphine. It helps in reducing the intensity of pain. Thus, it is beneficial for people suffering from arthritis, spondylitis and muscular spasms of the body.

  • 20 minutes of belly laughter reduces the pain for almost two hours. It also increases tolerance to pain. Laughing increases the number of T-Cells in the blood.

7. Laughter Yoga Aids Digestion:

  • The up-and-down movement of the diaphragm in Laughter Yoga massages the internal organs. As a result, blood circulation improves and wastes discharges easily from the body.

  • Laughter improves digestion by increasing the flow of bile. Further, it improves the functioning of the liver.

8. Laughter Makes You Look Younger:

  • Laughter is an excellent exercise for toning facial muscles. It increases the blood supply, to nourish the facial skin, and makes it glow
Physical Benefits of laughter yoga

Mental Benefits of Laughter Yoga

1. Laughter Yoga Brings More Happiness & Joy in life:

  • Laughing for 15 minutes brings people in a good mood state & makes them cheerful.

  • Sense of well-being comes from the release of ‘feel-good hormones’ called endorphins. Hence it improves the mood state instantaneously.

2. Laughter Yoga helps in Depression:

  • Depressed people seldom laugh, and laughing people are seldom depressed.

     

  • Laughter Yoga has helped many people to overcome severe depression all over the world. It is effective for depression because it uses laughter in the form of physical exercise rather than using cognitive humor.

  • Laughter Yoga creates a positive state of mind and a positive attitude with increased optimism.

     

  • Laughter is a powerful remedy to elevate the mood state and lift the spirits.

3. Laughter Yoga is Stress Buster:

  • Scientific research proves that laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Thus, it enhances positive emotions.

4. Laughter Yoga boosts Self Confidence:

  • Laughter enhances mental skills and abilities. Further, it helps a person to improve their performance in every sphere of life.

  • Laughter generates a positive mental attitude. Above all, it helps to change the whole perspective towards life and people.

5. Laughter Yoga Improves Communication Skills:

  • Stress and negative emotions reduce communication skills and the motivation to communicate. Laughter Yoga is a perfect exercise routine that counters these effects.

  • Laughter enables people to communicate and express their emotions freely.

  • Laughter generates positive feelings and alleviates all negative strains of thought. It allows people to become more open with each other and creates a safe feeling.
Mental Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Emotional Benefits of Laughter Yoga

1. Laughter Yoga is the Best Anger Management Technique:

  • Laughter helps to release anger & stress to generate positive emotions. Further, it increases the levels of positive hormones that help in dissipating anger.
     
  • Laughter serves the dual purpose of first releasing the fear of anger and then the anger itself. It provides physical and psychological release, and it is harmless with no negative effects on the people around us.

2. Laughter Yoga Maintains Emotional Balance:

  • Laughter Yoga is a cathartic activity. Laughter works like a safety valve to release emotions in a non-violent way without affecting other people. It provides both a physical and psychological release.
  • Laughter Yoga helps the free flow of emotions and releases pent up feelings. It defuses painful emotions like fear, anger, resentment, etc. thus preventing conflicts.

  • Laughter Yoga helps to develop playful behavior like a child which is the key to express your feelings and emotions and develop emotional intelligence.

3. Laughter Yoga Helps Overcome Grief:

  • Grief is a natural reaction when one suffers a loss. It is the emotional distress, death of a loved, broken relationship, retirement, loss of health, moving away from home, loss of a job or financial stability, etc. can also cause grief and pain.

  • Laughter Yoga is the most effective method to heal emotional distress, pain, and mental anguish.

  • Laughter is a great connector of people and helps them to express emotions freely, thereby reducing their suffering.
Emotional Benefits of Laughter Yoga

Spiritual Benefits of Laughter Yoga

1. Laughter Increase Personal and Life satisfaction ( Santosha)

  • Laughter makes you feel contentment in life. One accepts himself, the world, and circumstances exactly as they are.

2. Laughter Helps in Ego Issues:

  • The more you laugh, the fewer ego problems you have. Laughter causes a reduction in the ego, which is the basic element of spiritual life. You connect with different people without judging them.

3. Laughter Develops Playful attitude toward life:

  • Laughter makes you develop a non-serious but a sincere attitude towards life. You start taking life as a play, which makes life more interesting, rather than a burden.

4. Attaining Enlightenment through Laughter:

  • This sounds crazy but it is a fact. One thousand years ago there was a Zen monk in china, naming Hotei or Pu-Tai, best known as Laughing Buddha. Hotei uses to travel from one place to the other.
    People use to gather around him because of his infectious laughter. He used to laugh madly and he was not interested whether others are laughing or not. Soon his laughter tends to become contagious and people gathered around him, would start to laugh.
    All his life he did only this action and many people attained Nirvana, enlightenment through this process. Thus he is known as the laughing Buddha.
Spiritual Benefits of laughter yoga

Summary

Benefits of Laughter/Laughter Yoga

  • Laughter is the Best Cardio Workout.
  • Laughter brings more Oxygen into the bloodstream.
  • Laughter Increases Blood Circulation.
  • Laughter helps in Weight loss.
  • Laughter Boosts Immune System.
  • Laughter is a Natural Pain Killer.
  • Laughter Improves Digestion.
  • Laughter Makes You Look Younger.
  • Laughter Brings More Happiness & Joy in life.
  • Laughter is a Stress Buster.
  • Laughter boosts Self Confidence.
  • Laughter Improves Communication Skills.
  • Laughter helps in Depression.
  • Laughter is the Best Anger Management Technique.
  • Laughter Maintains Emotional Balance.
  • Laughter Helps Overcome Grief.
  • Laughter Increase Personal and Life satisfaction.
  • Laughter Helps in Ego Issues.
  • Laughter Develops Playful attitude toward life.

What is Laughter Yoga Exercise

Laughter exercises are the best tool to open up the fountain of natural laughter. Laughter exercise reduces inhibition and shyness. Further, they convert the simulated laughter into unconditional laughter. Laughter exercises often include method-acting techniques to shift our mindset, imagining and acting out a situation or a role.

20 Best Laughter Yoga Exercises

Laughter exercises are silly and funny, one should not analyse them. One should take part wholeheartedly like an innocent child to get the maximum benefits. Here are the top most effective laughter exercises that I use in my laughter yoga sessions:

  1. Namaste Laughter Exercise: Place the palms of the hands together in front of your heart. Bow slightly, keeping eye contact and laugh meeting each other.

  2. Handshake Laughter Exercise: Shake hands and laugh robustly.

  3. Lassi Laughter (Butter Milk) or Milkshake Exercise: Hold two imaginary glasses of Lassi. Pour one into the other, saying, “Aeee”. Pour the second into the first, saying (a little higher)“Aeee”.Then pretend to drink: “Aee-ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!”.

  4. Lion Laughter Exercise: Stick tongue way out and down towards the chin. Make big smile on cheeks, lift the eyebrows, eyes open wide, hands like a lion’s paws, roar laughter from the belly.

  5. Motorbike Laughter Exercise: Imagine starting the engine of a motorbike by pulling the strings thrice saying ha ha. Then in the fourth time, the engine starts which represents laughter. After that, run around pretending to hold the steering handles of a motorbike as if you are driving it.

  6. Shy Laughter Exercise: Hands in front of the face, giggling and peek out sometimes. Then laugh and then cover the face.

  7. Bird Laughter Exercise: Extend arms like a bird, flap wings take off, drift in all different directions and laugh.

  8. Chicken Laughter Exercise: Bend elbows, fingertips on shoulders. Flap and move around like chickens while laughing.

  9. Laughter Cream or Laughter Lotion Exercise: Squeeze tube into the hand. Then apply to self, and others while laughing.

  10. Argument Laughter Exercise: Pretend to argue by pointing and wagging index fingers at each other. Laugh while looking into the eyes of the other person.

  11. Sorry Laughter Exercise: Hold both of your ears lobes, look into the eyes of the other person and laugh.

  12. Forgiveness Laughter Exercise: Offer forgiveness, arms apart and palms open. Look into the eyes of the other person and laugh to forgive yourself and others.

  13. Cell phone Laughter Yoga Exercise: Hold an imaginary cell phone put it to your ear, laugh at what you hear. Move around and share laughter with others.

     

  14. Credit Card Bill Laughter Exercise: Hold an imaginary bill in your left hand (representing your palm). Show your bill (palm) to each other and laugh at it.

  15. Silent Laughter Exercise: Place a finger on your lips and then laugh at each other without making any sound. You can do a funny gesture.

  16. Appreciation Laughter Yoga  Exercise: Join the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb to make a small circle. Or use a thumbs-up gesture. Look into the eyes of another person and laugh while appreciating.

  17. Just Laughing Laughter Exercise: Look at each other while laughing, and make a gesture “I don’t know why I am laughing “.

  18. Hearty Laughter Yoga Exercise: Keep your feet are shoulder-width apart. Spread your arms up to the sky, tilt your head back and let out a big laugh that shakes your whole heart.

  19. Crying Laughter Exercise: Cry while sliding down to a crouch, and then happily laugh your way up.

  20. Head on the Belly Laughter Yoga Exercise: Lie down on your back, bodies at right angles. Make sure your head is on some other person’s belly, and someone else’s head on your belly. Let the laughter out!

FAQ about Laughter Yoga

How many calories does laughter yoga burn?

A research of the International Journal of Obesity claims, 15 minutes of laughter can burn 10 to 40 calories. The burning of calories depends on the weight/fat of the person and the intensity of the laughter.

Should you look at participants in the eye when performing laughter yoga?

Yes, one should look at participants in the eye when performing laughter yoga. This makes laughter a contagious process. Our brain has specialized cells called Mirror Neurons. We mimic other people’s emotions. Hence, when you see another person laughing, you feel like laughing.

What is the mantra of laughter yoga?

The mantra of laughter yoga is ” Ho Ho Ha Ha-Ho Ho Ha Ha”. Then we add little playfulness to this mantra by saying “very good…very good… Yey”.

Why laughter yoga is called yoga?

The word “Yoga” comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means to integrate and harmonize. Laughter integrates all aspects of life, harmonizing our bodies with our minds, souls, and society.

Secondly, Laughter Yoga incorporated Pranayama (breathing) into laughter exercises. This makes it a yogic practice.

How to end a laughter yoga session?

A normal Laughter Yoga session ends with laughter meditation and grounding techniques.
After intense Laughter Yoga sessions, it is important to do grounding techniques to normalize our systems and allow relaxation. Some of the grounding techniques are:

  • Yoga Nidra (Guided relaxation)
  • Silent Sitting Meditation.
  • Humming Meditation.
  • Vowel Chanting.

How to learn laughter yoga?

You can learn laughter yoga from any of the near by laughter club. Also you can do laughter yoga leader training to learn each and every aspect of laughter yoga. You can enroll for our upcoming Laughter Yoga Training.

How many laughter yoga clubs are in the world?

There are approximately 5000 laughter yoga clubs in the world.

What to wear to laughter yoga session?

Laughter yoga does not have a predefined dress code. You can wear comfortable and loose clothes so that you can move without any restrictions. Make sure your abdominal region is free so that you can laugh & breathe properly.

Conclusion

I hope you liked this post. Now I will like to hear from you. What did you think of today’s post?
Or maybe if you have a question about any of the benefits of laughter yoga or any of laughter exercise.

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

About the Author: Sukhvinder Chaitanya

About the Author: Sukhvinder Chaitanya

Sukhvinder (Chaitanya) is a experienced yoga teacher in ashtanga vinyasa yoga, hatha yoga & laughter yoga. He is teaching yoga , laughter yoga & meditation all across the globe in teacher training programs, workshops & corporate sector.

16 thoughts on “Scientifically Proven Benefits of Laughter Yoga”

  1. Scientifically Proven Benefits of Laughter Yoga

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