Laughter Yoga offers calming benefits
Classes include breathing exercises, light stretching, making each other laugh
We've all heard that yoga poses, from forward bends to headstands to hip stretches, can help relieve stress. Not that flexible? Just try giggling. It might give you the same results.
According to Laughter Yoga International, reducing stress is just one of the benefits.
Dawn Thurmond, a Laughter Yoga instructor, said she picked up the technique to reduce the stress in her own life.
She said as a single parent of a disabled child, she needed to find a way to handle a large amount of stress.
"I practice this with my son," Thurmond said. "He is severely disabled. He's in a wheelchair and that's why it's so important for me because I have so much stress. I need to be the best that I can so I can help him."
Thurmond said Laughter Yoga is a real exercise, where participants will actually break a sweat, relieve stress and improve their health.
"It counteracts heart attacks, depression," she said. "It really does a boost to the immune system, so you can actually get stressed again and then you laugh again."
Ann Hollister, who has tried the technique, will now carry the class at the Whispering Waters Day Spa. She said 30 minutes of hearty laughter can really relieve pain.
"I'm a breast cancer survivor," Hollister said. "So, I feel the laughing and the yoga has been very beneficial to my health. It boosts the immune system."
The classes include breathing exercises, light stretching and simply making each other laugh.
And, while you need proper gear or clothing for regular exercise, Thurmond said laughter is something you can do anywhere at any time and you'll feel the rewards right away.
"You can literally take a coffee break with your co-workers, laugh for five to 10 minutes and your brain will be ready regroup," she said. "You're able to communicate better. You are able to work more efficiently."
The Whispering Waters Day Spa offers Laughter Yoga once a month.
For more information about the benefits, visit thelaughinglady.com.
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