Laughter Yoga CornwallIntroducing the Cornwall Laughter Yoga Club
If you’re looking for a way to add a little more laughter into your life, then you’ll want to check out Pete Cann The Laughter Man! His Cornwall Laughter Yoga Club is taking the South West by storm. This laughter yoga workshop meets every second Thursday at Colours Cafe in Truro to do some laughter exercises and to fire up those endorphins.
Laughter is a great way to boost your energy and improve your overall well-being. Whether you are new to yoga or have been practising for years, this is a great opportunity, whatever your age, to get started – or keep up your practice – in a fun and social environment. So come on out and join the laughter revolution!
What Is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter yoga is a unique form of exercise involving prolonged voluntary laughter. At the core of Laughter Yoga is the premise that everybody can and knows how to laugh, regardless of what your mind has to say. Laughter Yoga follows a body-mind approach to laughter, which means participants do not need to have a finely tuned sense of humour, know jokes or even be happy. Laughter Yoga invites you to ‘laugh for no reason’, until laughter becomes natural, unforced and flowing.
Whilst traditional yoga in its various forms, which typically combines physical posture, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation can take many years to perfect, Laughter Yoga can be viewed as an alternative therapy that is instantaneously accessible to all.
The Origins Of Laughter Yoga
The origins of yoga practice can be traced back to Northern India over 5000 years ago. Ancient civilizations have long recognised the multiple health benefits of yoga on the body and mind. Today, yoga is practised by millions of people all over the world. There are various forms of yoga such as Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga and Ashtanga, depending on whether you are looking for a more aerobic workout to boost your heart rate or a more meditative class which focuses on mindful movements.
Laughter Yoga began to get attention in the 1960s when the more traditional forms of yoga teachings began to get simplified to make it more accessible to everybody. It quickly grew in the mid-1990s as a grassroots social movement of independent laughter yoga clubs, promoting the ideal of a non-political, non-religious, non-racial, non-threatening, and non-competitive voluntary (simulated) approach to laughter. The first laughter club was set up by a Mumbai medical doctor and laughter yoga leader Dr Madan Kataria who used comedy, humour and creativity, coupled with basic breathing techniques and laughter exercises to foster feelings of happiness and well-being. Thus, the art of laughter therapy was born.
How Does Laughter Yoga Work
Laughter yoga uses planned, simulated laughter as a form of physical exercise. During a session, a specialist practitioner guides the group through a variety of fun and playful activities designed to encourage simulated intentional laughter. The workshops can involve everything from clapping, chatting and chanting, to acting out visualisations and a plethora of creative play. As you can imagine, it is quite easy for these self-initiated giggling fits to turn into genuine, contagious laughter as the session goes on.
Laughter yoga is built on the philosophy that combining laughter with deep yogic breathing techniques, also known as Pranayama, channels more oxygen to the body and brain. This subsequently leads to a variety of biological and physiological changes that offer vast wellness benefits including improved mood, reduction in stress levels, and the elimination of tension.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Today, Laughter Yoga has grown into a popular movement and breathing discipline that is practised in laughter workshops and laughter clubs all over the world. In its most simplistic form, laughter yoga reflects a childlike playfulness that cultivates a joyful heart and helps let go of daily stressors. Laughter requires the complete presence of mind, and therefore, without even trying, it is the ultimate mindfulness tool. Considering that laughter is contagious, it is no surprise that laughter yoga has grown from one small community in India to over 5000 laughter clubs in 110 countries worldwide.
Is it Laughter Therapy or Laughter Yoga?
How can fun, jokes, laughter and play be called yoga, we hear you ask?
There is a common misconception that ‘proper’ yoga is hard. It is true that yoga practice requires discipline, training and dedication in order to reap the multitude of health benefits it can offer, however, at its core, yoga is simply the harmony and alignment between breathwork and body posture.
The yogic aspect of laughter comes from the deep breathing patterns and gentle exercises that are interspersed between the laughter exercises. The purpose of yogic breathing is to deepen your laughter and increase your oxygen intake, thus enhancing the therapeutic effects of laughing.
Laughter yoga workshops are becoming an increasingly popular form of therapy in all walks of life from schools and colleges, to age care facilities, companies and corporations, the police force and prisons, and to aid a variety of mental health challenges.
The Benefits of Laughter Yoga
Laughter therapy is an effective way to strengthen all immune functions, bringing more oxygen to the body and the brain, which fosters positive feelings and improves interpersonal skills. Laughter releases endorphins, counteracts pain, shifts our perspective and supports us in bonding and connecting with others. It builds emotional resilience.
Laughter Yoga is both preventive and therapeutic. It can act as an aerobic exercise and cardio workout. It can also act as a breathing exercise for bronchitis and asthma patients. Laughter Yoga releases endorphins which are our body’s natural painkillers. It can help those suffering from arthritis, spondylitis, chronic migraine headaches, chronic pains, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.
The simple act of laughing reverses the negative effects of stress and strengthens our immune system. If we laugh every day, we will keep sickness at bay.
Who Uses Laughter Yoga?
Laughter Yoga is successfully used in many disciplines and in many walks of life. It is used to aid the work of Alternative Therapists and Healers, Recreation Activity facilitators, Yoga fitness trainers and sports coaches, Occupational Therapists, Health Care professionals, Psychologists and Psychotherapists, Nurses, Social Workers, Counsellors, Health Care Workers, Professional Speakers, HR and management training professionals, School Teachers, Psychologists & psychiatrists, Entertainment professionals, Actors & Singers, Clowns and Comedians, Senior Care workers, Marriage and family therapists, Life coaches, Sales managers, Tourism professionals and tour guides, and anyone who wants to add laughter and joy to their lives.
This unique form of exercise can improve well-being by fostering feelings of happiness. If you are looking for a fun way to get active, have a health condition, or simply want something new to try, then laughter yoga may be just what you are looking for.
Laughter Yoga in Cornwall
If there ever was an ideal place to find your zen and tune into your senses, it is in the wild ocean-swept and salty, sunkissed land of Cornwall. The coastal towns of St Ives, Padstow, Falmouth and Newquay have long been magnets for those in search of alternative lifestyles and well-being.
Come and join Pete Cann’s Cornwall Laughter Yoga Club in the heart of Truro, at the Colours Cafe (TR1 2AA) and give laughter yoga a go. Pete specialises in laughter therapy. His wellness sessions integrate mindfulness, laughter exercises, breathing techniques, movement to music and relaxation. They are a whole lot of fun!
Laughter yoga is perfect for anyone who is looking for a way to lighten their body and mind.