False laughter can bring joy

Ruth Griffiths

My friend Sharon teaches Laughter Yoga. These group sessions provide aerobic activity  because of the by deep breathing provided by laughter. Laughter Yoga elevates the mood and bond together group members.

The first time I participated in a Laughter Yoga session I was skeptical. I soon found myself giggling and smiling along with a room full of strangers. The principal of laughter yoga is that the brain cannot distinguish between phony laughing and real, spontaneous laughter.

It combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing techniques which bring more oxygen to the body and brain. It helps us to feel more energetic and joyful. Also sessions are energetic and interactive, I always feel more relaxed and at peace at the end of the session.

Laughing yYoga is said to help reduce stress, promote a greater sense of well-being, lower blood pressure and help you connect with others.

Laughter Yoga was first spoken about in Madan Kataria’s 2002 book, ‘Laugh For No Reason”. His method involves prolonged voluntary laughter. It works on the principle that voluntary laughter has the same effect on mental well-being as spontaneous laughter.

Many people in my age group are you experiencing limitations in their life which make it more difficult to find joy every day living. My diminished eyesight previous me from easily participating in some of the activities that bring me joy. Watercolors painting is frustrating because I no longer see coloyrs in same way and I have difficulty seepng fine detail. Similarly, my deafness interferes with my enjoyment a of some activities, such as choral singing. When my hearing aid malfunctioned recently, I found it difficult to carry on a  conversation, as soon withdrew into a shell ofl silence.

The third week of Advent invites us to focus on joy. we can still find joy despite our limitations. Using the same principles as Laughter Yoga, we can whistle a happy tune and soon our brain will think we are happy. We can smile at ourself in the mirror and fell better for even a minute.

We can find joy, even In these dark days of winter.