13th June 2020
Laughter Yoga is great fun and certainly helps to relieve stress and anxiety. I first took part in a short Laughter Yoga session, during a management course, way back in 2012. I never forgot it as I found it both fun and funny. So when I was retiring from the NHS I decided to add a string to my bow. Over a cold weekend in November 2018 I trained as a Laughter Yoga leader on a course held in Edinburgh. It is a joy to lead Laughter Yoga sessions and I always come away feeling less stressed and less anxious myself.
For those new to Laughter Yoga there are a few things that it is good to know. First, there are no yoga poses or even telling of jokes. You move around as much or as little as you are able to, for example I have recently been delivering seated sessions while working with the MS Society in Scotland. The word yoga is used mainly because of the breathing techniques employed and we use some chants. Laughter Yoga originates from Indian and was started by Dr Madan Kataria. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure and reduce stress. At the same time it promotes a positive outlook on life, it is really hard to stay angry if you are laughing.
AppleTree Healthy Lifestyle Consultancy offers Laughter Yoga as part of staff Health and Welling-being sessions or as a stand alone activity.
During lockdown we have been offering free remote sessions and this brief video gives you a flavour of a session. Delivering a Laughter Yoga session remotely was a learning curve but I have found that it works really well. Zoom certainly has turned out to be a great way to share the joys of Laughter Yoga.
I vary the sessions each time but have a certain pattern I follow including standards such as the head floss and finishing with a short relaxation beside a river. Sessions tend to be 30-40 minutes long. I will be continuing to deliver Laughter Yoga during lockdown and beyond. If you like the idea then please contact us to find out how to join in.
Dr Laura Stewart