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Laughter Yoga: LOL-ing Your Way to Health


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Laughter Yoga: LOL-ing Your Way to Health

Could you laugh out loud about nothing in a class full of strangers? Melissa Seda gives it a try.

September 29, 2016

Yoga is traditionally associated with solemness — quiet, dimly lit rooms intended to promote mindfulness, where the only sounds present are deep-breathing exercises and perhaps a generic soundtrack playing softly in the background.

Laughter Yoga kicks those tired yoga clichés to the curb with classes dominated by dancing, loud and repetitive laughter and jubilant “hoo-hees!” It’s a relatively new twist on an ancient practice. Laughter yogis aren’t just there for the standard benefits of yoga, but to tap into the health benefits of a good, shared LOL.

Class participants share a laugh. Advocates of Laughter Yoga say that the health benefits include an increase in blood circulation and a reduction in stress and depression. Research shows that laughter triggers a release of endorphins into the brain, elevating mood and sustained happiness throughout the day.

Michele Carskey teaches laughter yoga in Seattle and says that along with the health benefits,  she sees an increase in participants’ self-confidence.

“While laughter yoga helps everyone, it’s a particular benefit for people who are trying new things,” she says. “It’s just the physical act of laughing without anything being funny.”

What’s Good 206 contributor Melissa Seda was curious enough to give laughter yoga a try. Watch the video above to see if she survived a laughter yoga class in Seattle. 



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Melissa Seda

Melissa Seda is a film graduate from the University of Oregon. Her passion lies in film and various forms of storytelling. Her experience includes directing music videos, editing commercials and even acting in quirky short films. She loves learning new skills and meeting new people.

Fun fact: I once sang “Love Shack” with Bill Nye (The Science Guy) at a bat mitzvah.

More stories by Melissa Seda

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