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Explained: The Laughing Asana

Laughter yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. Read on to know about the benefits of performing this asana.

Explained: The Laughing Asana

Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise program for Health and Happiness

You may have wondered about this before. How exactly does the 'hasyasana' or the laughing pose help me? Performing this asana requires you to do certain deep breathing and relaxation techniques along with forced laughter that aims to induce happiness and so improve your physical and psychological health. One of the principles that guide this form of yoga points to the increase of stress in our day to day lives- while commuting to and from work, tight deadlines and relationship troubles. But the benefits of laughing and this laughter yoga are more than just the ones that seem obvious.

Medical benefits of laughter

Hasyasana is based on chanting 'ho ho ha ha' with a spirit of genuine laughing. This is followed by different kinds of laughter exercises like hearty laughter, greeting laughter, open-mouthed silent laughter and humming laughter. And the founder of this yoga Madan Kataria has good reason for this. Here are the benefits of laughter.

Heart health and weight loss

Belgian researchers have shown in 2015 that laughing and therapeutic humor practises can help in the rehabilitation of cardiac patients and reduce future risk of cardiovascular diseases. Laughing increases the heart health in general also, because it stimulates blood flow throughout the body and reduces pressure on the heart. The increase in heart rate during laughing also means that you expend more energy and so you can burn 40 calories with just 15 minutes of laughter yoga.

Immune function

The effects of laughing have been observed on the health of US cancer patients where laughing induced the natural killer cells in their bodies to increase their fighting ability. It can also induce production or more infection fighting antibodies. Additionally, laughter wards off stress and negative stress can cause chemical reactions and hormonal changes in the body that disrupt the immune system.

Pain tolerance

Research as long back as in 1979 has shown that laughing increases pain tolerance. An article published in the Anatomy of an Illness talks about how the author fought the pain of a crippling disease by watching funny videos. Laughing interferes with our body's pain-spasm cycle and can relieve muscle pain by stimulating the production of natural painkillers in the body, according to findings at Oxford university.

Bone health and salivary flow

Laughing can improve the bone mineral density in the elderly. This has been shown in Japanese studies along with the positive effects of laughter on orthopedic rehabilitation. Research also suggests that it boost our salivary flow, allowing easier digestion.

Brain power

Neurologists say that laughing is a good mental exercise for the brain. In experiments, participants who watched a comic video performed better in answering semantic questions than those who did not.

The best thing about these exercises, is that there are no side-effects. You can never laugh too much to damage your health.

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