Laughter Yoga: Here's how this lung exercise shuts doors for stress hormones
Did you know a one-minute of a true laugh is equal to 5-10 minutes of exercise while 15 minutes of laughter will benefit you more than 2 hours of a good workout? Here's how you can keep your brain, heart and lungs healthy and happy hormones up with laughing Yoga
Battling two years of Covid-19 pandemic and entering its third year with speculations of a third wave, we have few reasons to laugh and keep happy hormones up given the stress of juggling work from home routine with household chores, tackle job or academic anxieties and deal with loss or deteriorating health of loved ones. However, did you know a one-minute of a true laugh is equal to 5-10 minutes of exercise while 15 minutes of laughter will benefit your more than 2 hours of a good workout?
This seems like a workable deal at a time when people around the world are prioritising their health like never before and looking at handy ways to boost immunity so as to curb the chances of catching coronavirus infections. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Spiritual Yoga Guru and Sacred Sciences Teacher Rajesh Singh Maan or Acharya Advait Yogbhushan as he is popularly known, shared an easy trick to bring back the happy state of mind through Laughing Yoga and how laughter can unlock our hijacked brains and allow us to become emotionally and physically healthy.
“A true laughter has a tendency to shut the valves of stress hormones such as cortisol which keep us low, irritated or angry,” he revealed. Asserting that laughter is just a consequential sound of rapid air moving out of our lungs, he said, “It’s just a tiny process of respiration that again falls under the category of breath practices of Yoga known as Pranayama but scientists, after studying the science of Laughter recently, have named it Gelotology.”
How does Laughter Yoga works?
According to Advait Yogbhushan, the simple act of laughter can activate multiple regions of the human brain. “We all know that laughter is also an emotional gesture so whenever we laugh, it intensely activates the largest part of our brain, the frontal lobe, which functions for social and emotional responses. Whenever we hear a joke or we see something funny, the left hemisphere of our brain tries to understand the structure of the joke and performs an analysis to recognise the words and then electrical signals are passed to the frontal lobe to activate the emotional responses,” he explained.
Adding that the right hemisphere of the brain then follows to carry out the emotional analysis to understand the joke and then passes the signals to the occipital lobe or the sensory processing area, Advait elaborated, “Perhaps you can understand that simple laughter is functioning through many regions of the brain. When the brain waves are passing throughout the brain, the major changes occur in the limbic system which includes activation of Amygdala (emotional decision maker), Substantia Nigra (happiness warehouse) and hippocampus (memory and learning area). Hence, the valves of the stress hormones shut down and the happy hormones start secreting.”
Breaking it further down in general terms, he said that sensing something funny through our senses and simply laughing deeply at it can activate our hijacked brain to make us feel good and to make us become more healthy and positive. He stressed, “So there is no doubt in saying that laughing is the best medicine, not in terms of our moods but also for our lungs, heart and brain.”