Critter Corner: Replacing Om with Haha

Dear Magic,

A good belly laugh feels great sometimes. And, I heard laughing can be therapeutic and can even help stave off chronic pain, stress, depression, and diabetes. A friend of mine who lives in a retirement community recently told me she does something called laughing yoga? Unfortunately, my friend has early stages of dementia, so I’m not sure if what she is telling me is really accurate. Is there really such a thing as laughing yoga?

T. Heehee


Dear T. Heehee,

Laughing yoga is no laughing matter. In fact, it is real and has real health benefits!

The practice is a combination of laughing exercises and yoga breathing in a group setting. It’s based on voluntary laughing, which often induces real laughter. As you pointed out, laughing is known to have several health benefits including improving your immune system, improving cognitive skills and sense of wellbeing, relieving pain, and reducing stress and boosting your mood.

Laughter can also help with:

– Isolation: Therapeutic approaches to laughter, such as laughing yoga, help stimulate a sense of belonging in the form of closeness.

– Illness: Laughing Yoga has been shown to help with chronic pain, migraines, headaches, high blood pressure, chronic stress-related diseases, anxiety, and an overall transformation in quality of life.

– Immobility: Laughing Yoga moves the body. It can be particularly effective for seniors as well as bedridden or wheelchair-bound people.

Keep in mind that with laughing yoga, unlike pilates, water yoga, aerial yoga and some other forms, you likely won’t end up with sculpted arms and a stronger core. Sebastien Gendry, founder and executive director of the American School of Laughter Yoga, explains it perfectly: “You may not lose fat, but you will lose the idea that you’re fat.” Sounds perfect to me!

Children laugh hundreds of times a day. And as adults, we laugh on average only 12 times a day.
Why not try something that exercises your muscles and makes you feel young again?

Hop you have a happy day, and if you try laughing yoga, I hope you get some healthy chuckles!

Bunny smiles,

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.