5 Benefits of Laughter Yoga for Seniors

It feels timely to focus on being a Senior and share below the five main benefits of Laughter Yoga for Seniors in our society, as outlined by Indian Physician Dr Madan Kataria. He was the Founder of the free community laughter club movement in 1985 and since then, research on laughter is having an increasing impact all around the world.

At our laughter clubs, the majority of people who come are women and in their senior years. We have a few gentlemen also, however coming along to laugh may be a little daunting for some people and especially to the men. Mind you we highly recommend ‘getting out of your comfort zone’.

May I also suggest you consider becoming involved as a volunteer, involved in a laughter club in Victoria? It is easy, a commitment well worthwhile and rewarding. From what I observe people who commit to regular laughter find, without realising it, their lives becoming transformed. Club members have shared how it helps them move on and be involved in life, one after being in a depression for some years and the other simply feeling rather flat and without purpose.

As I often share, it is wonderful for developing brain neurons (Neuroplasticity) as is singing and dancing. You can see people’s eyes light up and feel their energy become lighter, more fun filled, joyous, spontaneous, when in the process of a laughter session.

Obviously, it is best for it to be regular, for a facilitator to attend an aged care place or for people to come along to a laughter club regularly. Language is not a barrier either, or inability to speak, the language of laughter and love surpasses all. Hearts connect and we are very honoured to be able to share the laughter and upliftment with those willing to do it with us. We finish each session with a short meditation, some people haven’t even experienced that before and relish it. Sometimes we include some music for a short sing along and occasionally a few residents get up for a little dance movement. It is such a joy to see the change in their demeanour when they do so, a real joy.

Following then are the 5 main benefits of Laughter Yoga, as outlined in the professional training manual of Laughter Yoga International. They do not say all the physical, emotional, social benefits, rather concentrating on the general ones that are so easily recognisable for why seniors would benefit from more laughter in their life.

1. Adds More Laughter to Life: With advancing age we laugh less or stop laughing. We get out of the habit of laughing and often with dementia and Alzheimer’s that is more so the case. Laughter Yoga is a physically oriented technique, is an ideal exercise that provides many health benefits without using mental and cognitive abilities.

2. Promotes Physical Health: With the wear and tear of old age many seniors develop ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis etc. Laughter Yoga facilitates healing by strengthening the immune system, improves blood circulation and increases oxygen to the body’s cells. It is also a cardiovascular workout.

3. Improves Mental Health: Isolation, loneliness and depression are common among older adults as they lose loved ones and their health begins to decline. Mental health is improved by boosting neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin.

4. Building Social Bonds: Laughter Yoga helps bring people together and improve their social bonding. Retirees and able-bodied older adults who attend our laughter clubs develop friendships and rapport. This helps them to move on, be resilient and decrease loneliness at the same time increasing their quality of life.

5. Longevity: Laughter Yoga helps us when we feel we have lost our way giving us greater reason and purpose to continue living a full and rewarding life. It is a simple and easy routine, which is practiced by people all throughout the world in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. As the population is increasingly older every day, Laughter Yoga is a tool for transformational aging and increased longevity.

From my personal experience Laughter Yoga does all of the above and gives me a lift in my life and relationships. Life becomes more fun filled and you can also be a part of that. It is free and we love to laugh together. You are not committed to attend every time, only as much as you can fit in with your (probably) very busy life!

Thank you for your interest in reading about this very important topic. I hope to see you soon on either a Saturday or Sunday.

Cheers, Lynette.

Acknowledgement Dr Kataria, Founder of Laughter Yoga International

 

Could Laughter Yoga be Part of Your Self Support in 2019?

Could Laughter Yoga be Part of Your Self Support in 2019?

Hello and how have you been since the start of the year? Are you embarking on new things? Will you be joining us at either the Knoxfield or Ferntree Gully Laughter Clubs? They are on at 10.30am on Saturdays and Sundays. Links to information on the website pages are: KnoxfieldFerntree Gully.

Are you okay? If you have been meaning to join one of our two local laughter clubs, either Ferntree Gully or Knoxfield, I encourage you to be like the Nike motto. ‘JUST DO IT!’. Furthermore, it’s FREE. The company is GREAT. And you will be welcomed into the laughter ‘family’.

New Year’s Resolutions.

Are they chosen in a spontaneous moment, or, in part influenced by others as something you ‘should’ do. Most of us have been conditioned that we ‘should’ make New Year’s Resolutions. This implies that we are not okay, inadequate and need to pick up our game. Depending on our underlying motive, they could alternatively be used for positive growth.

We often experience guilt when we don’t succeed and there is a natural tendency for humans to be resistant to change. We like to know what is going to happen and feel insecure not knowing for certain how our future will play out.

Resolutions can be good at any time and especially if our motive is coming from love and congruent with our goals.

There are plenty of opportunities for self-improvement and besides using laughter to support us, we may have been considering slowing down our activities agenda by adding some quiet time. Or not, it may be something completely the opposite! Have you been meaning to learn or get better at the art of meditation? There is so much that we are able to try out and see if it works for us, to give pleasure or lower the everyday stress. I am now booking students for a Monday evening personal growth class, which may be a lightbulb moment on reading this piece of information?

Self-Acceptance and a Nightly review

This feels like a regular topic related to self-esteem and sharing about the nightly review process. If you do wish to work on bringing more love and self-acceptance to your day, it is worth creating this good habit. At the end of each day I ask myself “Did I bring more love to what I was involved in today? Was I kinder and more self-accepting, both to myself and others? Was I without criticism and judgment?”.

You must work on YOU first, because if you are not okay with yourself, you will be unable to help, support and share the love with others you encounter.

Back to basics, remember that when we laugh wholeheartedly and allow ourselves to be doing child-like playful activities, it is one of the very, very best things we can do for our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. The laughter clubs run in all weather, hail, rain or shine. Sometimes we may even begin feeling a tad flat and this quickly changes. We start laughing and deep breathing, making us feel invigorated, uplifted and happy. This method of joining together brings belonging, comradeship, and a new way of living one’s life. We take the spirit of laughter with us. Do come and give it a go. It truly is transformative and life changing.

This photo was taken during a session at the Federation Square Laughter Club. I recently returned to being a Committee member of Laughter Clubs Victoria Inc. (LCVI) that puts these laughter sessions on. They are on the 1st and 3rd Sunday at 11am and are free. Read more here.

May 2019 be beneficially memorable for you. Keep on keeping on! And remember, to never, ever, ever give up!!!

Cheerio for now. Lynette.

Disclaimer: Information shared is intended to support you and is from my personal understanding, experience and is generalised. I am not responsible for how you take it on board.

Stress, Suggestions and Using Laughter Yoga

Stress, Suggestions and Using Laughter Yoga

What does the word stress bring up for you? Very likely it will be negative because the media influences us that stress is ‘bad’ and we are directed to find relief from it with buying, eating, drinking, holidaying etc. Many people are so accustomed to living in a stressful manner and may not realise that there are ways to combat it. It can be that when we our time is restricted, it is beneficial to feel under pressure and we can achieve that without sending our bodies into a stressed mode. In fact it can be uplifting and energising, rather like self-testing or facing a challenge. Laughter and other things like mindfulness and meditation can help a lot, here’s my take on incorporating Laughter Yoga into your daily routine – Read More

John Mitchell & Vicki at Ferntree Gully Laughter Club

I have this much limitation laugh (which is very little) and this much potential (which is huge), at Ferntree Gully Laughter Club.

John Mitchell and Vicki sharing a favorite laugh, a tiny space between thumb
and finger indicating that little limitation
and next the arms go wide showing how much potential.

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Getting Back to Basics

I  Googled these words ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and was pleasantly surprised that two full pages of images came up, with all sorts of interesting quotes. At times I forget that some of the general public are relatively unfamiliar with the concept of community laughter clubs and how we get together and have fun, laughing, singing, dancing about. We feel very connected with ourselves and each other also physically, emotionally and mentally uplifted following a laughter session. It is lots of fun and I am thankful to be involved with the laughter movement which started ‘by accident’ by an Indian Physician, Dr Madan Kataria twenty years ago in March 1995. Read all about it and the basics of why we get together and ‘laugh for no reason’ on my Blogger.