Laughing can be the best medicine

IF GOING to the gym doesn’t appeal to you, there may be another way to get healthy.

Jen Smith is a qualified laughter yoga teacher and reckons everybody should give it a go.

“We use laughter as the main impetus (by) turning laughter into exercise. So we laugh and do these really unusual (but) very joyful exercises,” she said.

Ms Smith said the health benefits of laughter yoga could not be ignored.

“It’s great for our immune system, it releases endorphins – so it has a pain-relieving effect – and emotionally it creates more joy in our lives,” she said.

Ms Smith said she also taught laughter meditation as part of her classes, which allowed people to turn their laughter “inwards”.

“(During the classes) we laugh for a little while then we sit quietly for a little while,” she said.

During the recent Harmony Day, Ms Smith was invited to take a large group of Grafton schoolchildren through a laughter yoga class.

“There was about 60 children ... and it was loads of fun. They were an awesome group,” she said.

“People can feel a little bit hesitant to start with but once you start laughing, you loosen up a little bit.

“So the feelings you have around stress or worry or anything like that start to go, and once that happens everyone really gets into it.”

Laughter yoga was started by a medical doctor in India 16 years ago and there is now 2000 clubs in that country.

Anyone wanting to try laughter yoga can contact Ms Smith on 0429 431 081 or look under “teachers” at www.laughteryoga.org.

She is starting a laughter yoga group at the CWA building at Maclean on Saturday mornings (twice a month) from April 9.



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