We are delighted to share this guest post from Michelle Major, Founder and Creative Director, The Sunshine Project.
They say laughter is the best medicine and I know this to be true. I discovered Laughter Yoga in 2008 when I was going through a challenging time in my life. I had a profound experience during my first Laughter Yoga session, which led me to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader in 2010 and subsequently leave a successful corporate career in financial services in 2012 to become the first Laughter Yoga Teacher in Northern Ireland. I founded The Sunshine Project in 2012 and have since trained hundreds of Laughter Professionals and delivered hundreds of Laughter Yoga sessions to a diverse range of groups, reaching thousands of individuals. I am always amazed at the power of Laughter Yoga and how it can change our emotional state so quickly. It's a really powerful practice for parents/teachers and children to do together as it creates a lovely connection.
Here are some of the benefits:
1. Promotes Healthy Emotional Development
It is through play that children develop emotional intelligence when they grow up. However, children today are not physically playing much, they are glued to their mobile phones, television and, computer screens. Laughter Yoga encourages children to physically play and express themselves fully for their emotional development.
2. Increases Academic Performance
By increasing the net supply of oxygen to the body and brain, Laughter Yoga helps children stay focused for peak academic performance.
3. Builds Physical Stamina
As a physical exercise, Laughter Yoga helps develop healthy bodies that have increased physical stamina. This helps kids maintain a healthy weight and play sports effectively. Physical stamina depends upon your breathing capacity. How much you can physically perform without getting out of breath depends upon your lung capacity. Laughter exercises increase breathing capacity and, therefore, increase stamina for sporting performance.
4. Develops Self-Confidence
By encouraging boisterous self-expression, kids can develop their own voice. Their leadership skills and Self-confidence naturally grows. Laughter Yoga exercises reduce inhibitions and shyness leading to more self-confidence in public speaking and other stage performances.
5. Enhances Creativity
Because Laughter Yoga has play at its core, right-brain thinking is practised. This enhances creativity on a number of levels. Laughter Yoga also reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, and increases the feel-good hormone, endorphins. Therefore providing the perfect biochemical cocktail for health and happiness! And here’s the thing, we can’t leave laughter to chance because if we did we might never laugh! Our world needs more laughter like never before!
Participants of our Bullying Prevention course will be familiar with the concept of Laughter Yoga as a way to cultivate a friendly and inclusive atmosphere at school. If this post whetted your appetite to learn more about Laughter Yoga, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website for more information.
Michelle Major, Founder and Creative Director The Sunshine Project