Laughter yoga creates relaxing atmosphere

BY KRYSTLE WAGNER kwagner@opubco.com Published: July 5, 2011

Mercer said sessions should last at least 20 minutes, but longer classes allow for more development in other areas such as new exercises and guided relaxation.

Barker said one of her favorite exercises is Calcutta, “a rhythmic breathing when you push the air down and out.”

“It actually really gets your blood going,” Barker said. “Everybody gets exhausted afterward because it takes so much energy to push out. I think it generates energy. It's more like an aerobic work out almost.”

Healthy benefits

Mercer said some benefits of laughter yoga include a better immune system, lower blood pressure, cleared sinuses and improved breathing and brain function.

Becoming a certified laughter yoga instructor requires training, Mercer said. Between 12 to 14 hours are spent in a classroom as an instructor shares videos of techniques, foundation exercises and advice for creating personal exercises.

Oklahoma City resident and certified yoga instructor Pete Fredrick said he became involved with laughter yoga about two years ago after his friend mentioned it. Fredrick said he attends two weekly laughter yoga sessions.

Fredrick said he uses laughter yoga for stress management, and it helps him put things into perspective.

“I think we're all just too tense because of 24/7 whatever,” Fredrick said. “If you could de-stress somehow, you would be a better person, and how you react to other people.”