Combining yoga with laughter

Many individuals feel under great pressure these days and one of the ways in which some people choose to combat stress is to don their yoga clothing and take part in classes. Meanwhile, a number of consumers are choosing to take this further.

A phenomenon that combines this ancient discipline with laughter is growing in popularity around the world. Some of those who are making the most of these unusual activities are based in Dunedin in the US. According to a report on, a group meets at the local community centre to take part in yoga and laughing exercises.

The laughter yoga class is run by Sparky Lovejoy, a former Hatha yoga instructor from California. According to the expert, slipping into yoga wear and getting stuck into the exercises can help people to relive stress, boost their immune systems and connect with others.

Participants in the class range considerably in age. The youngest, Nicole Kennedy, is 32 and is expecting her first child this summer.

Towards the end of the sessions, participants congregate on a large, colourful mat for meditation yoga, during which they lie down head to head in a circle.

One of those who gets into her yoga clothing for the classes is Sue Vardakis. Commenting on her motivation for attending, she said: “I’ve always had a hearty laugh, but I’ve had two deaths in my family this past year, and this class helps me cope with those losses.”

Fellow attendee Elizabeth Faubert, who has been in the class from its inception, added: “After several weeks I found I was laughing aloud more spontaneously. I got less upset with things.”

She had been coping with caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. This, along with the typical stresses and strains of everyday life, had been taking its toll on her nerves and the classes help her to cope.

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