The Power of Laughter

DSC_3578Kristina recently graduated from our 2014 Yoga Teacher Training Program and will be sharing her laughter and love of yoga at Queen Street Yoga, alternating teaching the Friday 5:30pm Hour Flow with her fellow YTT graduate Marta! Kristina is a tree-hugger by day, yogi by night.  In her spare time she loves to knit, cycle, take photos of tiny things, laugh with friends, and drink tea.


Matthew Grapengieser - Amazing Laughter sculpture by Yue MinjunPeople often comment on my laughter… I laugh a lot!  And I’ve heard all sorts of opinions about my laughter – it’s the “best ever”, it’s too loud, it’s like a bubbling brook, it’s inappropriate at times…

But my favourite is always when people tell me that hearing my laugh causes them to laugh – it’s true, laughter is often contagious!  And what’s wrong with that?  I know how good laughing makes me feel – and it only feels better when I see that spreading around me.

Laughter as Medicine

I think a lot of people could use more laughter in their lives.  Laughter is, after all, the best medicine, right?

Well, according to research, yes.  A good laugh can go a long way.  Laughter can have physiological, psychological, social, spiritual, and quality-of-life benefits.  Better yet, our brains can’t distinguish what is causing us to laugh.  Whatever the cause of our laughter – a natural response to a funny joke, a contagion caught between friends, or self-induced fake-it-till you make it laughter – our brains perceive it the same way, releasing the benefits into our bodies.

On his website Why Not Laugh?, Scott Burton, a man who has faced stage IV osteo sarcoma, chemotherapy and a number of surgeries, has this to say about the feelings he’s experienced and how they’ve affected him:

“The other reactions; anger, depression, suppression, denial, took a little piece of me with them. Each made me feel just a little less human. Yet laughter made me more open to ideas, more inviting to others, and even a little stronger inside. It proved to me that, even as my body was devastated and my spirit challenged, I was still a vital human” – Burton, S.

Why I laugh, and Why You Should Too

I’m not sure exactly why I find it so easy to laugh… If you met my mother and her sisters, I’m sure you’d tell me it’s genetic.

But I do think that like with all good things in life, it might also have a little to do with luck, and a lot to do with practice.

So, the next time you are faced with the opportunity to laugh out loud, why not take it?   If you think you’re someone who could use more laughter in your life, why not make a laugh-out-loud challenge for yourself?   Try to laugh out loud at least once a day, and see how it feels?

I think yoga is a great outlet and opportunity for laughter.  I’m really interested in exploring Laughter Yoga as a therapeutic method.  As I continue down my path as an aspiring yoga teacher, I hope I’ll keep finding new ways to bring a smile to people’s faces, and a giggle into their bellies.


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