I don’t know about you but I feel much better spending an evening laughing with friends than I do crying it out in my PJ’s on the sofa with a box of tissues. Tears are an inevitable part of the journey down the aisle but I wish I spent less time tearing up over silly details and more time laughing, smiling and soaking in the fabulous moments leading up to the wedding. That’s why I am sooooo happy to bring my fabulous TNIB readers a dose of laughter as part of Healthy Happy Bride Week. Specifically, a dose of laughter yoga. What the heck is laughter yoga you ask? Well Ritu Riyat our resident wellness expert is here to give us the scoop.
TNIB: Is laughter yoga a real thing?
Ritu: Ha Ha Ha… yes it certainly is. I’m laughing just thinking about it. Laughter Yoga was founded by Dr. Madan Kataria, a doctor in India, along with his wife, a yoga teacher. Based on his research of Laughter being the best medicine Dr. Kataria put the theory to test in 1995 with the first Laughter Club which consisted of 5 members. Today there are over 6000 clubs spread over 60 countries.
TNIB: How does it work?
Ritu: It is a blend of yogic deep breathing, stretching, and laughter exercises that cultivate a child-like playfulness. There are no jokes or clowns, but instead techniques used to provoke a physical laughter response which soon turns into real laughter. It’s the whole fake it until you make it theory. Because it is done in a group environment and because laughter is contagious, within minutes you are holding your belly and laughing up a storm.
TNIB: What are the benefits of laughing, especially for brides to be?
Ritu: When things are going good it is easy to smile and laugh but when things are not so good we can quickly get caught in a storm of sadness. Laughter therapy or laughter yoga is a quick fix to snap you out of the funk, so to say. Fifteen to twenty minutes of laughter a day is recommended to destress the mind and the body and cultivate joy in the heart. Also laughter helps release endorphins, the “feel good” hormones and natural pain killers. Plus its fun and playful!
TNIB: So, how do I get started? Can I just laugh at home?
Ritu: Either look for a laughter club near you by searching online here: http://www.laughteryoga.org or simply make it a point to laugh (without jokes) about fifteen minutes a day. Enroll your significant other, friends, and family as well. Maybe even do a laughter session on the big day to break up the tension and relax.
TNIB: Wow – sounds like fun!
Ritu: Sure is! Next time you are mad at your beau, take a moment to laugh about it and then sit down and talk. Its amazing how much more productive a conversation can be when the harsh emotions have been stripped away and joy and laughter fill their place.
Thanks Ritu for being TNIB’s resident wellness expert! Now all you brides-to-be remember the three pillars Ritu shared this week – Eat. Move. Mediate. You need a daily dose of each to keep you healthy, happy and glowing as you walk down the aisle!