Project Description

Laugh Yourself To Good Health

kate_banak_1“Laughter Yoga is mindfulness based practice using fun and creative activity to reduce stress and create a sense of connection and well being,” said Kate Benak, a licensed healthcare professional with Senior Services for South Sound, WA, USA.

A certified Laughter Yoga instructor Benak teaches Laughter Yoga in Olympia since 2009. Through her regular sessions, she tries to induce a no-thinking state of mind, in order to take a break from being too serious in everyday life, personally and professionally.

Laughing helps bolster the immune system, relieves pain, and improves mood. It even burns calories! It is a fun combination of stretching, breathing and laughing exercises that helps one feel confident, creative, productive and ready to tackle anything.

Participants in her session practice standard exercise routines like warm-ups, clapping and arm swings to increase energy levels, relax muscles, and release tension. This loose-body movement is paired with chanting of gibberish or laughter sounds like ‘ha, ha’ or ‘ho, ho’ to stimulate the diaphragm.

Then stretching is done in conjunction with group laughter exercises like role play, dance, and humming. Even the most self-conscious first time visitor quickly finds themselves laughing along with those around them while pantomiming handshakes, making milkshakes, talking on the phone, or brushing your teeth.

Sessions are also interspersed with meditation and breathing techniques. Benak stresses the importance of taking time to practice being silent after laughing so one can feel the buzz.

Milton Berle once said “Laughter is an instant vacation.” No matter where, when, or why, try taking 20 minutes to laugh yourself healthy again. If you need help finding your smile, Kate will be glad to help.

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