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Laughter Yoga For Kids

Updated: May 2





I love playing happy music since it stirs our emotions and reminds us all to find joy in the little things. That’s what today’s blog is all about, the joy in little things and most especially our little people.


Do you have children? This morning, did you have a happy and breezy start to the day getting them washed, dressed, fed, and into the car, setting off ahead of time so you could enjoy the drive to school laughing, being happy, feeling confident, genuinely joyful and ready to face any challenges? No? That wasn’t you this morning? Was it more like….


You wake up, having only just fallen asleep after a restless night of tossing and turning? You shout at your device to turn off the alarm, or slap at your phone to stop the beeping. You fly through the shower shouting at the kids to get up, get dressed, get their breakfast which you left on the table for them. At the mirror, you swig at your coffee, spill it on your blouse, try to rub it, only spreading the stain. Then you assault your eyeball with a mascara wand, overreact to the stinging pain and smudge the rest of your makeup! Great start, right?


But wait, it gets better! You attempt to make breakfast, but somehow end up burning the toast, setting off the smoke alarm, and now the dog’s in a frenzy. You're shouting over the blaring alarm, trying to calm down the dog, and desperately searching for a fire extinguisher that you don't even own. Chaos, my friends, chaos!


And let's not forget about the kids. They're running around like little tornadoes, not eating their breakfast because apparently, toast with a side of smoke alarm is not appetising. They're in a panic because they can't find their shoes, their school bags aren't packed, and oh, did I mention they conveniently forgot to do their homework? And just when you think it can't get any worse, one of the kids pulls out a crumpled-up letter from the teacher that you were supposed to sign and return yesterday. 


Ha it’s funny because it’s true right? Funny, but also exhausting. There is a different way. It is a pathway lined with all our worries that we’ve let go. We don’t have to worry about the litter for letting them go means that it won’t be long before our worries  dissolve to nothing. Now we can embrace the joy of the present moment. Laughter Yoga teaches us to do just that—to let go of stress and worries and simply laugh it out! So, take a deep breath, release the tension, and let the laughter flow. Ha haaaaa. It’s so much simpler than we imagine. Anytime you do that, no matter your mood: take a deep breath, hold it, hold it, hold it and laugh it out. The laughter will be there. If it’s pretend at first, that’s fine. The body and brain can’t differentiate between initiated laughter and spontaneous laughter. When we let go of the stress we attach to our problems, we can more easily welcome the solutions. 


Today's blog and my radio show are all about spreading joy, laughter, and positivity through Laughter Yoga, especially for our little ones. So parents, teachers, and everyone else, this is a moment dedicated to you as I unveil to you the wonderful world of Laughter Yoga and its incredible benefits for mental health. 


When we think of mental health, we tend to think of mental illness not health. Have you noticed that? I believe there is a lot we can do to promote our health by tapping into the simplicity of laughter. There are numerous scientifically proven benefits of Laughter Yoga and one of the most accessible positives is that laughter lifts our mood. When we are in a better mood we do everything better. To boost our mental health and the health of our kids, it’s as simple as practising laughter for no reason. 


I’d like us to start thinking about the idea of joy. If we don’t have a lot of joy in our lives the good news is, we can create it. Joy is like walking on sunshine in the midst of turmoil. Laughter Yoga is not your typical yoga practice; it's all about laughing for absolutely no reason! Laughter is contagious, and it has so many benefits. Laughter Yoga isn't just for adults; it's a fantastic tool for children too! It helps them release stress, boosts their immune system, and improves their mood. So, parents and teachers, why not give it a try with the little ones in your life? It’s interesting that we don’t mind showing anger, disapproval and irritation to our kids, yet we are reluctant to show our vulnerability, joy, and even (though it might be rare) our frivolity. We have to give equal weight to showing our children our positive, expansive emotions. 


LAUGHTER MEDITATION


Laughter is truly the best medicine, and Laughter Yoga is a powerful tool for boosting mental health and overall well-being. It's amazing how something as simple as laughing can have such profound effects on our mood and outlook on life. So, let's keep the laughter flowing with a laughter meditation. 


Whilst Laughter Yoga can offer numerous benefits for mental and physical well-being, there are some contraindications to consider:


  1. Cardiovascular Conditions: Individuals with heart problems or high blood pressure should exercise caution when participating in laughter yoga, as the physical exertion involved in prolonged laughter may not be suitable for them.

  2. Uncontrolled Hypertension: Laughter yoga can temporarily increase blood pressure, so individuals with uncontrolled hypertension should consult with a healthcare professional before participating.

  3. Uncontrolled Epilepsy: Laughter-induced excitement may trigger seizures in individuals with epilepsy, especially if their condition is not well-controlled with medication.

  4. Hernia: People with hernias, particularly abdominal hernias, may experience discomfort or exacerbation of their condition due to the abdominal contractions involved in laughter.

  5. Recent Abdominal Surgery: Individuals who have undergone recent abdominal surgery may need to avoid laughter yoga until they have fully recovered to prevent strain on the surgical site.

  6. Severe Respiratory Conditions: People with severe respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, should be cautious, as laughter can lead to increased respiratory effort and potentially exacerbate their condition.

  7. Recent Eye Surgery: Individuals who have undergone recent eye surgery, particularly procedures involving the eye muscles, may need to avoid laughter yoga to prevent strain on the eyes.

  8. Psychiatric Disorders: While laughter yoga can be beneficial for many mental health conditions, individuals with certain psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, may find the group dynamic and stimulation overwhelming.

  9. Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant women with complications such as placenta previa or preterm labour should consult with their healthcare provider before participating in laughter yoga, as the physical exertion and abdominal contractions may not be advisable.


It's important for individuals with any underlying medical conditions or concerns to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, including laughter yoga, to ensure it is safe and appropriate for their individual needs.


If you’ve understood those contraindications and you feel safe and excited to proceed, let’s go ahead and take a deep breath, smile on the inhale and audibly exhale with a sigh “Haaaaaaaa” Wonderful, Deep breath in smile. Hold it, hold it, hold it and laugh it out Ha ha ha ha. That’s great, let go of any tension or stress. Allow yourself to be fully present in this moment as we immerse ourselves in this full body experience. Feel the laughter building in your belly. Even bigger smile inhale,. If you’re doing this with others, make a point of looking in their eyes as you breathe in and smile and then hold, hold, big laugh BWhaaaa haaaa haaaa. Third time. Inhale smile. Hold it. Exhale laugh ha hah ha, Brilliant. 


Yes, I know we tend to think of meditation as a chance to quiet the mind, but a laughter meditation is where we drop out of the mind of ego and judgments and instead encourage the body to laugh. To continue with our laughter-filled journey, it's time to take a moment to explain that laughter happens on the outbreath. I always recommend having breathing breaks when we laugh just to rebalance the lungs. You can do this meditation with your eyes closed or open. If your eyes are open and you’re doing this meditation with others, it's great to make eye contact and catch the laughter in someone else’s eye. It becomes more contagious. This is meant to be fun. Now people can sometimes feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Just trust the process and remember we are easing away from the body and letting the body enjoy the laughter. It will be there.


You should feel relaxed and like you’ve laughed a load off your shoulders. Take a quiet moment now. Silence after the Laughter. When you're ready, gently open your eyes, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Let's transition into the rest of the day with a sense of calm and serenity but also that happy memory of laughing for no reason ha ha. 


Now to take a grounding moment of silence and relaxation before you read further. Pause here and relax. 


I encourage you to play catchy tunes that remind you to dance like nobody's watching and let the joy flow freely! Sometimes music helps us to let go of inhibitions and embrace the moment with all our hearts. So, let's keep dancing, laughing, and spreading joy wherever we go. Music helps us connect to your feelings. I hope you're feeling centered and refreshed after that laughter meditation and the grounding silence afterwards. Stay tuned, for Uptown Funk on the way. Let's continue our exploration of Laughter Yoga and its incredible benefits for mental health, especially for children. Laughter Yoga isn't just about laughing; it's about connecting with others in a meaningful and authentic way. It's about breaking down barriers and creating a sense of community and belonging.      


Children today are increasingly subjected to new and very different childhood realities. Play and physical activity is restricted, new stresses are imposed, adult behaviour is demanded at very early ages, group play and child-to-child interaction is being replaced with electronic games and remote communication devices. There are hundreds of reasons but I’m going to filter it down to: 


5 Reasons Why Children Need To Laugh More Today. 

  1. Academic pressure

  2. Technology robs them of play

  3. Lack of emotional bonding

  4. negative attitude towards laughter in schools

  5. Laughter Yoga is Fun, Easy and Economical


Academic pressure

Children are facing a competitive academic environment from an early age, and are being pressured by parents and teachers to attain excellent grades. High expectations, at times, lead the children to strive for unrealistic goals, which if unfulfilled can bring on serious stress and prove to be detrimental to their mental and physical health.


Technology robs them from play

Physical play is being replaced by mobile phones, video games, television and the internet. High tech communication skills have eroded the fun of laughing at simple things.


Lack of emotional bonding

Increase in broken homes and the consequent lack of emotional bonding and long-term relationships with parents or responsible adults combine to cause a host of emotional problems. Working parents and the reduction in family size leaves children alone for long stretches of time, rather than in healthy group play. There is a general decrease in parenting skills, which leave children deprived of strong moral and emotional guidance and role models.


Negative attitude towards laughter in schools

Children are programmed against laughter. Teachers sometimes ask children to stop laughing in the name of discipline and at times even punish them for laughing. This leads to children getting programmed against laughter, which is one of the reasons they lose their laughter when they grow up.


Laughter Yoga is Fun, Easy and Economical

Laughter Yoga is a very economical addition to any school or educational institution. Training costs are low and the major investment is time. Laughter Yoga is fun, it is normally welcomed and enjoyed by students and staff. No known downsides or negative side effects have been reported. 

I’m Tove Kane: let's keep spreading love, laughter, and positivity wherever we go.. Laughter Yoga isn't just about laughing; it's about embracing life with open arms and an open heart. It's about finding joy in the little things and appreciating the beauty of each moment. So, let's keep laughing, loving, and living life to the fullest. Never give up hope and always keep believing in yourself and your dreams! And for your children may they live with hope, courage, and determination. 

Laughter is a gift that brings joy, healing, and connection to our lives, and Laughter Yoga shows us how to embrace that gift fully. I’m Tové Kane, I teach Laughter Yoga, I spread the message of health and happiness through Laughter and if you’d like me to speak at your school, please reach out to me tove@tovekane.com 


Be kind to yourself and those around you.                          



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