Laughter is the best medicine and, as laughter yoga instructor Maureen Meredith knows, that’s just the start of its benefits.
Laughter yoga is a unique exercise routine that increases oxygen flow, reduces stress, promotes mental well-being and fights diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer. Created by Dr Madan Kataria in 1995, laughter yoga has spawned over 4,000 laughter clubs in 40 countries.
As Curtin’s student and community development officer, Maureen says that the technique is one of many strategies students should adopt to fight stress.
‘There are proven results that laughter is beneficial to the body,’ she said.
‘It’s just the best – you come away feeling totally energised and your endorphins are going,’ she said.
Unlike normal yoga, participants dress up, pretend to be motorbikes and play musical instruments.
‘People have a misconception that they’ll be standing on their heads but the yoga part comes from the breathing technique using your diaphragm,’ Maureen said.
‘It’s around 120 different activities put together by a facilitator to get that ‘ha’ action happening.
‘I tell them they all look as silly as each other.
‘You really have to experience it, it sounds crazy and it is.’
Maureen runs intermittent classes at Curtin and has helped put smiles on students’ faces in the lead up to exams and during Anxiety Week for Curtin’s counselling service.
‘Thirty minutes of laughter yoga is a brilliant way to invigorate yourself for the rest of the day – it’s fantastic for de-stressing and giving you renewed energy to tackle those “put off until the afternoon” things,’ enthusiast Jaimee Motion said.
To have a giggle contact Maureen Meredith on 08 9266 2118 or visit Laughter Yoga International.