Friday, January 8, 2010

Laughteryoga: A Yogic Exercise

Health Benefits of Laughter

Laughter is the easiest form of meditation and brings instant relaxation in a pleasant way. Dr. Lee Berk of California labels laughter as a state of eustress, which in psychological terms, is the opposite of distress.

The act of laughter instantly lowers blood pressure for hypertensive persons, stimulates the brain, expands and enriches the blood vessels with oxygen, and sends more blood racing to the extremities.

Laughter vastly reduces levels of the stress hormones epinephrine & cortisol in the body and instantly relieves stress, tension and depression.

The stress hormone cortisol is reduced during laughter, and conversely the happiness hormone oxytocin level is enhanced which triggers a spike in immune-boosting antibodies

Laughter raises the antibodies immunoglobulin A in the respiratory passages which strengthens the immune system of the body and protects from infections, allergies and cancers.

Sustained laughter gradually increases the levels of cytokine in the blood – a white blood cell enhancer which builds antibodies and helps prevent illnesses.

Laughter causes the endothelium - the inner lining of blood vessels - to dilate, increasing blood flow. The endothelium is the first sign of hardening of the arteries and laughter therefore reduces the risk of heart disease.

Laughter is a form of stationery jogging and provides the same health benefits as vigorous aerobic exercise by stimulating the heart and blood circulation. 20 seconds of heavy laughter is equal to 3 minutes of hard rowing and will burn upto 400 calories per hour!

Laughter increases lung capacity and therefore promotes the body’s ability to store oxygen, the life-force that helps us stay young and disease-free. This is good news for asthma and bronchitis patients. A daily dose of laughter is anti-ageing and beats any anti-oxidant pill on the market!

Laughter increases the levels of endorphins in the body – these are natural pain killers and greatly help in coping with the suffering from arthritis, spondylitis, migraine and muscular spasms, and all aches & pains.

A new study demonstrates that laughing causes the tissue of blood vessels - endothelium - to expand and therefore increase blood flow - exactly what aerobic exercise does.

When we laugh, we exercise 15 muscles facial muscles which turn our faces pink with a happier glow – beats any cosmetic in replacing wrinkles and worry lines with the laugh lines of youth!

A recent study at Stanford concludes that laughter stimulates the parts of our brain that use the “feel good” chemical messenger dopamine. This puts laughter into the “necessary” category of activities that are pleasurably addictive, and more so in the myriads of health benefits that accrue.

One of the best ways to lighten up is to laugh and release yourself from fear’s grip. Laughter instantly raises your energy, heals you and clears away negativity, confusion and mind chatter. Literally, it chases the devil away which is illusion, distortion and confusion and instead re-energises you to lose your ego and merge with the divine.

Above all, laughter is “the shortest distance between two people” and improves interpersonal relationships. It removes your inhibitions, develops your personality and enhances your leadership qualities.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Yoga for Weight Loss

Are you looking to loose some extra weight?

Many people out there have extra weight that they would like to shed, whether it is just a few extra pounds or several extra pounds. There is nothing out there that is quite like being able to lose some extra weight, planning to do so, and being successful at it and people are always on the lookout for newfangled ways to lose some pounds. Here is one thing to consider for weight loss that you might not have yet considered: yoga for weight loss.

It is important to keep in mind that yoga alone is not going to help a person lose weight. It does not raise the heart rate enough to be able to do that on its own, but with the strength that can be derived from yoga it can be combined with an effective cardio workout as a way of losing weight. Read on for a few tips on how to utilize yoga to aid in your weight loss endeavors.

Combine Yoga with Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is a part of any successful diet, and just because you are practicing yoga does not give you an excuse to slack off in that department. A well rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables gives you enough energy to burn off the fat, practice yoga, and do the other things that are required of a person who is looking to burn off some extra weight.

Combine Yoga with a Good Cardio Workout

Strength training and a good cardio workout is critical to effective weight loss. Yoga serves as a great method of strength training but it is important for the heart rate to be raised for thirty minutes or more in order for the fat burning to begin. This can be anything from a quick jog or walk to a treadmill, elliptical, jump rope, or anything else that gets that heart muscle pumping.

Remain Dedicated

Nothing works for weight loss if you don’t stick to it. Yoga will not help you lose weight over night; it is about developing good habits and taking the right route to gradual weight loss that will stick around rather than a quick route to weight loss that won’t last.

Check around your community for a yoga class that you can get started in. Who knows? You may find something that you can really get into in the ancient art of yoga.
Yoga will not help you lose weight over night, needs determination and dedication..

Yoga Positions

Respect your body's limitations and inner wisdom, if something feels wrong or dangerous, please do not do it.
Please consult your health care practitioner before starting a yoga, pranayama or other exercise program.