(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Laughter yoga is an easy way to healthy life, Emirati doctor Nasir Al Riyami said. He will be leading a session on the night on June 20, as Abu Dhabi marks the fifth International Yoga Day at Umm Al Emarat Park.
"Laughter yoga is a practice of laughing for the purpose of breathing and abdominal exercises. When you laugh, your abdominal muscles are activated. If you keep up the laughter for 10 to 15 minutes, you will burn an estimated 50 calories," said Al Riyami, psychologist and hypnotherapist at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.
"Also, laughter is infectious. When you see or hear anybody laughing, you tend to join in," he said.
The expert noted that jokes and a sense of humour are not needed to start a laughter yoga session. The mind, he said, "does not know that you are faking it".
"What is used is the inherent infectiousness of laughter and the concept of laughter as an exercise. You can pretend and fake it. You can have fun as a group and just follow the laughter leader," Al Riyami added.
And then there is a final ingredient - some childhood playfulness.
"(The playfulness part) is important for an adult as most wouldn't have had a chance to use those specific skill sets like how a child would. The technique is very simple: 'very good, very good, yeah'. It's a favourite among the masses," said Al Riyami, who will be leading the session in Abu Dhabi for the third consecutive year.
He said the practice helps regulate one's heart rate and blood pressure; lowers stress levels; and boosts the immune system. It can also develop positivity and assertiveness.
Al Riyami runs laughter circles but since summer has set in, his public sessions at Capital Park have been moved to an online platform.
"For now, you can follow my Instagram page and laugh with me. But I am looking for an appropriate venue to continue the public sessions."
Residents can join Al Riyami and several other famed yoga experts in a session. The event starts at 7:00pm and entry to the park is free.