In Laughter Yoga as in life, it’s important to breathe correctly.
Breathing correctly means two things: breathing through your nose and breathing from your diaphragm.
When you breath through your nose, the air if filtered, moistened and warmed. When you breath through your mouth, the air is dirty, dry and cold. We were designed to breath through our nose. If you’re not talking, eating, laughing or singing, your mouth should be shut.
When you breath from your diaphragm (located below the lungs and heart), your abdomen will move. As you inhale your abdomen will expand, blowing up like a balloon. As you exhale, your abdomen will deflate.
If you’re breathing incorrectly you’re probably hyperventilating, which simply means taking in too much oxygen by breathing too much and too fast. Most people in our society are hyperventilating without knowing it.
If you are breathing through your mouth, you are automatically breathing too much, because your mouth is three times bigger than your nose.
If you are breathing from your upper chest (as most adults are), you are automatically breathing too fast, as it takes less time to move air in and out of your chest. Breathing from your diaphragm automatically slows your breathing down.
In summary, if you’re hyperventilating already and then come to do laughter yoga, you could run into trouble getting light-headed, i.e. hyperventilating even more. When we laugh our breathing speeds up which is generally a great thing because it oxygenates the body. But if you’re already taking in too much oxygen, it can tip the oxygen/carbon dioxide ratio off balance. For me this started to happen, after many years of leading laughter yoga sessions. I learned that I had been breathing incorrectly forever, i.e. I had chronic hyperventilation. I have since corrected that problem through proper breathing and have been able to enjoy all the great benefits of laughter yoga again.