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Laughter Yoga

Grade: 5 These exercises are appropriate for all Junior classes and if modified would be great for younger years too. Unit: Physical Education and DPA Time: 20 minutes CURRICULUM LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of Grade 5, students will: 1.2 use adaptive, management, and coping skills to help them respond to the various challenges they encounter as they participate in physical activities, develop movement competence, and acquire knowledge and skills related to healthy living. A2.1 Daily physical activity (DPA): participate in sustained moderate to vigorous physical activity, with appropriate warm-up and cool-down activities, to the best of their ability for a minimum of twenty minutes each day. Concepts of Movement competence: Effort awareness How does the body move? (e.g., fast or slow, with strong or light force, bound or free) Relationship With whom or with what does the body move? (e.g., with people or objects, or in a particular environment) INTRO TO LAUGHTER YOGA: In 1995, India, Laughter Yoga was invented by Dr. Madan Kataria. Since then it has travelled the world and is now found in over 100 countries. People gather in groups to just laugh together, no jokes, just fun and playful exercises that may at first seem absurd but do induce genuine laughter and all the benefits which come with it. Laughter is an innate behavior and therefore its a human universal, found in all cultures. Children are the real experts in laughter and one research study claimed that kids laugh 400-500 times a day whereas adults only laugh 30-40 times a day. We think its time to get serious about laughter! BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER: Laughter is good for your health Physical Health Benefits:

Mental Health Benefits:

Social Benefits:

Boosts immunity Lowers stress hormones Decreases pain

Adds joy and zest to life Eases anxiety and fear Relieves stress

Strengthens relationships Attracts others to us Enhances teamwork

Relaxes your muscles Prevents heart disease

Improves mood Enhances resilience

Helps defuse conflict Promotes group bonding

LESSON SEQUENCE AND ACTIVITY: 1) Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha with Hand Clapping We have pressure points on the tips of our fingers that are activated when we clap. There are 3 sounds associated with laughing: He he, Ho ho, and Ha ha. This first exercise is a great warm up for getting used to the sounds and to activate the pressure points in our fingers. Assemble the group into a circle. The group will move around the circle in one direction, clapping their fingers together and repeating the Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha. Ask the group to join in as they become comfortable. Get louder and faster as the energy builds. 2) Breathing 3) Namaste and Handshake Laugh We open the practice with a Namaste greeting. The group will then mingle around greeting other with a handshake and exchange laughter in the place of a quick conversation (you can say hello, handshake and then laugh or just handshake and laugh). Shake one hand, then move onto the next and continue this mingle. 4) Cell Phone Laugh Make a cell phone with your fingers to pretend you are having a conversation on a phone. Instead of using words though, use laughter in a conversational tone, as if the laughter were a language. The group can mingle around and walk about during their phone call. 5) Milkshake Laugh Hold two imaginary cups in your hands in front of you, as if you were holding two milkshakes. Pretend to pour the contents of one cup into the other, while youre doing this make a laughing sound that might sounds like pouring. Do this again back into the first cup. Then bring the cup to your mouth to drink the milkshake. Let out a big laugh as you chug down the milkshake. 6) Motor Boat Laugh Imagine you are trying to choke start a motor boat. Pretend to pull the choke once, make a laughing noise that mimics what an engine might sound like if you were trying to start it up. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable. On your last pull, the engine starts which means your laugh with be prolonged and you can start to move around as if your engine was moving your boat. 7) Arrow Laugh Pretend to load an imaginary bow with an arrow. Pull back on the arrow, building up air in your lungs and potential energy. When you release the arrow to shoot it, let out a powerful laugh that mimcs an arrow soaring through the air.

8) Get in a line and Argument laugh Organize the group in two lines, opposite each other. Partners who are opposite one another will have a little laughing argument. Encourage participants to use their fingers as if they were scolding their partner and making sly laughing noises as if they were trying to say something in an argument. 9) Big Circle move in and hands up laugh jump around Have the group hold hands in a big circle including everyone. Stretch out so everyones arms are extended and the circle is as big as it can be. Begin by having the group make one prolonged Ha noise and having everyone hold hands and move in towards the middle. As everyone meets in the middle, change that ha into a full laughter and jump around. This activity is kind of like that thing people do at weddings around the bride and groom. Laughter Competition