They say laughter is the best medicine. Combine that with the health benefits of yoga and you have a unique form of exercise that is no laughing matter. An exercise studio in Charlottesville’s ACAC Fitness Center (Virginia) was transformed into a laugh factory Friday.

“We don’t tell jokes or have punch lines,” said Laughter Yoga Leader John Graznak. “We laugh for the pure benefit and fun of just laughing.”

Laughter Yoga is a form of exercise that uses laughter as the gateway to meditation. Today, laughter clubs are popular all around the world.

Class members participate in a number of laugh-inducing exercises; exercises that are shown to have plenty of medical benefits.

“There’s been more and more research done that shows there’s big cardiac benefits,” said Graznak.

And the laughter does not necessarily have to be genuine.

“Your body doesn’t know if you’re laughing for real, or if you’re just faking it,” Graznak added. “You get the same benefit either way.”

Susan Patrick attended the class for the first time Friday and says she plans to come back for more.

“I feel really relaxed and exercised,” she said. “I’m surprised at how different I feel physically.”

And feeling good is what laughter yoga is all about. If you want to get in on the fun, there are classes offered every Sunday at Charlottesville’s Senior Center.

Reported by Kasey Hott,

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