Laughter Therapy

Integrative Therapy: Yoga and Laughter Yoga

Yoga Therapy

Yoga can empower individuals living with cardiac disease, or a cancer diagnosis, to become active participants in their own prevention, recovery and treatment.

Simple, yet profound yoga techniques involving gentle stretching, breathing, meditation, deep relaxation and/or guided imagery have been proven to release stress and lead to serenity and acceptance of our bodies and our spirits.

Jill is a cancer exercise specialist and a “Yoga of the Heart”® certified cardiac and cancer yoga therapist. She received her therapy training through Nischala Joy Devi, creator and director of the stress management/yoga portion for Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, she also developed yoga-based retreats for Dr. Michael Lerner’s now famous Commonweal Cancer Heal Programs. This yoga therapy is evidenced based and when practiced daily, will enact changes on every level of the body and mind.

Cardiac Disease Yoga Therapy

Stress alone is a leading factor in cardiac disease. Perpetually living in a state of “fight or flight” puts an incredible strain on our nervous system. Yoga helps us calm it all down ­- our minds, our bodies and our breath. Unfortunately, the wake-up call for many of us is a trip to the hospital for ourselves or a loved one. Then comes the feeling of a “second chance”, an opportunity to embrace and be active in our own well being. This new awakening spurs us to find a way to relieve our stress, thereby promoting wellness of our body, mind and spirit.

Our hearts work so hard for us during our lifetime, so be kind to your heart as you choose a path of health and recovery. Try yoga, your heart will thank you.

Cancer Yoga Therapy

Embracing our bodies while we’re going through diagnosis, treatment and recovery from cancer is a challenge. The first instinct is to mentally separate from our bodies and distance ourselves from our illness. Through yoga therapy an individual can continue to live in the body, mind and spirit while doing what is individually necessary for the course of treatment and beyond.

Gentle stretching, breathing, guided imagery and meditation will help relieve the stress of living with a serious illness, and help promote healing and wholeness.

If you feel drawn to yoga at this time of your life, call Jill and start on a new path of discovery and well-being.

Yoga Therapy Health Benefits

Yoga is a wonderful tool for stress release, calming the central nervous system and our busy minds. These benefits are not only for those with health challenges, but are felt by the new or experienced yoga student as well.

Yoga and Cardiac Disease

  • Decreases heart rate
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Reduces stress & anxiety
  • Reduces depression and insomnia
  • Improved lung capacity
  • Focused awareness
  • Deep, healing relaxation techniques
  • Improves balance and body awareness
  • Improves confidence

Yoga and Cancer

  • Reduces stress & anxiety
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Gentle stretching helps lymph circulation
  • Tools for pain management
  • Deep, healing relaxation techniques
  • Foster awareness of guided imagery technique
  • Acceptance of body, mind and spirit

Laughter Yoga Therapy for Cancer Patients and Caregivers

Dr. Michael B. Van Scoy-Morsher, an oncologist in California says that “one characteristic of the cancer patient who does well is the ability to often put cancer in the background for periods of time.”

The emotions and moods we experience directly effect our immune system. If there is any chance that laughter can improve a person’s prognosis or longevity - it is a good thing. A sense of humor allows us to perceive and appreciate the incongruities of life and provides moments of joy and delight. These positive emotions can create neurochemical changes that will buffer the immunosuppressive effects of diseases and stress. Hospitals around the country are incorporating formal and informal laughter therapy programs into their therapeutic regimens.

There is nothing so hopeful as laughter. Every person has a sense of humor, and tapping into that can build a connection faster than anything else. Suffering people are tender all over, and normal humor is risky. Laughter Yoga is not about telling jokes - it is non-threatening, non-political - and just involves someone performing some basic movements and breathing. Laughter is the great equalizer. Laughing levels the playing field and invites true relationship - a dance of giving and receiving. When we laugh, we experience joy, and celebrate this moment, right now, regardless of how chaotic the life situation may be.

Laughter Yoga can help counter depression in patients and their families, improves the mental state of mind, and in many cases, offers healing benefits by boosting the immune system and improving quality of life. Laughter also helps massage the lymphatic system and releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.

Integrative Therapy Services Offered

Joyful Living offers a variety of services to meet the needs of the medical community and individual clients. Also check the events page to keep informed of classes and/or workshops offered in your area. Class format may include:

  • Laughter Yoga
    Experience the therapeutic power of laughter with a Laughter Yoga experience. Laughter yoga is beneficial for those with cardiac disease, cancer, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, depression - almost any group can benefit from the spiritual, emotional and physiological health benefits of laughter.
  • Yoga for Cardiac Rehab and/or Cancer Recovery
    Approval from client’s physician or physical therapist is requested. Go to the schedule page for more information on yoga therapy classes at The Dharma Room Yoga and Wellness Center.
  • Traditional Hatha Yoga Classes
    60, 75, or 90 minute classes. Go to the schedule page for more information on The Dharma Room Yoga and Wellness Center and for the current class schedule.
  • Meditation, Deep Relaxation or Guided Imagery for Healing
    Go to the schedule page for information on classes at The Dharma Room Yoga and Wellness Center, or to the product page for resources.
  • Corporate Yoga
    Meet your employees needs with yoga at your worksite. Classes can be offered over lunch, as a workshop for stress reduction, or in a variety of ways to bring fitness and fun to the workplace.

Contact Jill @ 605-413-8852 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss the best way for you to discover the healing benefits of yoga.

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