The Roundup! Laughter Yoga and Mindful Voting

yoga article roundup

We think this month’s roundup will encourage you to do two things: laugh more and vote! There’s quite a bit of compelling evidence that suggests laughter yoga can help melt away stress and improve your mood. But if you’re not quite ready to get silly in a group laughter yoga class, maybe goat yoga can give you the chuckle you seek. Something that’s not a laughing matter, though? The midterm elections. As you’ll read below, a group of Buddhist leaders is doing their best to ensure Americans perform their civic duty and vote this fall.

Breathe. Laugh. Be happy. The science behind laughter yoga.—Laughter yoga might sound weird at first, but the practice has been around since 1995 and draws more and more people every year. Why? According to neuroscientists, laughter increases the circulation of feel-good endorphins and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. What’s not to love?

Can yoga improve your sex life?—Speaking of feeling good, studies show that yoga can have improved sex for both women and men. After 12 weeks of yoga, groups of women and men self-reported improvements across all aspects of sexual function.

Buddhist leaders pen open letter encouraging Americans to vote—Will you make it a point to vote during the midterm elections? These Buddhist leaders think you should. They’ve banded together to pen an open letter to the American public, urging us all to get out and vote on November 6th. (P.S. If you’re not registered to vote, start here!)

Mark Bertolini of Aetna on Yoga, Meditation and Darth Vader—After a serious skiing accident, Mark Bertolini turned to a combination of Craniosacral therapy, yoga, and meditation to help him recover when conventional medicine had failed. Soon after he returned to work, he was made CEO of Aetna. After that, he started introducing yoga and meditation inside the company. Read all about it in this New York Times profile.

Why Schools Are Banning Yoga—A religious intrusion? A waste of money? Concerns about yoga have been keeping the practice out of K-12 schools across the country. More on why in this Atlantic piece.

ACLU gets involved in dispute over yoga pants ban at Wisconsin high schools—In one Wisconsin school district, yoga pants had been banned for the past five years. Students who wore them would be forced to change or sent home. The district ended the moratorium last spring after the ACLU got involved, citing unfair loss of education exclusively impacting girls.

Cruise ship fall: Woman rescued after 10 hours in sea off CroatiaA woman fell overboard from a cruise ship 60 miles offshore in the Adriatic Sea and remained adrift for 10 hours before being rescued. She credits her yoga practice for keeping her fit and giving her the strength to stay afloat until rescuers reached her.

Goat Yoga Is ‘Preposterous,’ Says Goat Yoga Teacher. It’s Also…Terrific!—If you haven’t tried goat yoga yet, here’s one more reason to do so. Marc Silver, editor of NPR’s aptly named Goats and Soda blog, tried it out and had nothing but good to say about it.

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