Janet Prince

Laughter Yoga Class Helps Residents Stay Happy and Healthy

Residents at Edgewood Summit are proving laughter truly is the best medicine. Every month, residents meet for a 30-minute chuckle in the Laughter Yoga class held at the community.

“It’s great to see the changes in the residents when they realize it’s okay to laugh and have a good time,” said instructor Janet Prince. “It doesn’t matter what your age is… anyone can laugh.”

Prince has been leading the class for nearly three years. She started after employees at the community read an article about her in the local paper. They reached out and discussed bringing the classes to Edgewood Summit. Prince thought it was a great idea.

“These residents truly touch my heart, and we learn so much from one another,” said Prince.

On average, around a dozen people attend the Laughter Yoga classes every month.

Students partake in breathing techniques, stretching and, of course, laughter. Studies show laughing can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve immunity. There’s also reason to believe that both adults and children laugh primarily during social interactions with others, so that’s part of the reason the class can help seniors stay happier and healthier.

“The act of laughing is very good for your body,” said Prince. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a spontaneous laugh, like if you tell me a joke, or if it’s me just laughing. The body doesn’t know the difference.”

Laughter is like an aerobic exercise, since it involves forceful exhalation from the lungs. Laughing for 30 minutes will feel like a workout.

Laughter Yoga classes are held at Edgewood Summit a retirement community in Charleston, WV every third Friday of the month. It’s one of a dozen fitness classes and activities offered at Edgewood Summit. You can find a complete list of activities here.