Arlington, VA

Need a good laugh?  Tonight’s “Laughter Yoga” session might be just what you’re looking for. The free program takes place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).

Laughter yoga is a practice started in India in 1995 to let people experience the medical benefits of laughter. The sessions are based on medical research indicating the human body apparently cannot tell the difference between real laughter and fake laughter.

Some of the benefits reportedly include an immune system boost, increased oxygen intake, increased “feel good” hormones and reduced stress hormones. To get the full benefits, a person must laugh heartily for a sustained period of time, about 15 minutes.

The four elements of laughter yoga are clapping and chanting, breathing, childlike playfulness and exercises.

“It’s geared to anyone who can laugh… of any fitness or mobility level,” the session’s instructor, Diane Cohen, told ARLnow.com. “At a time when many don’t have a reason to laugh, laughter yoga brings laughter — for no reason — to anyone willing to laugh. It’s non-political, non-religious, non-judgmental, non-competitive.”

Update 12:25 p.m. — A library spokesman has requested we clarify that this event is neither sponsored nor programmed by the library.

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