A yoga class in Grand Forks combines with comedyGrand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- When you think of yoga, you likely think of silence, deep breathing, slow stretches, but what about laughter?
By: Kayla Strayer, WDAZ, WDAY
Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- When you think of yoga, you likely think of silence, deep breathing, slow stretches, but what about laughter?
One fitness class in Grand Forks combines the tranquil sport, with comedy.
It's the first of it's kind in North Dakota.
Sue Thompson: "It's the Uff Dah laughter club."
Sue Thompson started the club for one purpose.
Sue: "It's just laughing intentionally for no reason. Laughter is contagious, so it quickly becomes real."
Research shows laughing offers many physical and emotional benefits, but Thompson says many of us don't do it enough.
Sue: "We think we need to have a reason to laugh."
But it's not just fun and games. Like the traditional yoga performed here in this gym, laughing yoga also burns calories.
Sue: "The research shows that you burn 6 to 10 calories per minute of laughter."
Megan Pierce: "Ya it does burn calories. Your stomach is contracting because you're laughing so hard."
After participating in a class, personal trainer Megan Pierce says it made her whole day better.
Pierce: "Once you hear the person next to you start laughing it makes you laugh even more."
Laughter in and of itself is bonding and it brings people together.
"I've heard that laughing is good medicine."
For those thinking laughter yoga sounds a bit strange...
Pierce: "Everything sounds weird when you first hear it. I think just give everything a try."
"Maybe the very start would be a little weird but after the start you realize everyone else is doing it, I'm sure it would get just kind of normal after a while."
Sue: "You need to really experience it to get it."
And with an ending like this...
Sue: "Because we're the uff dah laughter club, we end with uff dah (shouting)"
Thompson says even the most guarded people end up cracking a smile.
The group meets every Saturday morning from 9 to 10 at the United Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.