News of the Day

Now, This Is A Funny Yoga Class

by Craig Altschul

A group of elderly Middlebury women participatied in a free, six-week laughter yoga class program this summer, sponsored by the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging. The participants engage in something called “naught laughter,” where they scold each other while laughing. Instructors Mia Brown and Stacy Norford, members of AmeriCorps, coordinate and run healthy aging programs, said the Addison Independent. The scenario goes something like this: everyone in class is told to laugh, even if it’s fake or forced. A variety of exercises follow, including breathing and relaxation. Studies have proven that laughter (fake or real) boosts the immune system, increases circulation by increasing oxygen to the blood, heightens one’s mood, and provides a low-impact form of aerobic exercise. “Everyone joins in the laughing,” said 89-year-old participant Agnes Novak. “I can go home now and laugh at myself.” What better way to end a day.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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