Laughter Yoga  


There's something funny going on here!

What Is Laughter Yoga? It's our way 2 grow the Joyous side of life!
Ho! Ho! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Laughter Yoga is a unique concept, in which anyone can laugh for no reason, without the use of humor, jokes or comedy.  We initiate laughter as an exercise in a group and with childlike playfulness and eye contact it soon turns into free flowing contagious laughter.  We intersperse the bouts of laughter with yogic breaths and rhythmic clapping.  This brings more oxygen and endorphins to the body and the brain which makes us feel more energetic, healthy and vibrant.  This is based on the scientific fact that the body responds favorably to laughter no matter how it gets started! 

 

In Laughter Yoga we use laughter as a form of exercise, to train the muscles of the diaphragm to engage in the process of deep breathing, through the use of hearty laughter.  The increased oxygen and endorphins flowing to the brain and throughout the body, sends 'calming chemicals' through the nervous system, turning off the 'Fight or Flight' response, thereby reducing stress. In Laughter Yoga we are training our minds and bodies to laugh at will, while building up muscle memory.  Our brain develops new neuro-connections that produce 'Happy' chemistry in the body.  These reactions can be triggered simply by laughter exercises, which lead the mind to experience the emotion of Joy!  Over time, members of laughter clubs become conditioned to be more joyful throughout the day simply by having the bodily experience of doing Laughter Yoga.

                                                                                                        

What's A Typical Session Like, You Ask??


A session of Laughter Yoga usually lasts an hour with the hearty belly laughter lasting about 20 minutes.

The Laughter leader makes suggestions for different laughter, breathing and stretching exercises.

There are four steps in Laughter Yoga:

~ Rhythmic Clapping 

~ Yogic Breathing

~ Childlike Playfulness

~ Laughter Exercises

It starts with warm up exercises to get the laughter muscles in the belly activated, followed by

the various imagination-based laughter exercises which help people to laugh loud and heartily from the belly.We intersperse these silly scenarios of childlike playfulness that induce the laughter with rhythmic clapping and yogic breathing.  And along with the clapping we chant Ho! Ho! Ha! Ha! Ha!  or Very Good! Very Good! Yay! or even perhaps Hip! Hip! Hooray!! 

We will often end the session with "Laughter Meditation" in which we close our eyes and focus on hearing each other's laughter ringing in our ears, which also induces contagious laughter.  This might be done sitting in chairs like we're on a roller coaster ride imagining the ups and downs, raising our hands in the air on the speedy down hills (with no danger of falling out!!) and hearing each other's laughter and shouts of glee!!  (Left-hand photo below)  Or, perhaps, lying on the floor with two little Laughter Helpers speaking Gibberish in your ears!! (Right-hand photo below)

How Did This Wacky Idea Ever Get Started?!


The year is 1995. The setting; a Mumbai park in the early hours of the morning.  Laughter Yoga began the moment a medical doctor took "Laughter is the best medicine" seriously.  Dr Madan Kataria, along with his wife Madhuri Kataria, a Yoga teacher, and 5 of their friends showed up that day.  Now there are over 7,000 Laughter Yoga Clubs in over 75 countries, with 500 of them in the USA.

Very  Good! Very Good! Yaaay!!

           Come join me in Laughter Yoga and have more Joy in your life!!

                                                               Who's Doing Laughter Yoga??

Laughter Yoga is practiced in companies and corporations at conferences and training days,  Fitness centers, Yoga studios, Centers for Seniors, Schools, Colleges, Universities, Youth Camps, Physically and Mentally Challenged Support Groups, Foster Care support groups and Self Help cancer groups.

On an individual level:
Alleviates tendencies towards depression ~ Good for anyone who needs their spirits lifted.

On a social level:
The quality of life and life satisfaction does not depend on how much money, power, position and success you have; rather it depends on the number of good friends with whom one has a caring and sharing relationship.  This appreciation and acknowledgement helps in emotional development.  Laughter Yoga is a positive energy which quickly connects people and helps them to make friends more easily. 

With all the eye contact and intermingling forming relationships is fostered.  Possible settings are:

Conferences - Opening session, to help foster relations; afternoon session, to wake participants up after lunch; or ending session, to celebrate all the relationships bonded.

Companies & Corporations - Laughter Yoga is a great tool for health and well-being on a mental and physical level.  Human Resource departments use it as a method in maintaining employee job satisfaction.

Go on! I dare you!  Give me 3 good reasons to do Laughter Yoga!

 

Numero Uno - In order to get scientifically proven health benefits of laughter, we need to laugh continuously for at least 10-15 minutes.  Since in Laughter Yoga we do laughter as an exercise, we can prolong our laughter as long as we want; it brings measurable physiological changes, like oxygen levels in the blood, muscle relaxation, increased blood circulation and the release of certain hormones in the body. 

 

Numero Dos - To reap the health benefits of laughter, laughter has to be loud and deeeep, coming from way down in the diaphram.  It should be a giggly belly laugh!  It might not be socially acceptable (yet) to laugh loudly and heartily without any 'good' reason!  (Take them away! Ha,Ha, Hee,Hee!)  By laughing together we're saved from a fate worse than living lifelessly!

 

Numero Tres - Natural laughter, that courses through our life depends upon many reasons and conditions, but there are not many reasons which make us laugh.  When we're babies we laugh more than 400 times a day, but as adults we often lose the laughter from our lives.  In Laughter Yoga we are not leaving it to chance!  We are doing it out of commitment!!  This is a guaranteed way of getting all the health benefits of laughter!


Supporting Evidence that Laughter makes better Brains:

In the book A Better Brain At Any Age, by Sondra Kornblatt, there's a list of ... "tips, tricks and techniques to help your brain learn and remember:"  One of the items in the list is "join a laughing group, listen to comedy records, see a comedy film."  It goes on to say about these activities: " ... they've proven effective in strengthening memory, increasing creativity, and enhancing overall mental agility."  So let's have the never-ending last laugh together, as soon as possible!!