What is Laughter Yoga?
Learning to laugh for no reason at all ...
Posted 04/17/08 by Andrea Wright Anderson
"I like nonsense -- it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. Its a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope...and that enables you to laugh at all of lifes realities." ~ Theodor Seuss Geisel (AKA Dr. Seuss)
Laughter Yoga is a unique new physical activity where anyone can learn to laugh for no reason at all! It is a perfect blend of playful, empowering and otherwise "tension-releasing" laughter exercises. These are interspersed with gentle yogic breathing and stretching exercises, rhythmic clapping and chanting of Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha in unison.
Anybody can laugh for 15-20 minutes without a sense of humor, jokes or comedy. In Laughter Yoga we use laughter as a tool, not an emotion. Through group activity and eye contact simulated laughter exercises quickly become real, contagious and enthusiastic laughter.
We laugh as a way to improve health, increase well-being, and promote peace in the world through personal transformation. All exercises are adapted to suit the needs and abilities of the group participating. The soft chuckle of a 99 year old man is as efficient to that person as the belly rippling laughter of a 20 year old.
The second part of laughter yoga is called laughter meditation. The group members sit on the floor (or on a chair if they cant) in silence for few minutes and then start faking laughter until it flows spontaneously. Deep, natural laughter naturally happens without the need for comedy or jokes. In the final stage of laughter meditation all participants lie down on the floor with their eyes closed. They just cant help laughing!
The unique concept of Laughter Yoga was discovered in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician in Mumbai, India. Realizing that laughter truly can be "the best medicine," he started working with a small group of people and discovered that anyone can laugh for no reason. It has since grown into a world wide movement with more than 6,000 clubs in over 60 countries. All of which are free!!
Led by a Certified Laughter Yoga Leaders", members take part in activities that combine laughter exercises (simulated laughter) and yoga breathing, which turns into real laughter when practiced in a group. Participation in a laughter club encourages playfulness, laughter, social connection, and a balance of mind, body, and spirit.