About Laughter Yoga
In 1995 Dr Kataria, an Indian doctor was writing an article ‘Laughter – The Best Medicine’ and decided to put the theory to the test.
He discovered a ‘breakthrough technology’ which he developed into Laughter Yoga, which is:
- a unique concept
- does not require jokes or comedy
- is practiced in a group
- laughter is initiated as a form of exercise
- laughter becomes infectious and contagious when we look at each other.
Laughter Yoga combines laughter exercises with yogic breathing techniques. These techniques bring more oxygen to the body and brain, making us feel more healthy and energised.
Dr Kataria discovered that the same physiological and biochemical changes occur whether we laugh genuinely or not.
There are now over 10,000 laughter clubs worldwide in over 106 countries.
Ask yourself…when did you last laugh loudly and deeply from your belly?
- Laughter Yoga gives us the opportunity to laugh together for an extended length of time. For the full benefits of laughter we need to laugh for about 10-15 minutes, and not just our normal social chuckle.
- We laugh deeply and loudly using the diaphragm in a happy safe space with others who are happy to hear out laugh-out-loud laughter.
- We practice unconditional laughing, we don’t have to wait for something to happen to make us laugh. Learning to initiate laughter willfully also guarantees us the benefits of laughter.
Laughter Yoga Advice
Please wear everyday comfortable clothes. You may like to bring a pillow, blanket or a yoga mat for your comfort as we may take a moment to lie down on the floor and laugh a lot.
Laughter yoga is a fun and healthy exercise regime with beneficial effects for the body, mind and emotions. Like any form of aerobic exercise, it should not be practiced by people with medical problems without first taking advice from their medical practitioner.
It is contraindicated for people suffering from:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Major psychiatric disorders
- Severe backache
- Having undergone surgery within the last 3 months
- Advanced (bleeding) piles
- Any kind of hernia
- Incontinence of urine
- Any persistent cough
- Any condition with acute symptoms
This list is for guidance only and is not meant to be exhaustive. If in doubt, first consult a trained medical professional for guidance.
What happens in a Laughter Yoga club…
The laughter leader will guide you through playful, light hearted exercises, gentle stretches and clapping to promote and evoke laughter. Initially your laughter may not be real, however as we laugh together and for no reason our laughter develops into real, contagious deep laughter.
It’s said that the body doesn’t differentiate between spontaneous and willed laughter – we gain the physical, mental and social benefits regardless.
- Changes and improves our mood by releasing endorphins.
- Reduces the effects of stress, releasing tension.
- Strengthens our immunity.
- With an increase of oxygen in the body and brain we are able to work more efficiently, with an improved energy and concentration.
- Laughter connects us with others, developing positive relationships with our family, friends, colleagues and fellow laughers. When we are happy we meet others with a happy presence.
- As laughter strengthens and balances our bodies and brain we develop a positive outlook on life helping us to meet life’s challenges from a positive perspective, enabling us to cope better when life’s difficulties arise.