I am a certified laughter Yoga facilitator, with the Dr Madan Kataria Laughter Yoga International University. I am available to facilitate sessions, both in the workplace and community.
Laughter Yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria (a physician from India) in collaboration with his wife Madhuri (a yoga teacher) in 1995. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. It is an exercise routine; it is sweeping the world and is a complete well-being workout.
Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
Laughter Yoga is a unique concept where anyone can laugh for no reason, without relying on humour, jokes or comedy. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter if done with willingness. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits. Laughter Yoga is beneficial for our overall well-being.
We initiate laughter as an exercise in a group, but with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter.
The reason we call it Laughter Yoga is because it combines laughter exercises with yoga breathing. This brings more oxygen to the body and the brain which makes one feel more energetic and healthier.
Why Laughter Yoga?
In order to get the scientifically proven health benefits of laughter, we need to laugh continuously for at least for 10 to 15 minutes. Since in Laughter Yoga we do laughter as an exercise, we can prolong our laughter as long as we want. On the other hand, natural laughter comes for just a few seconds here and there and is not enough to bring about physiological and biochemical changes in our body. To reap the health benefits of laughter, laughter has to be loud and deep, coming from the diaphragm. It should be a belly laugh. It might not be socially acceptable to laugh loudly, but Laughter Yoga clubs provide a safe environment where one can laugh loudly and heartily without any social implication. Children laugh between 300 and 400 times per day and adults laugh between 10 and 15 times per day. Laughter yoga sessions ensure that we have a commitment to real laughter.
How is Laughter Yoga different from other Yoga?
Laughter yoga follows a very different approach to other types of yoga. It is deceptively simple, yet very powerful and potentially life-changing. It is a form of exercise that anyone can do anywhere anytime. There are no difficult poses involved. Its core premise is that the body knows how to laugh, it helps one to respond positively in the face of adversity and it enables one to make happier choices.
Laughter yoga is a body-mind approach to laughter. This approach helps one to suspend the ego so there is no room for conflict or power struggles. It invites you to fake it until you make it.
Laughter yoga allows one to laugh heartily, engaging the diaphragm for an extended length of time. It is great fun and it encourages one to interact and play well with others without judgement or competition. All you really have to do is laugh, which frees you up to connect fully with yourself and others. Its goal is to bring about, health, joy and peace through laughter and to extend that out for world peace.
Dr Katari's writes:
Are you stressed, sad and depressed? Do you want to bring more laughter and joy to your
life? Here are five benefits that Laughter Yoga offers for your health and wellness:
- Good mood and more laughter: Whether it is your personal life, business life or social life everything you do depends upon your mood state. If your mind is good, you can do things much better.Laughter yoga helps to change the mood within minutes by releasing certain chemicals from your brain cells called endorphins. You will remain cheerful and in a great mood throughout the day and you will laugh more often than you normally do.
- Healthy Exercise to Beat Stress: Laughter Yoga is like an aerobic exercise (cardio
workout) which brings more oxygen to the body and brain which makes one feel healthier and more energetic. Laughter yoga is a single exercise routine which reduces physical, mental and emotional stress simultaneously.
- Health Benefits: You can’t enjoy life if you are sick. Laughter Yoga strengthens the
immune system which not only prevents you from falling sick, but also helps to heal a variety of illnesses like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, arthritis, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, menstrual disorders, cancer and many others.
- Quality of Life: Quality of life depends upon quality of good friends we have with whom we have a caring and sharing relationship. Laughter is a positive energy which helps to connect with people quickly and improves relationships. If you laugh more you will attract many friends.
- Positive Attitude in Challenging Times: Everyone can laugh when the time is good, but how does one laugh when faced with challenges? Laughter helps to create a positive mental state to deal with negative situations and negative people. It gives hope and optimism to cope with difficult times.