What is Laughter Yoga?

Laughter Yoga combines laughter exercises with deep (yogic) breathing. Sessions include songs, games, laughter exercises, deep breathing and a laughter meditation. Laughter Yoga is based on the premise that the body cannot distinguish between pretend and genuine laughter (this draws on NLP), and both produce the same physiological response. Not to mention that doing laughter exercises with others in a group will usually also product plenty of heartfelt or genuine laughter – since laughter is so contagious!

Laughter Yoga was originally founded by an Indian doctor called Dr Kataria, in Mumbai in 1995. He wanted to prescribe laughter for his patients and as laughter was not available in tablet form – he created laughter yoga – the next best thing! It is now a global phenomenon with 1,000s of laughter clubs all over the world.

Sounds silly? It is! Take you out of your comfort zone? It just might… However, when we laugh we breathe deeply and we release endorphins and it seems to be a magic combination that both energizes and relaxes, uplifts and calms and fundamentally helps us to reconnect to a more playful and fun-loving aspect of ourselves…

Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Energizes and relaxes
  • Increases endorphin levels
  • Cathartic – good for releasing and letting go
  • Increases playfulness and creativity
  • Relieves pain

When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other – Alan Alda

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