Laughter Yoga is a unique exercise routine which is fast sweeping the world and is a complete wellbeing workout. It is the brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian physician from Mumbai who started the first laughter club in a park on 13th March 1995, with just 5 people. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 social laughter clubs in 65 countries.
Laughter Yoga combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing (Pranayama).Anyone can laugh for no reason, without relying on humour, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group but with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter.
The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits.
This innovative concept has been widely accepted all over the world and has been written about in prestigious publications like TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Telegraph (UK) and many others. Laughter clubs were also featured on Oprah Winfrey Show, BBC, CNN, ZDF (Germany) NHK (Japan), ABC news (USA) and many other TV networks in the world.
Why Laughter Yoga – 3 Reasons(according to Dr. Madan):
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Natural laughter that courses through our life depends upon many reasons and conditions, but there are not many reasons which make us laugh. That means we are leaving laughter to chance, it may happen it may not. In contrast, in Laughter Yoga club we are not leaving laughter to chance, but doing it out of commitment. This is a guaranteed way of getting the health benefits of laughter
I have just completed my certificate for Laughter Yoga Leader and it was an absolutely mind blowing experience. I was going through some emotional rollercoaster of late and came upon this beautiful lady whom I met in the Money & You Johor Bharu Graduates tea gathering recommending that I should join her in the journey of sharing laughter to people around us. Somehow, I joined without much hesitancy and I love every single step of the journey.
The amazing part about the effect after the program is that it reflects immediately. I went for lunch with my sister in law, Jacy who also attended the program, a friend from the program and my lovely cousin. Interestingly the aura or essence of our joyfulness spreads like wildfire. There we sat in the restaurant, wondering what else to order, suddenly came the waitress asking us “why are you sitting down? Go clean up the plates!” All of us just burst into laughter as the waitress were teasing us because our tshirt color were exactly the same as theirs. As our laughter travels, came another waiter faking a HOHO HOHO and came up to us and said “Your laughter is like the shaolin monk, the power coming from the solar plexus is amazing!” Then again all 4 of us burst in laughter. This time around the other guests turned over and gave us the weird look and we laughed again. They couldn’t resist it and it set off the whole restaurant laughing. All the guests and workers were delighted and felt the fun of joyfulness from just a simple act of laughing.
As we leave the restaurant, several of the workers made remarks such as “come back and laugh again”, “ho ho ho” and “what is laughter yoga?”. I AM AMAZED! They were very happy with the laughing and they actually took note of what we do from our tshirts! Somehow, I walked out of the restaurant that day feeling very joyful and contented! I am contented because a simple laughter could brighten up the day for so many people just like that, may it be those whom I have known for years or those whom I just met!
I AM INSPIRED! I am inspired to share the great activity with people around! I am inspired to promote it into the corporate culture! I am inspired to spread the joy through laughter! I am inspired to contribute to world peace through laughter!
HO HO HA HA HA!