What is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter is truly the best medicine - no need for a prescription, no unpleasant aftertaste, no side effects, and best of all - it's FREE!
The average child laughs between 300 and 400 times per day. By the time we reach adulthood we are reduced to laughing, on average, only 12 times a day! Laughter has been proven to reduce stress, pain, and depression while improving creativity, physical vitality and a sense of well being.
During a laughter yoga session you will be led through a series of breathing exercises, gentle movement, and simulated laughter. Developed by Indian physician, Dr. Madan Kataria, laughter yoga is designed to help people connect with their inner child and re-discover joy, spontaneity, and creativity.
You will laugh like you have never laughed before, and you will leave refreshed and invigorated. You will do this for no reason at all, except improving your health and well-being. People of all ages, religions and ethnicities laugh together. It is a great way to build bridges and promote peace in the community.
Laughter yoga is for all people - all ages and all abilities. Specific exercises can be modified to suit the abilities of the participant. Anyone can practice laughter yoga and everyone can benefit.
Connection between Yoga & Laughter
Yoga in Sanskrit means "to yoke" or "to join." Both laughter and yoga join the body, mind, and spirit.
Laughter is a yogic practice because it provides many of the same benefits as an asana practice. Both yoga and laughter have the following physical benefits:
Laughter yoga and hatha yoga both emphasize deep breathing as a way to calm the mind and body and promote health, relaxation and well-being. Deep breathing is like jogging for our organs. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle that sits below the heart and above the stomach, liver, and intestines. When the diaphragm expands, it massages and stimulates internal organs and allows the lungs to more fully expand. The diaphragm connects all the way down to our lower ribs and lower lumbar vertebrae and with full breath we can feel the ribs expand in all directions.
Laughter stimulates deep, diaphragmatic breathing and laughter yoga alternates laughter with diaphragmatic breathing. Laughter also empties the lungs, and complete exhalation is a pre-requisite for deep breathing.