WHAT IS LAUGHTER YOGA?
Laughter Yoga involves a series of stimulated laughter exercises and cultivated child-like playfulness to produce laughter for prolonged periods of time.
WHY LAUGHTER YOGA?
Most of us agree that there’s nothing like a good laugh to lift our spirits. However, Laughter Yoga founder Dr Madan Kataria observed that natural laughter is generally short-lived and left to chance – it may happen, it may not. Besides, there isn’t always much to laugh about, so if we wait until we have good reason to laugh, we may be waiting for some time! That is why laughing for no reason is the core philosophy of Laughter Yoga classes.
Physical Wellbeing - A good, hearty laugh is a powerful cardio workout – just 10 minutes of hearty laughter is equal to 30 minutes on the rowing machine! Other benefits include increased blood circulation, reduced blood pressure, and an antidote to stress which is widely recognised as accounting for up to 80% of all illnesses.
Emotional Wellbeing - Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical.
Social Benefit – We rarely laugh when we are alone; however happy we may feel laughter virtually disappears when we are by ourselves. It creates a positive bond, breaks down barriers and increases our sense of belonging and social cohesion.
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE HAPPY
People often assume you have to be happy in order to laugh. Laughter Yoga founder Dr Madan Kataria makes a clear distinction between happiness and joyfulness. Happiness is typically fleeting by nature. In contrast, joyfulness is an unconditional commitment to be happy for the moment (and for no particular reason) despite life’s problems. And one of the easiest ways to trigger joyfulness is through laughter. In that sense, you can laugh even if you’re not happy.
YOU DON’T NEED A SENSE OF HUMOUR
You can also laugh even if you don’t have a great sense of humour. Research shows that 90% of laughter is not a response to humour or comedy. When we laugh we are often communicating playful intent. Children laugh more than adults because children play more than adults. Children laugh up to 400 times a day, often as a by-product of their playfulness. Adults, if lucky, laugh up to 15 times a day. (It has been said: “it’s not that we stop laughing when we grow older, it’s that we grow older when we stop laughing”).
YOU JUST NEED TO TURN UP!