Laughing for no reason is the basis of Laughter Yoga. Your body can’t tell the difference when you laugh for a reason or when you laugh for no reason – either way, you receive the same preventive and physiological benefits from laughing. Laughter increases circulation and the supply of oxygen to the body, strengthens the immune system, releases endorphins to improve your mood, and does much more to improve your body and your mind.
Dr. Madan Kataria, a medical doctor in India, developed Laughter Yoga in 1995 with five people. Now more than 6,000 laughter clubs exist in about 60 countries. Laughter Yoga has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, BBC, CNN, ABC News, and in such publications as Time Magazine, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
You can read about Laughter Yoga, which combines laughter exercises with mild breathing exercises from Pranayama Yoga, at www.laughteryoga.org or www.laughteryogaamerica.com. Then experience this class and decide for yourself if laughter is the best medicine. You’ll find that Laughter Yoga does indeed leave you feeling ha-ha-happy!
The objectives of this class are for you to be able to:
- Participate in simple laughing activities designed to incite laughter.
- Name and participate in the four components of Laughter Yoga.
- Participate in a laughter meditation and guided relaxation activity.
- Experience the benefits of Laughter Yoga.
- To date, no one has ever been injured applying laughter yoga.
- If you have epilepsy or a severe hernia or have had extremely recent surgery in the trunk or abdominal area, you want to be careful and not laugh too heartily.
- Laughter involves some physical strain and rise in intra-abdominal pressure. It is contraindicated for people suffering from diseases that are in a severe and uncontrolled stage such as hemorrhoids, hernia, persistent cough, anything with acute symptoms, epilepsy, heart disease, high blood pressure, incontinence of urine, major psychiatric disorders, severe backache, and recent major surgery.