You’ve heard the saying ‘laughter is the best medicine’. It’s true!
In 1995, Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria put two and two together – yogic breathing and laughter – and realised bountiful health benefits.
He developed a most joyous exercise program and complementary health therapy, Laughter Yoga (also known as Hasya yoga) that has since spread to about 105 countries worldwide.
You don’t have to be funny.
You don’t have to be happy.
Our bodies, amazingly complex and clever creations that they are, can’t discern the difference between simulated or real laughter. The mechanics are the same—and so is the release of those happy feel-good hormones.
Before you realise it, you are genuinely laughing because you feel so good!
The Happydemic’s Heather Joy Campbell explains in this ABC radio interview:
Seriously, it’s the most fun way of pursuing wellbeing.
The Happydemic’s laughter yoga sessions begin with a warm-up incorporating gentle stretching, clapping, swaying and some grounding chants: “Very good, very good, YAY” and “Hoho, hahaha, hoho, hahaha, hoho hahaha, heeheeheeheehee!” These actions ease participants into playfulness.
The session then moves onto a series of ‘laughter exercises’ interspersed with breathing exercises.
It has been scientifically proven that 20 minutes of laughter reaps real physiological benefits.
Throughout the session, eye contact is maintained with others in the group.
Sometimes sessions conclude with affirmations. Sometimes ‘laughter meditation’ rounds off a session. ‘Laughter meditation’ is a wonderfully powerful, cathartic, explosion of joy.