Laughter Yoga is a fun and effective way to boost mood as well as immune system, connect socially and think positively (and they’re just some of the benefits).
Devised by Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria and his yogi wife Madhuri in India in 1995, laughter yoga is combines the deep restorative breathing of yoga with simulated playful laughter exercises.
There is no comedy, no humour, no jokes.
The laughter is ‘unconditional’—laughing for laughter’s sake.
And yes, in a laughter yoga session it can start out as fake. Chances are that it won’t continue to be fake for very long. Here’s why?
Scientific research has confirmed that laughter is contagious. Laughter yoga, practised as it is in a group with good eye contact, flicks on our very own natural feel-good switch when we let ourselves laugh.
Yes, it can be a bit silly. It’s playful, child-like…outside the comfort zone of our ‘serious’ adult life.
Just a few of the benefits that flow from willingly practising laughter yoga include:
- reduced stress
- more cheerfulness
- sharper concentration
- more energy
- stronger immune system
- greater resilience when facing life’s challenges.
Some of these benefits are felt from the very first session like being on an instant vacation.
You can give laughter yoga a go at a community-based laughter club. While Australian laughter club locations are limited—they are run by trained volunteers—they are free or very low-cost with no membership or sign-up fee, ever. Go on… you know you want to…
(c) Heather Joy Campbell 2017