Not too many people have heard of Laughter Yoga, so I thought it would be a good idea to answer the questions that I often get asked. I hope that after reading through these, you will have a burning desire to start laughing and will join me at a Laughter Yoga class, or have me bring LY to you.
What is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter Yoga is a cardio workout combining simple laughter exercises with yogic breathing, bringing more oxygen to the body & brain, making you feel energetic & healthy.
How did Laughter Yoga start?
This unique exercise was developed by Indian medical doctor, Dr. Madan Kataria, supported by his wife Madhuri Kataria, a yoga teacher, and is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. Dr Kataria’s research was partly based on Norman Cousins, who suffered with a severe chronic illness, which left him in constant pain. Norman discovered that by watching comedy films and belly laughing for a certain amount of minutes straight, he got hours of pain free sleep. Years later, Norman published the book, “Anatomy of an Illness.” Since Laughter Yoga's birth in 1995, it has spread to over 70 countries and is practiced by thousands of people every day.
What are the benefits of participating in a Laughter Yoga class?
These are just SOME of the benefits that have been scientifically studied:
Increases blood circulation
Boosts and strengthens immune system
Recharges your metabolism
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces asthma, allergies, & arthritis symptoms
Boosts energy levels
Helps keep you fit
Helps people connect with one another
Laughter Yoga is a powerful weapon against depression, anxiety, grief, loneliness, sadness, stress, and isolation! It helps to change your mood within minutes by releasing certain chemicals from your brain cells called endorphins. You will most likely remain cheerful and in a good mood throughout the rest of your day.
Is Laughter Yoga suitable for everyone?
Yes, laughter is a universal language that connects us and brings us together.
What can I expect from a Laughter Yoga class?
Lots of laughter! All abilities can learn laughter yoga. Classes are FUN and begin with warm-up exercises. Then we move to laughter exercises which are interspersed with deep breathing. This helps flush the lungs and bring about physical and mental benefits.
Hearty laughter during class gets us energized and so we must reduce those levels before leaving. Participants really love the guided relaxation at the end of class, as it brings immense relaxation.
What if I find it hard to laugh?
Eye-contact with others in class is encouraged and so is childlike playfulness. Both help us to laugh for no reason. Don't worry if your laughter feels forced. You will hear me say, "fake it till you make it.” Why? Because the body doesn't know the difference between real and fake laughter. So, you will get all the benefits even with fake laughter. Usually though, your laughter will become real as the class progresses.
Will I be doing yoga poses?
No, you will not. The yoga portion involves deep and slow breaths along with stretching exercises. We aren’t doing any yoga poses. We only use our yoga mats, or towel/blanket towards the end of class for laughter meditation. Yes, you heard that correctly. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
What should I wear? Bring?
Come to class in comfortable clothes, such as shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Bring a water bottle & something to lay on. You can bring a thick towel, blanket, or a mat.
If you cannot get down to the floor, you can always sit on a chair.
Why do you teach Laughter Yoga?
It is amazing to see the transformation of a group of people before and after class. It is no surprise we live in a stress-filled world, driven by worries, to-do lists, and goals. Participants often come to class tired and stressed out from life. (Often times, I do too.) When we finish class, participants leave "feeling good, relaxed, energized, stress-free, and more self-confident." In order to get the health benefits of laughter, one must have at least 20 minutes of laughter. Laughing in a group is much easier than laughing alone. When we give ourselves the freedom to let go of our inhibitions and participate fully, we feel free, light, and energized. Laughter is changing our brain chemistry by the oxygenating exercises we perform in class, generating good feelings and changing our outlook on life.
Laughter Yoga is about learning to be joyful, which helps us to navigate happiness in our daily lives in a much better way.
Most people want to be healthy and happy; here is an easy way to do both! As the saying goes, "laughter is the best medicine, " and I'm out to prove it!
How can I join a class? How do I hire you for a retreat I am holding ?
If you’d like more information, or if you would like to book a class for your group, organization, school, church, business, vacation resort, or cruise line, please contact me via my contact page. I look forward to introducing you to the wonderful practice of Laughter Yoga.
"This was fun and immediately reduced my stress and changed my mood."
"I am in good physical health and consider myself very fit. I am surprised that I could feel this being a workout!"
"I am so glad we came to class for our date night!"
"I was in a bad mood and tired when I came to class. I honestly feel light, energized and happy right now."
"That last part of class was heavenly!"