Laughter Yoga is a process that allows you to laugh, even if you don’t feel like it, without jokes, comedy or humor. It is a body-mind practice that involves laughter exercises, rhythmic clapping and deep breathing exercises.
Laughter Yoga was created by Dr Madan Kataria, a medical doctor from India, because there are so many benefits of laughter. Laughter:
Laughter is too important to leave to chance. In a laughter yoga session, you can choose to laugh, because you can. Simulating the laughter leads to stimulating the feel good chemistry that comes with it.
You will explore what laughter yoga is and how laughter yoga improves health and wellbeing. You will receive all the information you will need, to help you get the most out of your experience.
The laughter yoga workout will alternate between laughter exercises, rhythmic clapping and deep breathing exercises.
Laughter exercises tend to be playful and interactive. They often involve an action and simulated laughter, for example in ‘handshake laughter exercise’, you will shake hands, make eye contact and laugh, as you greet different people in the group. With eye contact and group dynamics, laughter tends to become contagious.
Rhythmic clapping exercises stimulate the acupressure points in the hands and increase energy levels.
The chant HO, HO, HA, HA, HA is added to the clapping pattern. These sounds stimulate the movement of the diaphragm, a key muscle involved in laughing and in yoga breathing. When movement is also added, positive energy builds and joyful feelings emerge.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises bring relaxation to the mind and body. One key feature of yoga breathing is that exhalation is longer than inhalation. This activates the body’s relaxation response. One of the easiest ways to exhale for longer, is to laugh.
Most laughter yoga sessions of 45 minutes and longer will involve a laughter meditation. A laughter meditation is more about spontaneous laughter and a deeper level of laughter is often experienced, during this stage. This is a powerful opportunity to release a whole range of repressed emotions from the body and can bring about a healthy, emotional catharsis.
Energy can reach high levels during laughter yoga, so the workshop will involve a grounding exercise, such as a guided relaxation, to ground the energy of laughter and stabilise the body systems. This is where the real benefits of laughter yoga can be felt. People commonly report that they feel relaxed, yet energised and positive at the end of a laughter yoga workshop.
Laugh and Live Well offers tailored laughter yoga workshops throughout Sydney and NSW. Contact us to discuss how we can tailor a workshop for your organisation.
“We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.’’ – William James