Laughter lowers blood pressure, relaxes muscles, improves blood circulation, increases oxygen level in the body, elevates mood, brings hope, enhances communication and boosts immune system. Dr Madan Kataria has contributed to the happiness of mankind by successfully blending free laughter with yogic breathing and evolving the unique concept of Laughter Yoga.
Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. It is a breakthrough laughter delivery system that enables a person to laugh continuously for fifteen to twenty minutes. It is a powerful exercise routine and a complete wellbeing workout which is fast sweeping the world.
Dr Madan Kataria, an Indian physician, along with his wife Madhuri, started the first laughter club in a park in Mumbai on 13th March 1995 with just five members. Today it is a worldwide phenomenon with more than six thousand social laughter clubs in sixty countries.
It combines unconditional laughter with pranayama – yogic breathing. Laughter is simulated in a group exercise with childlike playfulness and eye contact, which soon turns into real and contagious laughter, without relying upon jokes or comedy. The concept is based on a scientific fact that the human body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter – one gets the same physiological and psychological benefits from both types of laughter.
Natural laughter comes just for a few seconds here and there but to get scientifically proven health benefits of laughter, we need to laugh continuously for ten to fifteen minutes at least - loud and deep from our diaphragm - which is possible only in social laughter clubs. They are non-political, non-religious and non-profit social clubs run by volunteers trained as laughter teachers and have no membership fee, no forms and no fuss.
A typical laughter yoga session includes clapping and warming up, deep breathing exercises, childlike playfulness and laughter exercises which may be yoga based, playful or value based exercises. Laughter yoga exercises are sometimes followed by laughter meditation where laughter may flow spontaneously like a fountain. The session ends with guided relaxation and grounding exercises.
Clinical research on laughter yoga methods has shown that laughter lowers the level of stress hormones in the blood. It fosters a positive and hopeful attitude and one is less likely to succumb to depression and helplessness. The regular club members say it makes them happy, healthy and energized. In effect, it has changed their lives.
Laughter yoga is an effective cardio workout and helps in staying fit. It increases blood circulation and relaxes muscles. Laughter yoga changes your mood within minutes by releasing endorphins in your brain. One feels energized and fresh throughout the day and can work more without getting tired. Laughter clubs provide a rich social network of people who care about one another. One learns to handle difficult situations effectively without losing composure by imbibing the essence of laughter yoga.
India, laughter yoga has been introduced in many schools in Baroda, Surat and . It has recently been included as a subject in the curriculum in one of the universities in the Bangalore . Scientific research shows that laughter can help to resolve many workplace issues and is gaining popularity in companies and corporations across the globe. Laughter yoga is being practiced among seniors in many aged care facilities in United States Canada, USA, Israel and Europe. There are hundreds of people in laughter clubs all over the world who are suffering from cancer but laughter has brought a new hope into their lives.
The ultimate objective is to bring good health, joy and world peace through laughter. This innovative concept has been widely accepted and reported in Time magazine, National Geographic, BBC, CNN and many others.
CoolBisht / Indore