Yes, it is a "thing", LOL!
Laughter Yoga was created in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria in India who was inspired by the story of Norman Cousins, an American man who healed himself of his painful symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis through laughing.
(See Norman Cousins's book "Anatomy of an Illness".)
After starting a small group which grew over time and continues to today, Dr. Kataria eventually abandoned his medical practice to focus on leading laughter sessions full time, realizing the benefits he and others were experiencing in their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. He then created Laughter Yoga based on Hasya Yoga (Yogic Laughter).
There has been much study and research done on the physiological and other benefits of laughing and there are now thousands of Laughter Yoga Leaders around the world.
Anyone can laugh for no reason and scientific studies show that the body cannot differentiate between real laughter and voluntary laughter if done with willingness and one receives the same health benefits.
In Laughter Yoga sessions, simulated laughter soon turns to real laughter and you know, "laughter is the best medicine!".
Each session involves easy movement and breathing along with a variety of laughter exercises to open up and stimulate the physical body, the breath, the energy, and the voice into laughter, bringing more Oxygen to the body and brain and helping to create higher energy and better health.
Laughing inspires beneficial shifts in mood and physical tension, encouraging a childlike lightness of being.
After a series of abrupt changes upon the sudden death of my younger brother and other life experiences, I realized I'd lost my laugh.
I wasn't really laughing much anymore. Nothing seemed funny enough in my life to create the free and sustained laughter of my youth. Comedy, movies or interacting ceased to provide that prolonged, releasing laughter that left me feeling rejuvenated.
Fast forward to a family gathering where a cousin announced that she was a Certified Laughter Yoga leader, which prompted us all into a fit of laughter and ignited something in me. I later decided to study Laughter Yoga to inspire and heal myself and get my laugh back, which I felt got lost in the mix somewhere.
During the process, I realized that I am not alone in this dilemma and that because of our personal and global crises, we can all use to laugh more, keep our spirits buoyant, our frequencies higher, and put things into a different perspective by naturally and easily shifting our body chemistry and energy.
I'm now laughing much more spontaneously and often and enjoying the contact laugh it passes on wherever it is appropriate (or sometimes not appropriate, LOL!).
Now as a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, I am passing on more laughter to the world in group and private sessions to add to the services that I offer.
One of my favorite quotes from a Joni Mitchell song called People's Parties is: "Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release".
Keep checking back on the Events page for a list of current class offerings which are in the works, but in the meantime, go to the Contact page here on this site and request your name to be added for Laughter Yoga (and any other offerings on the site you may be interested in) to be notified or to request a class or private session.
If classes aren't comfortable for you right now whether because you are private, shy, grieving, stuck, or at a distance, you can arrange a one-on-one in-person or phone session to get your laugh up and running.
Shake up and clear the energy
with classes at your home, work or on the phone.
Indoors or Outdoors
Private Sessions in person or by phone
.... Be creative.
GIFT CERTIFICATES ARE AVAILABLE AS AN UNUSUAL TREAT FOR INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS!
NOTE: Ask your doctor if Laughing Yoga is right for you! Always check with your medical professional before starting a new regime.
Special thanks to Laughter Yoga Leader Denise Macaronas and Laughter Yoga Ambassador and Teacher Gaga Barnes for their inspiration and wisdom.
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Wishing You the Best!