What is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter Yoga is an innovative health promotion and disease prevention program that uses intentional laughter as a form of physical exercise to enhance health and wellbeing. Practically anyone can laugh heartily and achieve the health benefits of laughter without relying on jokes, humor or comedy. The concept is based on scientific knowledge that the body cannot distinguish between genuine and self-initiated laughter - so whether you are laughing at something funny or you are having fun choosing to laugh, both generate physiological and psychological health benefits.
During a Laughter Yoga session, participants initiate laughter as exercise in a group setting, and through making eye contact and enacting a sense of playfulness, self-initiated intentional laughter soon becomes genuine and contagious.
Laughter Yoga is not postural yoga and requires limited physical ability, and no special exercise clothing or equipment. All that is needed is a willingness to choose to laugh. The practice is called Laughter Yoga because laughter exercises are interspersed with deep yogic breathing and gentle stretches. The breathing deepens the laughter and increases the net intake of oxygen, which boosts peak performance levels.
The practice was established in 1995 by an Indian medical physician. Now individuals and professionals in over 80 countries use Laughter Yoga to help their family, peers and clients of all ages to achieve the health benefits of laughter in a variety of social, residential, professional and corporate settings.
This innovative practice has been featured in prominent news outlets such as TIME Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Telegraph (UK), Oprah Winfrey Show, ABC news, CNN, and many others.