by Sebastien Gendry
Laughter Yoga (Laugh Yoga, Laughing Yoga, Ha ha Yoga, Hasya Yoga) is a combination of simple, empowering and otherwise "tension-releasing" laughter exercises combined with gentle yoga breathing techniques.
Connecting to genuine laughter is of course a desirable outcome, and this is not our primary goal. We use laughter (rapid contractions of the diaphragm) as a form of exercise to flush our lungs (and through it our bloodstream and whole body) with fresh oxygen, strengthen the immune system and boost "happy" chemistry. Simply going through the physical motions of happiness creates the very chemistry of happiness.
These exercises are appropriate and beneficial for all, regardless of their cognitive, sensorial or motor abilities / limitations. We start with artificial forms of laughter and soon reach a crescendo of genuine belly laughter. No tricks, no tickling, no alcohol and no jokes. The laughter comes straight from the heart as pure joy. As one leading personality claims "exercise is for the body, meditation is for the mind, Laughter Yoga is for both. It is a gym for the soul!"
Laughter Yoga is non-political, non religious, non-racial, non-threatening, non-competitive. It comes with no strings attached. There are no jokes or comedy, therefore there is no judging. No mind = no ego, no room for conflict or power struggle. Laughter is a universal language that transcends all barriers: language, age, gender, social or racial background.
The unique concept of Laughter Yoga and Laughter Club is the brain child of Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India, and his wife Madhuri Kataria.