Laughter Yoga

The History of Laughter Yoga and How I Became Involved

The History of Laughter Yoga and How I Became Involved

Hello there,

Recently I received an enquiry to facilitate a Laughter Yoga session from a primary school teacher of grades 5-6. She went on to ask me to share a few words about how I both became involved in Laughter Yoga and the history of the laughter club movement. It seemed like a good idea to expand a little in a blog post and hopefully this is of interest to you.

The year was 1995 when it all began, the origin of the Laughter Yoga Community Clubs, who practice ‘laughing for no reason’ all around the world. Indian Physician, Dr Madan Kataria was impressed by Norman Cousins’ book Anatomy of an Illness and the research work by Dr Lee Berk on the benefits of laughter to one’s health and wellbeing. Madan decided to field-test the impact of laughter upon himself and others, gathering with four friends in a Mumbai public park.

This happy little group had many bystanders, who quickly joined in and numbered over 50 after a couple of weeks. BUT, around that time it was discovered that either the jokes and humour ran out or became offensive. Dr Kataria went home to ponder if there could be a resolution. Otherwise he felt that trying to laugh together on a regular basis would simply not work long term.

Upon reviewing the research, there was a light-bulb moment! It was around the fact that the body cannot differentiate between pretend and genuine laughter, because both produce the same happy chemistry. Participants were amazed, the make-believe laughter quickly turned into real laughter that was contagious. Realising there were other ways to experience laughter than through humour, the group switched to role-play and other techniques to stimulate the importance of child-like playfulness.

That was 23 years ago, the first laughter club was born and as the saying goes, the rest is history. There are currently thousands of laughter clubs in over 100 countries around the world.

For myself 13 years ago in 2005, I saw people laughing loudly together on TV as a social activity and then heard that ‘the laughter guru’ was coming to Melbourne to present a Laughter Yoga workshop. I went along, met with Dr Kataria and was so impressed by how fantastic I felt, I straight away committed to doing the laughter club training and immediately thereafter started a laughter club.

My personal reasons were that as a young girl, adults seemed serious, stressed, upset and fearful, as if they had lost hope and life was a burden. From that awareness, I unconsciously chose to be young at heart and not let life beat me down. I kept it up as good as I could, to not get stressed out over work and adult issues. Sometimes people said I was like Peter Pan who was youthful, happy and an inspired person, living with faith and hope for the future, enjoying each day, one day at a time. Mind you, now I understand there is more to it than the simplified version of my earlier life, which was quite ungrounded. That was in part replaced as I learnt to stop judging unpleasant feelings and be authentic. Feelings are to be celebrated and not supressed, which is vastly different from the earlier me. Nevertheless, that is the story in a nutshell, as to why I was drawn to Laughter Yoga.

Cheerio for now, Lots of love and laughter, Lynette Mitchell xo

Disclaimer: Information shared here is intended to be supportive and from my personal understanding and experience. Advice given is general and as I am not a medical doctor, take no responsibility for how it is received

Laughter Yoga For Body in Your Daily Life – 10 Ways to Incorporate it For You.

Laughter Yoga – Communication and Physiological Benefits

Are you becoming used to the idea of and hearing about the benefits of Laughter Yoga? Increasingly it is being recognised in many areas of life, businesses, groups, social and most situations would benefit from partaking of a Laughter Yoga session. The primary purpose of today is to offer you a new downloadable document 10 Ways to Incorporate Laughter Into Your Daily Life. It could be good for you to read and share with others who could do with more laughter in their lives. It is to encourage the practice of laughing more often, either alone, or when you in company of other people.

Laughter is Contagious and Helps Communication

Laughing together assists in connecting people, particularly as we establish eye contact with each other and we all know that the eyes are the ‘windows of the heart’. A bond is created between people, bridging natural gaps that happen, as we all see life differently. Laughter helps to build trust and in the childlike fun that we do as we laugh, barriers are broken down. It is great in business and in fact any gathering of a group of people, as it does not discriminate and brings people together with ease.

Great for the Body and Mind

Physiological benefits of laughter that help make it the ‘best medicine’ include the following. Reduction of stress as it produces feel good endorphins into the blood stream, which also improves blood circulation.  It relaxes your muscles and is an aerobic exercise which in fact if you were to laugh 100 times, that would equal 10 minutes on a rowing machine or 15 minutes on an exercise bike.

As well it improves one’s respiratory system and is an excellent form of exercise for Asthmatics, when practiced gently. Laughter also assists in lowering blood pressure and has been called internal jogging, as it helps the jiggle and rub the internal organs.

Laughter is great for a sedentary lifestyle, especially seniors and carers who may have less opportunity to exercise. This helps prevent obesity and lower sugar levels. And it is great for the immune system, in helping one stay in optimal health.

Of course remember other factors relate to feelings of wellness, which most of us would be aware of, to eat properly, rest, be grateful, innumerable things which I will talk about sometime soon.

Would you like to join someone else in a laughter exercise? Download a sample list of some laughs then – Laughter Session Laughs.

All the best and remember to laugh and have fun!

I would love to hear from you and how our life is going along. Perhaps we even could share some laughter together?

Love and Blessings,
Lynette xo

 

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Getting Back to Basics

I  Googled these words ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and was pleasantly surprised that two full pages of images came up, with all sorts of interesting quotes. At times I forget that some of the general public are relatively unfamiliar with the concept of community laughter clubs and how we get together and have fun, laughing, singing, dancing about. We feel very connected with ourselves and each other also physically, emotionally and mentally uplifted following a laughter session. It is lots of fun and I am thankful to be involved with the laughter movement which started ‘by accident’ by an Indian Physician, Dr Madan Kataria twenty years ago in March 1995. Read all about it and the basics of why we get together and ‘laugh for no reason’ on my Blogger.

Workplace Affirmation

Affirmations are best read aloud in the morning as part of an energetic hygiene routine. Here is the link to this Workplace Affirmation and if you would like to receive it as a PDF file, please email me. If you are not yet receiving my monthly newsletter and feel it could be of interest, either phone or contact me and I will add you. The affirmation begins as follows:

I say to myself, I am going to work today, as I drive, walk, ride or sit in public transport, I will be focused and prepared to roll with what happens on the day, giving each situation my full attention, being in the moment and holding strong firm boundaries with fellow employees so that I can do my job to the best of my present ability. I will each day leave work knowing that I have applied myself and as I return home on the return journey, I will focus on my breathing, being present, looking forward to coming in the front door and taking time to be present there also……….

And again here is the link to this Workplace Affirmation