What is Laughter Yoga ?
Laughter yoga also known as HasyaYoga is a practice involving prolonged voluntary laughter along with breathing techniques that originate from Yoga. It is often referred to as Laughter Therapy although more accurately I would say we work with therapeutic laughter, as laughter yoga has many therapeutic qualities. It originates from India and was created by a medical doctor, Dr Madan Kataria in 1995. In normal life we usually laugh for between 3-5 seconds when relying on comedy or day to day interaction with others whereas in a typical one hour laughter yoga workshop we will laugh for between 10-15 minutes, of deep belly laughter. This is the type of laughter that gives us all the health benefits and the benefits will remain with us for a good 24 hours after the session! The body reacts in the same way whether the laughter is forced or natural, releasing the endorphins (happy hormones). It is these endorphins that kick in and fight stress, boost our immune system and make us feel good in so many ways. Laughter yoga is experienced in groups, with eye contact, yogic breathing and playfulness between participants.
Laughter Yoga is Fun Fun Fun, yet a very powerful health and wellbeing tool and probably the most fun way to release stress. Although entertaining, it is not entertainment. We laugh with one another, not at one another. We laugh together in a safe and non judgemental way. It really is not uncommon to have participants crying with laughter!
Laughter Yoga really is so much more than just a laugh!
Some Benefits of Laughter
The benefits of Laughter Yoga are massive and not to be underestimated. Laughter is noted to have helped so many people of all ages in so many situations from health ailments, both physical, emotional and mental to corporate businesses, helping to boost general wellness, creativity, morale and work performance and attendance. Fantastic for group bonding and boosting work relationships to helping with personality conflict. Laughter has no boundaries.
Who can Benefit from Laughter Yoga ?
Laughter Yoga workshops are perfect for almost any group setting, from corporate health and well-being, festivals, homes for the elderly, carers, day centre activities, ice breakers, conferences, hen parties and so the list goes on. Laughter Yoga has also benefited many people suffering from various ailments and illnesses, to name just a few, dementia, cancer, multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease. A laughter workshop can be chair based or a more active session depending on the group and their mobility.
A typical Laughter Yoga Workshop
A fun and interactive workshop including a brief introduction followed by laughter warm ups, ice breakers, games, team building, breathing exercises, movement and interaction with others in the room.
There are no Yoga Poses nor jokes. We use a combination of natural laughter techniques, games, and laughter exercises to encourage childlike playfulness which help to induce laughter (laughter is infectious so we usually get oodles of the real thing). We may also include gibberish exercises which are not only hilarious but a fabulous way to let go whilst disengaging the brain. The group are then integrated with a laughter and relaxation wind down meditation, preferably lying down but can be seated on the floor.
It is an interactive group experience. The exercises are fun and not very strenuous. We can tailor the session to fit the needs or fitness level of the group i.e. seated for anyone with disabilities or with movement for a group with average fitness levels. laughter yoga workshop is very much like a cardio workout without breaking in to a sweat therefore there are some health contraindications which we can send to you. The content of the workshop may vary depending on group size, physical abilities and fitness levels.
Where can I try Laughter Yoga
We are based in London UK and provide our Laughter Yoga and other wellbeing services here in London and throughout the UK. Although we love to travel, we also have a team of highly experienced laughter professionals around the UK.
We also run a Laughter Club for members of the public to practice laughter yoga. Please visit http://laughteryogawellness.co.uk/laughter-yoga-club-london/ for details of our public classes.