The essence of Laughter Yoga- How to tap into your Pure Laughter
Are you new to Laughter Yoga and have you been trying to figure out the difference between all the different versions out there?
There’s Laughing Yoga, Laugha Yoga, Laughter Wellness, World Laughter Tour, Laughnosis… and a variety of Laughter Yoga mixed in with combinations of other teachings and modalities.
Most of these versions have been heavily influenced by Dr. Madan Kataria’s creation of LAUGHTER YOGA.
I am no expert on those other teachings. I follow the teachings of Dr. Kataria, co creator of Laughter Yoga International in India, who along with his wife Madhuri, began their world renowned Laughter Yoga exercise program back in Mumbai,India, in 1995.
2020 marks the 25th Anniversary of this global laughter exercise program. Laughter Yoga uplifts the spirit, restores hope, fosters resilience and offers all kinds of health benefits.
The beautiful thing about Laughter Yoga, is that we laugh together to support one another. Laughter is never used at the expense of someone else. It is never used in a negative context. Laughter Yoga is uplifting and reinforces positie social connections and better communication.
Everyone out there trying to make this world a better place through positive laughter is to be commended. Combined, we make up a force for good to counteract all the negativity in the world.
Our collective energy shines bright and offers so much hope and joy to those facing the stress of life’s daily challenges, loss, loneliness and chronic pain (just to name a few).
As a Laughter Yoga professional and a daily, mindful laugher, I know that laughter does not need to be conditional ( contingent upon something funny happening or connected to watching a funny show or even being in a funny situation). I give myself permission to laugh and play whenever I feel like laughing and during stressful and emotional times, I will myself to laugh, knowing that it will benefit me.
I extend the laughter and access my power of the breath and push myself to laugh deeply for 30 seconds, 60 seconds, minutes. I can easily do this alone but I prefer to share laughter with others. I laugh with family, friends, strangers, clients and students.
I will soon be celebrating 5 Years of living Laughter Yoga, a commitment that I have made to myself and an experiment that I can say, has enhanced my life in priceless ways. It has become such a big part of who I am and what I stand for. To those standing at the outside looking in, it can seem frivolous but I welcome you to take a closer look and even to lean in – for the experience.
The laughter of a little baby is pure. When we practitioners of Laughter Yoga experience that laughter flow , we are in essence reawakening the feelings of our non-inhibited inner child. We experience a freedom and a lightness like we felt years ago, remembering how we “lost it” to laughter with our friends or family. That’s the feeling that remains etched in our memories and which we long to replicate. This is what can happen at laughter clubs and laughter sessions where participants feel free to experiment and to let go. This pure laughter expands our feelings of compassion and empathy. We come together as one – through laughter. It knows no biases or borders. The more we laugh like this, the more we are able to laugh at random life moments and to laugh deeper and with full abandon- and to savor this empowering feeling. Pure laughter also opens up the heart to connect to pure love. We begin to love/understand/forgive/celebrate ourselves more and in doing so we are able to do the same with others.
Keeping up a laughter practice isn’t always easy and in the beginning it can seem forced. Starting any new exercise program can take time to get used to.
So if you are on the fence about trying to laugh more for health reasons because you might be concerned about how you will be perceived or you just don’t know how to get started … or how to keep it up … please reach out to me and I will help you on your laughter path.