Laugh and be happy! But does yoga have to do with laughter ? Enter: Laughter Yoga and laugh for no reason! What is Laughter Yoga? I found out!
I am always on the lookout for practices that bring joy and well-being and Laughter Yoga had been on my back burner for years. I have often been told that I had a recognizable (and contagious) laugh. And I’m a cartoonist on my other job, so hey, laughter and yoga? Yeah bring it on!
So when I had the opportunity to do Laughter Yoga Leader Training with Teresa Corrigan, a nurse at UCSF Hospital in San Francisco, I said YES!
WHAT IS LAUGHTER YOGA?
In the Yogi family, I’m asking for … The Clown! Hello, and meet Laughter Yoga!
Laughter Yoga, or Hasya Yoga in Sanskrit terms, was created in 1995 by an Indian doctor from Mumbai and his wife, Madan and Madhuri Kataria.
In Laughter Yoga, there are 2 simple principles:
1. Laughing makes you happier and healthier.
2. The body does not know if you are really laughing or faking it! Even forced laughter is good! So, laugh, and all is coming.
LAUGHTER YOGA: LAUGH WITH YOUR BODY!
Yes but how to laugh? In Laughter Yoga, we laugh … for no reason! No jokes, no comedy, no making fun. In fact, no talking! In fact, you don’t even need to feel happy: your brain is not doing the laughing!
Laughter Yoga is about BODY laughing. Laughter exercises start by forcing your laughter, and very very often, you’ll end up laughing for REAL!
For example, repeat Ha Ha Ho Ho while moving around the room. Or go introduce yourself to another laughter yogi not with the usual greeting, but with a hearty laugh! Everything is an excuse to laugh: pretending to wash your hair, drinking a burning hot coffee, driving a big truck … Yup, you’ve got it: the idea is to not take yourself seriously, create funny situations and … laugh out loud!
WHY IS LAUGHTER YOGA CALLED YOGA?
Because, just like yoga, Laughter Yoga cultivates a joyful attitude in body, mind, spirit and in the present moment. This joy shines on, even when you are not laughing!
And also laughter, is like … Pranayama, yogic breathing exercises. Laughing makes you breathe deeply, relax, and see the bright side of life!
Ho ho ha ha ha!