In Laughter Yoga we use laughter exercises, and yogic breathing to reach a state of ecstatic, continuous laughter. Laughter yoga allows us to learn how to laugh without the need for jokes, comedy or humour. At first laughing in this way may seem forced or fake, but after a few sessions, the line between ‘fake’ and ‘genuine’ laughter dissolves, and laughter flows freely like a fountain.
Laughter Yoga began in 1995, when medical doctor Madan Kataria was researching the health benefits of laughter. When we laugh our bodies release endorphins, the feel good hormones, also known as the body’s natural pain killers. Laughter also helps to lower blood pressure, and counteract the effects of the stress hormone cortisol, which is responsible for many diseases. Laughter strengthens our immune system, and improves our mood.
A regular practice of laughter can have profound effects on our life. We learn to laugh more freely and easily, the way we did as children. The spirit of laughter enters our lives, and we no longer seek happiness outside of ourselves, but cultivate a sense of joy within.
I am a laughter yoga leader based in Switzerland. Classes and coaching take place in Basel, or online via skype.