HOUSTON LAUGHTER YOGA
WHAT IS LAUGHTER YOGA?
Quick Facts & FAQ
WHAT IS LAUGHTER YOGA? QUICK FACTS:
• There are no Yoga Mats, on-the-floor exercises, group physical-contact exercises,
or difficult contortions.
• Practiced sitting in a chair, with some intermittent standing, if you'd like.
Move at your own pace.
• No special exercise clothing needed.
• There is no 'right or wrong' way to laugh or to do Laughter Yoga.
It is non-competitive/judgmental.
• There is no joke-telling, and it’s not an entertainment or comedy routine-
just easy Breathing movement exercises for all.
• Bring water to drink if you would like.
• Children are welcome accompanied by an adult/guardian.
• It is a unique exercise routine developed by Indian physician Dr. Madan Kataria.
He began it in 1995 with just 5 people. Today there are over 10,000 Laughter Yoga groups worldwide.
• Laughter Yoga is for people of All professions, cultural backgrounds, faiths, special needs and walks of life. It is for all people.
• Laughter Yoga is a Body-mind therapy and it is based on the scientific fact that even if you laugh and breathe as an exercise, your body cannot tell the difference, and you get the same physiological and psychological benefits. You do not need to be in a good mood or have a sense of humor to practice this form of yoga.
• Health benefits of laughter yoga include: reducing stress and restoring psychological wellbeing; fostering joy; increasing oxygen supply to the brain and body; reducing pain; strengthening the immune system; and controlling blood pressure. Laughter is nature’s counter to stress- they are physiological opposites.
• For more information about Laughter Yoga: including Health testimonials, health benefits, history, articles and scientific studies please go to the official Laughter Yoga International website: www.laughteryoga.org
WE NEED TO LAUGH EVERYDAY FOR MENTAL, PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH
“When in trouble, laugh double, it will vanish like a bubble!"
~ Dr. Madan Kataria, Medical doctor- Founder of Laughter Yoga
“A set back is a set up for a comeback" ~ Church sign ☺
It is a real joy to hear many personal stories - health testimonials from the Laughter Yoga classes & sessions. So many people have found "Healing with Laughter Yoga," including:
• A spouse caring for her husband with Alzheimer’s finds laughter, faith and joy again.
• A mentally/physically challenged adult who rarely talks- Laughs and speaks sentences!
• A woman finds joy & laughter after her divorce. She now sees forgiveness and joy from God’s perspective. She wants her former husband to be happy. She is Laughing again- happier herself, and then found a boyfriend.
• A Vietnam Veteran, who had a drug/alcohol addiction, and many physical maladies, tells me he forgives the person who mistakenly wounded him. With great laughter, he tells me laughter, faith and his friends saved his life.
• A Brooklyn woman attending a mental health clinic, said her psychoanalyst never made her laugh in 7 years of therapy. She said he was ‘too serious,’ and did not understand Laughter Yoga, and did not want to try it. She now feels joy and freedom, and wants to teach it to others.
• A woman’s husband of many years suddenly passed away. Her family and friends wonder why she is laughing, and not a miserable, unhappy person. The reason is because this woman has the perspective of faith, joy, laughter and the knowledge that in reality,
there is no separation, In love.
~ Excerpt Reprinted from HOULaughterYoga Update: 'Love Is Truth' by Lainie Diamond
WHAT IS LAUGHTER YOGA? AND WHY DO WE PRACTICE IT?
THE HISTORY AND HEALTH BENEFITS
By Lainie Diamond
I started doing Laughter Yoga early in 2008 in New York City. One day I was inspired and led to Laughter Yoga via research I was doing online. I understood more and more that people sometimes take themselves and things too seriously in life- in a negative way. This is not good for our health and we know that it causes health problems. As people age, we can become stressed out, lose our sense of humor and perspective, and thus rarely laugh. This happens because of a myriad of personal reasons. Sadly, people are sometimes afraid that if they are joyous and laugh, they will not be taken seriously. All human beings have the right to joy no matter what happens in life. Laughter=Joy. This is very important to both our physiological and psychological health. They go hand in hand.
The good news is: Laughter Yoga can teach people how to laugh-how to breathe- and to have more joy and health in their lives.
**It is very important to know that Laughter Yoga is for people of all professions, abilities, cultural backgrounds, faiths, and special needs. It is for all people.**
LAUGHTER YOGA IS BREATHING BASED MOVEMENT EXERCISES practiced for HEALTH and WELLNESS by all people. It is fun to do! It can also be called by different names: Breathing/play Therapy, Laughter Therapy
THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES from around the world proving the health benefits of practicing Laughter and Laughter Yoga. Countless lives have been profoundly changed. Daily, people report their health testimonials including: ending prescription anti-depressant/medications, cancer remission, immune system and internal/lung/heart health rebuilding, and life saving/changing stories (see the articles, studies, and videos at www.laughteryoga.org)
DR. MADAN KATARIA, MEDICAL DOCTOR, FOUNDED LAUGHTER YOGA IN MUMBAI, INDIA, IN 1995. He was researching scientific studies on the proven health benefits of laughter on the human mind and body for an article he was writing for a health journal called, “Laughter-the Best Medicine". In particular he was inspired by the journalist Norman Cousins’ book ‘Anatomy of an illness’ and the research work of Dr. Lee Berk. He was led to start a Laughter Yoga Club in March 1995, with just 5 people. Now there are over 10,000 Laughter Yoga groups worldwide.
THE CORE PHILOSOPHY OF LAUGHTER YOGA IS "TO LAUGH FOR NO REASON!" The good news is that this means you do not even need to have a sense of humor in order to reap the health benefits of this form of yoga. Laughter Yoga exercises are based on the scientific facts of breathing. Laughter Yoga is not an entertainment session, but based on scientifically proven breathing and movement exercises that are practiced for your health. People often say, "I am not a laugher- how will this work?" Just bring your body to the the exercise session, and the rest will follow. It really must be experienced firsthand in order to fully understand how profound and beneficial it is for your health.
WE COMBINE BREATHING EXERCISES & FROM YOGA (PRANAYAMA) WITH FUN MOVEMENT EXERCISES. When you do these exercises it increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and body and immediately improves your state of being. There is no 'right or wrong' way to laugh-we're all here for our health!
LAUGHTER YOGA IS A BODY-MIND THERAPY and it is based on the scientific fact that even if you laugh as an exercise, your body cannot tell the difference, and you get the same physiological and psychological benefits. Just a few examples of the health benefits of laughter yoga include reducing stress and restoring psychological wellbeing; fostering joy; increasing oxygen supply to the brain and body; strengthening the immune system; and controlling blood pressure. Laughter is nature’s counter to stress-they are physiological opposites.
At the beginning of a Laughter Yoga session it is stated by the Laughter Yoga instructor "that we are giving ourselves the permission to laugh: To have fun! :) And get into the childlike playful movement exercises." Laughter Yoga is the same as engaging in any form of aerobic exercise/fitness involving physical movement. In Laughter Yoga “Motion creates emotion." The instructor says to the group "to not worry if at first you don’t feel like laughing-just go with the flow :)" The motto of Laughter Yoga is “To fake it, till you make it!" Even if you’re not in a good mood or feel you have no sense of humor, you will experience and enjoy the benefits of Laughter Yoga.
The Laughter Yoga clapping goes like this: "Ho, Ho, ha-ha-ha!" It is a lot of fun! The pace of the session depends upon the group of people attending. For example, If I am instructing a group affected by HIV/AIDS, senior citizens or mentally/physically challenged adults, we sit in a circle in chairs and go slowly through the breathing exercises. According to the group attending & when I teach a very large group of people, we stand in a circle and sometimes do more energetic exercises. *Everyone moves at their own pace (sitting or standing)* We end the exercise session with a very short (couple of minutes) relaxation/grounding depending upon the group. It is important to know that no special exercise clothing or yoga mats are needed. Bring your water. If you are coming from work-just bring yourself!
The group exercises are playful, value, and yogic/breathing based movement exercises. Some fun examples are Cell phone laughter (Everyone holds their fake cell phone up to their ear- and laughs!) Argument laughter, Driving laughter, Calcutta Laughter, Silent Laughter, Laughing Alone, and the Lion Laugh are just a few examples of these remarkable and fun exercises.
Laughter Yoga adds to all of the wonderful things you are already doing in your life- spiritually, exercise-diet, and creatively.
It can re-awaken you to live your life to the fullest!
International media attention: The New York Times, Time, The New Yorker, Oprah, among worldwide media.
FOR EXTENSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT LAUGHTER YOGA: The Health Benefits and History; Health Testimonials by people from all walks of life; International scientific laughter studies; Articles, Q & A; Laughter Yoga YouTube videos, Dr. Kataria's blog and health articles please do visit: