Laughter Yoga Salon NYC with Francine Shore
 

The Laughter Salon

 
The unique idea of laughter yoga clubs was discovered on 13th of March 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai (India). Any one can laugh for 15-20 minutes without depending upon great sense of humor, jokes or comedy. It combines laughter exercises (simulated laughter) and yoga breathing, which turns into real laughter when practiced in a group. 

The second part of laughter yoga is called laughter meditation where the group members sit on the floor in silence for few minutes and then start faking laughter until it flows spontaneously which is much more deep and natural, still it is without using any kind of humorous intervention. In the final stage of laughter meditation all participants lay down on the floor with their eyes closed. Laughter starts flowing like a fountain. 

Laughter yoga strengthens immune system, unwinds the negative effects of stress, powerful antidote for depression, anxiety, alleviates high blood pressure, asthma and increases pain tolerance. Also it improves sense of humour, self confidence and communications skills. 

Started with just 5 people in 1995, it has grown into a world wide movement with more than 10,000 clubs in countries like India, USA, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Dubai. 

Laughter yoga clubs have been covered by prestigious television channels like BBC, CNN. ABC (USA), NHK (Japan), Channel 7 & 9 (Australia), ZDF Germany and newspapers, magazines like National Geographic, New York Times, London Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journals and many others. 

What is so unique about Laughter Yoga? 

 Laughter and Yoga breathing – Double benefits: Our state mind affects the way we breathe. For example if our mind is upset the breathing pattern changes and it becomes fast, shallow and irregular. If we can change our breathing pattern it will affect the state of mind. In Laughter Yoga Clubs, laughter exercises and deep breathing helps to change our breathing pattern from fast to slow and deeper. 

 Develop your sense of humour through laughter: This concept is universal and ideally suited for all age groups. You can laugh even if you are not a humorous or funny person. In fact, you can get rid of your inhibition and shyness during laughter session which will help you to develop your sense of humour and cultivate playfulness. 

 You can laugh even if you are not happy: You don’t need to be happy in order to laugh in a laughter club, once you start laughing without a reason your physiology and biochemistry changes and that will bring sense of well being. When you feel good, you will look at your problems in a different way. 

 Fake it until you make it: Even if you do laughter is a form of exercise or even if you pretend laughing our bodies doesn’t know the difference. Same set of happy chemical are released whether laughter is real or self induced. But when you laugh in a group the fake laughter gets converted into real laughter very soon by catching an eye contact with fellow group members. Our philosophy is “fake it”, “fake it”, “until you make it”. 

 Why leave laughter to a chance: In this high pressure, high tension modern world, the life is very stressful and there are not many reasons which make us laugh. The laughter we get in real life is very little which is not enough to get multiple health benefits of laughter as proved by research. Through Laughter Yoga exercises once can laugh for more than 15-20 minutes which is very good to bring physiological and bio chemical changes in our body. 

 Laughter vs Humour : Humour is mental and intellectual phenomenon which is individual and varies from culture to culture. Humour is difficult to define and it is almost impossible to measure the outcome. Laughter in laughter clubs is more of physical phenomenon which is the outcome of playful behaviour rather than mental activity. We can easily measure physiological and biochemical changes which accompany laughter. 

 Laughter is a skill which you can learn: We all are born with capacity to laugh 300-400 times in a day but we lose it in the process of growing up and by the time we are 35 and we are left with only 15 times in a day. Our experience with Laughter Yoga clubs has proved that one can learn to laugh with practice even if you are very shy and introvert person. We can train ourselves to laugh more by cultivating playfulness and finding a child within ourselves. 

 Pure and unconditional laughter: Laughter in laughter clubs is free from the negative aspects of humour which at times can be put down and ridiculous. Here we laugh with the people and not at the people. 

 Appropriateness of laughter: The whole world is full of serious people. Even if you want to laugh people around you might not feel good when you laugh. They might get disturb and may not give you permission to laugh. We are not allowed to laugh, cry, be sad and we keep suppressing our emotions. Therefore, there was a great need for such a platform like laughter clubs where it is always appropriate to laugh and you can laugh freely without any restrictions and as much as you want. It is a very good physical, psychological and emotional release. 

 Putting the source of laughter inside: The members of laughter clubs are engaged as active ad interactive participants, not as a passive audience being entertained. It has been proved that people who actively participate in any humorous and laughter activity, they get more benefits than who passively received humour and laughter. Therefore, in Laughter Yoga Clubs our body will learn to generate laughter with conscious effort and commitment any time a person wants. 

 Laughter yoga clubs is social Glue: Laughter clubs are fast developing communities which foster brotherhood and friendship and people connect very easily through laughter. Because of the common method and shared values Laughter club members are a part of global network who share ideas, inspire support and learn from each other. 

 Laughter Clubs Models are easy and flexible: Laughter clubs promote laughter as a genuine exercise which can be learned and leaders can be trained. Laughter sessions can be repeated as often as you like to get more benefits. Through the network of leaders the laughter yoga method can be improved, evolved and modified according to the cultural adaptations. 
 
Information on laughter yoga,health benefits and Dr. Madan Kataria are reproduced with permission from Dr. Madan Kataria.
 
For more information on laughter yoga, please visit www.laughteryoga.orgdrkataria.htmldrkataria.htmlhttp://www.laughteryoga.orgshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2

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