Laughter Yoga consists of simple yet powerful deep breathing techniques and playful laughter exercises. It is practised in a relaxed group where we release tension and reconnect with our sense of childlike fun. You might think that laughter can only happen as a natural reaction to something funny but in fact, just like any other positive habit, laughter can be practised and brought into our lives by choice.
Laughter Yoga exercises induce deep, hearty, extended laughter. They are based on the scientific understanding that our bodies cannot differentiate between real and pretend laughter after 10 minutes – we reap similar psychological and physiological benefits from both. Even better, when practising simulated laughter it’s not unusual for it to develop into genuine involuntary laughter. Extended laughter (laughing for ten minutes or more) is actually aerobic exercise – kind of like an internal jog. And just like any other cardio it releases feel-good endorphins that help us relax afterwards. Hope, creativity and trust are just some of the uplifting emotions typically evoked through the affirmative support that comes with laughing together in a group.
Laughter Yoga was started by Indian physician Dr Madan Kataria in a park in Mumbai in 1995. Within a couple of decades laughter clubs had sprung up in more than a 100 cities around the world.
Sometimes people have health conditions that mean they should take it easy or not participate in Laughter Yoga at all. Laughter Yoga should not be practised by people with medical problems without first taking advice from their medical practitioner. Furthermore, Laughter yoga should not be considered as a substitute for proper medical consultation for physical, mental and psychological illnesses.
Laughing involves some physical demands including a rise in intra-abdominal pressure. It is contraindicated for people with advanced (bleeding) piles, any kind of hernia, any persistent cough, anything with acute symptoms, epilepsy, uncontrolled heart disease or high blood pressure, incontinence, major psychiatric disorders and severe backache. It is also contra-indicated for anyone who has undergone surgery in the last 3 months, is in their first or third trimester of pregnancy or has given birth within 8 weeks. This list is for guidance only and is not exhaustive. If in doubt, consult a trained medical professional for guidance. Note: These are the Contraindications provided by Dr Madan Kataria at www.laughteryoga.org
Feel free to confer with Flora – floramww @ gmail.com – in advance of this event about any access needs or adjustments that might support your participation. You are asked to take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. Anyone experiencing discomfort while laughing should stop. Use your common sense: no strain, no new pain. Feel free to rest/take a break during the session if you wish. Enjoying Laughter Yoga vicariously by observing others practice is an excellent alternative to first hand participation.
Please note: this event will be video recorded. Flora is testing a new format of workshop meeting performance, eager to refine and share it further in future. While this is a low stakes event, documenting what happens is useful for reflection, private sharing and future marketing purposes. Flora hopes you won’t be put off by some cameras recording the evening. She would be happy to keep in touch with you about the use of this documentation moving forwards, if desired. If you would rather not be filmed, or not appear in publicly shared documentation/marketing of this piece in future, please let her know.