Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. An exercise routine, it is sweeping the world and is a complete wellbeing workout. The brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with merely a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.
Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits.
This innovative concept has a worldwide following, and has been featured by many popular publications like TIME Magazine, National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Daily Telegraph (UK) among others. Laughter Clubs have appeared on popular Television: Oprah Winfrey Show, BBC, CNN, ZDF (Germany) NHK (Japan), ABC News (USA) and others around the world. Many film features on Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs have been produced in different languages of the world. The media has been highly influential in the growth of Laughter Yoga globally.
Laughter Clubs Free for All
Laughter Yoga Clubs are Social Clubs, free for all. There is no membership fee, no forms to fill, and no fuss. These Clubs are run by volunteers trained as Laughter Yoga Teachers and Laughter Yoga Leaders. Laughter Clubs are non-political, non-religious and non-profit, and run directly by Laughter Clubs International in India, and Laughter Yoga International in the rest of the world.
Mission - World Peace
The goal of Laughter Yoga is to bring good health, joy and world peace through Laughter. Laughter is universal with no language and cultural barriers. Laughter Yoga Clubs are fast growing into a worldwide community of like-minded people who believe in unconditional Love, Laughter and Fellowship. Every first Sunday of May is celebrated as World Laughter Day. In the year 2000, nearly 10,000 people laughed together in Copenhagen, Denmark to set a Guinness Book Record.
Life Changing Experience
Throughout India, thousands of Laughter Yoga Clubs meet every morning in public parks. Most Laughter Club members proudly report that they have not missed a day in five years or more. They say it makes them happy, healthy and energized - effecting a transformation in their lives. The Laughter Yoga session each day, results in positive energy that makes it easy to cope with stress of daily life and saves them from depression. In fact, the impact of laughter is so profound that many practitioners claim they no longer need anti-depressants. The sustained positive emotions keep them coming back for more.
Participants of Laughter Yoga report significant general health improvements. Many have felt a reduction in the frequency of respiratory infections like common cold and flu, and some others reported overcoming depression, relief/cure from chronic medical problems. With people's committed participation, Laughter Yoga has helped many people become healthier.
Clinical research on Laughter Yoga methods, conducted at the University of Graz in Austria; Bangalore, India; and in the United States has proved that Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones (epinephrine, cortisol, etc) in the blood. It fosters a positive and hopeful attitude. It is less likely for a person to succumb to stress and feelings of depression and helplessness, if one is able to laugh away the troubles.