Laughter Yoga Today
History of laughter yoga
In March 1995, in a park in Mumbai
A generalist, Dr. Madan Kataria, prepared an article titled “Laughter, the best medicine” for a magazine that he published in his community. His research helped him discover an astonishing quantity of scientific publications showing the benefits of laughter on the human body and spirit. He was particularly interested in the book of the American journalist, Norman Cousins, The willingness of healing in which Cousins tells about his healing of an ankylosing spondylitis thanks to laughing. Multiple research grabbed his attention, amongst them was Dr. Lee Berk’s research which mentioned laughing allows to reduce the stress level in the body and has an impact on the immune system.
Knowing is good, but taking action is better! Dr. Kataria decides right away to experiment and take advantage of this seemingly powerful activity himself and gather a few people in a garden pub where the first laughter club is created. With his wife’s help, Madhuri, a yoga teacher, they create different techniques using deep breaths, stretching, and funny exercises that stimulate laughter. Laughter yoga was born!
Intentional laughter was already used elsewhere in the world – in fact, Dr. Annette Goodheart, a psychologist, used this technique during her therapy sessions with patients.
Laughter Yoga as we practice it today is a modern therapeutic method using laughter as an exercise and it relies on research that started as soon as the 1960s.
Laughter Yoga lays on the principle that “action triggers emotion”. In another word, the fact of intentionally laughing (provided that you’re doing it with all your energy) can trigger the emotions that we often associate when we’re laughing out loud.