Health & Wellness
Published on January 16th, 2023 | by Catherine Tingey0
“Although they are calm and peaceful inside, most yogis look very serious as they don’t laugh much. What is missing is the element of joy.” – Madan Kataria, MD
10 years ago when I was first starting my teaching practice, I came across a woman named Kim Selbert.
She was teaching Laughter Yoga classes at the old Gateway Healing center on Barrington. [The center has since moved.]
Since I was eager to try out yoga modalities new to me, I went.
In a Barrington strip mall, I found myself in a room full of strangers making ‘monkey’ sounds.
HA HA HA
HE HE HE
HO HO HO
I repeated these drills with enthusiasm until my belly hurt.
Then came the fun part of the class – letting go of the orchestrated sounds and simply laughing.
I think this can be hard for some, but because of the bizarre atmosphere already established, I found it pretty easy.
At this point in class everyone is standing, laughing their butt off and the room is pulsing with a silliness that’s hard to describe.
* * *
Laughter Yoga was founded in the 1990s in Mumbai by physician Madan Kataria. It is based on happiness research that laughing, whether spontaneous or orchestrated, is beneficial to your health.
According to Kataria, the top 5 health benefits of Laughter Yoga are:
Lowered blood pressure
Increased oxygen intake
Improved mood and outlook on life
If there is a Laughter Yoga Club in your area, I recommend attending. Dr. Kataria recommends trying it out for 10 days.
You don’t need mats or special clothes, just an open mind and the willingness to try something new.
Can’t find an in-person club?
There is a FREE ONLINE CLASS DAILY at 6pm PST, 9pm EST. Get the zoom link here: https://www.laughteryoga.org/zoom-laughter-club/
Every day at 6pm PST there is a FREE ONLINE LAUGHTER YOGA CLUB
Madan Kataria’s book, Laugh For No Reason
Madan Kataria’s website
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