Laughter Yoga Class in New York

Laughteryoga is a series of yogic exercises undertaken voluntarily, with the express purpose of inducing laughter. To understand the dynamics of such a session, please take the quick tour and have a peek at the photos or the video clippings.

Gently thru’ breathing and yogic exercises, we reach your heart with playful laughter exercises and soon reach a crescendo of excited belly laughter. No tricks, no tickling, no alcohol and no jokes. The laughter comes straight from the heart as pure joy. As one leading personality claims “we go to the gym for physical exercise, but a laughteryoga session is a gym of the soul!”. Laughteryoga is non-political, non religious, non-racial, non-threatening and non-competitive.

In 1995, the pioneer of the movement Dr. Kataria was impressed by the findings of Norman Cousins, a leading journalist in U.S.A. dying from a degenerative disease, who then thru’ the therapeutic use of laughter managed to heal himself completely. Dr. Kataria then tried various methods to arouse laughter within friends & patients and for this initially tried the turn-by-turn telling of jokes. However very soon the stock of good jokes was depleted and rather than abort the experiment, he resorted to certain psycho-social and playful techniques to arouse laughter in a group. Whereas these worked to an extent, it was only when Dr. Kataria stumbled on a branch of yoga called hasya yoga (the Sanskrit original name of laughteryoga) that he was able to obtain deep, lasting belly laughter amongst his participants. He then built upon the yoga connection of laughter and designed the laughter exercises based on existing yoga postures & practices for maximum benefit.

Dr. Kataria discovered that by linking the mind-body-soul together in an integrated manner thru’ yogic breathing and other yogic exercises, he could reach the very souls of the people he laughed with. These exercises are playful and value-based, thus inciting the participant to feel more excited and enthusiastic. The end result is that the inner spirit of laughter is realised, leading to hearty, aerobic belly laughter with all the attendant benefits. The full origins of laughteryoga can be studied from the yoga connection.

The brain cannot recognise self-induced laughter from the laughter from external stimuli and what to some may seem like a silly and artificial beginning almost always leads into a natural euphoric state of hearty laughter.

Since its humble beginnings in 1995, the movement has spread in scope and recognition by the media and scientific community alike and is tipped to grow considerably in the coming years.

The positive health benefits of laughter are well known as supported by the scientific research, however due to the aerobic nature of the actual laughter process, it is a good idea to heed the medical precautions to such an activity.