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Laughter Yoga is a combination of clapping, breathing and simulated laughter exercises. No words are allowed during a session, except by the instructor. Throughout the exercises, it’s important to make eye contact with other participants as this keeps you all present.
In this page you will learn with text and videos how to lead a basic Laughter Yoga session with a group.[sociallocker]
Whether they start off happy or not, people begin a Laughter Yoga practice by rhythmically clapping their hands together with full finger-on-finger and palm-on-palm contact, as it is believed to increase energy levels by stimulating pressure points. While clapping, participants chant “Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha!” This activates the diaphragm and prepares the body to breathe deeply throughout the practice. During the clapping and chanting warm-up, people may begin dancing or speaking in gibberish.
After warming up, the session leader may lead participants through some deep breathing and stretching exercises. The most common one is to inhale as you lift both arms up, and exhale (laugh if you want) as you bring them down.
The heart of the Laughter Yoga technique are the laughter exercises. The leader invites the participants to pantomime a specific every-day behavior, and simply add laughter to it. It could be a hand-shake laughter (you shake hands and laugh), or a mobile phone laughter (you put an imaginary phone to your ear and laugh). See our list of 25 exercises here to get you started, and over 100 more here to keep you going.
Here is a short video that will help you understand how the clap-breathe-laugh sequence came to be:
…and here is a visual description of this sequence in the words of its founder himself, Dr Madan Kataria:[youtubelist feed=”playlist” playlist=”PLRRK1rmRW-T_D3lhl3C7F72M94_vZsnYT”]
Laughter Yoga sessions are usually concluded with a laughter meditation where participants are invited to sit down and simply laugh. There is no more clapping or breathing at this point. The laughter will come and go in waves, and last however long it wants to last. When it dies, wait 30 seconds or so and start over again, faking it as much as necessary.