Jean-Lee Fung reports that there are now over 110 Laughter Yoga professionals in Borneo (Indonesia). “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.” Lee said many participants had reported a significant health improvement with a reduction in the frequency of respiratory infections like common cold and flu while some even claimed of overcoming depression, relief or cure from chronic medical problems.
World Laughter Day was celebrated in hundreds of cities this year across in 63 countries on our count (possibly more, and if so we just don’t know about it): all over Western and most of Eastern Europe, North America, Asia/Pacific (Taiwan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand), parts of South America, Parts of North & South Africa and a volley of island nations across 4 of the 5 oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Southern).
Adelle and Bernard Becker will take a hearty belly laugh from laughter yoga over playing bingo any day. “The feeling of laughing is therapeutic,” said Adelle Becker, 87. “Laughing until your eyes water, it’s just fun being in a group, doing the same thing at the same time and just acting like kids when you are in your 80s.” The couple call themselves groupies of the activity and regularly participate at Weinberg Assisted Living facility in Deerfield.
This is a nervous stand-up comedian’s dream audience. Not only will they laugh at anything, apparently they will also laugh at absolutely nothing. Laughter yoga, yes seriously, has become a popular stressbuster worldwide. It originated in Mumbai with Dr Madan Kataria who combined breathing exercises from yoga with laughter. The premise is that laughter — spontaneous or contrived — releases endorphins in the body that relieve anxiety.
Whitney Munro did not think that as a fitness specialist and mother she had to take a class just to learn how to laugh. But she signed up for laughter yoga class and second-guessed herself all the way to the American School of Laughter Yoga in Chicago. Two days later, she returned home exhilarated, eager and certified to teach laughter therapy to the seniors she helps at Fairview senior living community in Downers Grove, Illinois.
Dianne McNinch was invited recently to co-conduct the first Laughter Yoga Leader training on Rapa Nui, more famously known as “Easter Island”. Well done Dianne! Laughter Yoga is slowly spreading all over the globe.
So a scientist walks into a shopping mall to watch people laugh.There’s no punchline. Laughter is a serious scientific subject, one that researchers are still trying to figure out.
It was off to Mumbai for Jessica Simpson and her crew on the Price of Beauty VH1 TV show to find the definition of beauty in India. Their beauty ambassador for the episode was a former Miss India and Bollywood star. The first stop was Bollywood, the film industry in India, which is considered the epitome of glamour, beauty and fashion.
As you meander down the long, quiet corridors of the Great Neck Adult Education Center, you’re reminded of the sounds and smells of elementary school. The muted voices and shuffling of feet that echo down a narrow hall, the arid scent of stale books and wooden furniture. Then you hear laughing. A lot of laughing. Deep, cackling, hysterical laughing. Suddenly, it ceases, and a chant begins. “Ho, ho, ha ha ha,” go the voices, like witches practicing a spell, clapping in unison with each syllable uttered. “Ho, ho, ha ha ha.”
Here are several more local articles & videos that covered Laughter Yoga and Laughter Clubs in the US and Canadian media this month, from Vancouver to Miami, via Los Angeles and New York. Laughter Yoga is not a joke. Have we said that before?
In Irondequoit, NY: Laughter yoga: No sense of humor required
In Oklahoma City, OK: Amuse yourself while bettering your body at laughter yoga
In Fort Myers, Florida: Hour-long Laughter Yoga is no joke