This article details how people around the world are spreading its message of joy, health and world peace through laughter in a variety of projects that include Laughter Clubs, World Laughter Day, Universities of Joy, and more.
World Laughter Day was created in 1998 by Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement. The celebration of World Laughter Day is a positive manifestation for world peace and is intended to build up a global consciousness of brotherhood and friendship through laughter. Its popularity has grown exponentially with that of the Laughter Yoga movement.
A few years ago Dr. Madan Kataria took a group of 35 blind young adults to a movie. Here is what he said about it: "This experience enriched me with such joy and contentment that no riches could ever impart. Leading the blind to smiles and laughter was the most gratifying part of my life as a Laughter Guru."
First of its kind, a laughter university is going to launch soon in India in Bangalore. It will be the World’s first International Laughter University and will offer courses on laughter yoga therapy.
Renowned Dr Andrew Weil recently wrote about Laughter Yoga in his "tip of the day" on www.drweil.com. Here is what he said:
"Laughter helps us get through life’s challenges," said Kueny, wearing a jester hat and a laughter yoga jersey. "It has lots of great benefits. It helps to improve social connections. If you laugh with people, you instantly form a bond. And happy people are easier to get along with." Mike Kueny has suffered from depression for 10 years but he still laughs nearly nonstop for 45 minutes every Sunday.
Sydney, Australia: I walked into my first laughter yoga class expecting to see a hippie in a tie dyed shirt and leggings. I did not expect my yoga teacher to be a lawyer. And I certainly didn't expect to be rolling around on the floor laughing with a bunch of people I'd never met before. But that's exactly what happened.
Laughter yoga or laughter therapy promises to relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. Dozens of instructors from as far away as Zimbabwe and Venezuela recently gathered for a training session in Rosemont with Madan Kataria, an Indian doctor widely credited with starting laughter yoga in 1995.
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. 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.