ENTON, MO (KTVI-FOX2now.com): It looks like an ordinary yoga class. Contemplative. Disciplined. Serious. So what's everybody laughing about? Would you believe, nothing? It's called "laughter yoga" - exercise for the funny bone.
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.
[...] One Country Meadows employee got into such a frenzy, tears were streaming down her cheeks. "There goes our first laughter casualty," Russell says as Debbie Rundle, an assistant fitness coordinator, exits the room trying to contain herself. Rundle later explained that she's had a lot of stress in her life and the laughter surprised even her. "It set me free," she says as if to convince herself as well as me. "I got a healing out there. I can't explain it."
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.
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,”
Laughter therapy is not about watching a funny movie or telling jokes. No one performs except their mascot, a Tickle Me Elmo doll, which is placed in the middle of the circle. It is about sharing joy, about breathing, increasing circulation and lightening the load, Munro said.
Laughter Yoga is not some high-powered hatha-yoga class which. is impossibly difficult and takes years to actually attain enough flexibility to be any good at. It’s all actually quite fun. And very easy too.