The Healing Power of Laughter Yoga

It appears there’s a new global phenomenon catching on called laughter yoga that’s taken the world by storm. Apparently, participants come together in groups to laugh and conduct all sorts of silly mayhem. Whether or not you happen to start your session out in a jovial mood, the group sentiment is so contagious that once it all gets rolling, it becomes almost impossible to resist. It seems there’s something powerful and healing in all that breathing and group laughter that participants greatly enjoy and entices them return to participate again and again. Why, there’s even an American School of Laughter Yoga! Writer Catherine Pearson at The Huffington Post describes this newest movement in yoga.

The Healing Power of Laughter Yoga

When it comes to laughter yoga, faking it ‘til you make it is just fine.

At least, that’s what Vishwa Prakash said at the start of the session that HuffPost’s health news editor Amanda Chan and I wandered into recently.

It was one of a few guidelines Prakash offered, as well as keeping our eyes locked on our fellow attendees, some 20 men and women dressed in street clothes and standing in a circle in his textile design company’s midtown Manhattan offices.

laughter yoga

Laughter yoga heals both the body and the mind. Photo by Comstock c/o Photos.Com.

And with that, we were off.

Prakash traded with other leaders who led us through several “exercises” — we clapped, we milked imaginary cows, we blew up imaginary balloons, threw them on the ground, and exploded into laughter as we popped them with our feet. In between each set, we walked around clapping and chanting, “Ho Ho Ha Ha Ha!”

“It’s bizarre, it’s plain weird. Adults do not behave this way,” said Sebastien Gendry, who founded the American School of Laughter Yoga, the country’s largest laughter yoga training program.

“You laugh, you clap and you breathe,” he continued. (You also drive imaginary bumper cars, pretend to be lions and hug perfect strangers.) “Suddenly you find yourself really laughing and you don’t know why. It’s fun, and you feel good.”


Healing our physical and emotional ailments can sometimes be unpleasant, but why not go for it with laughter yoga? It’s no joke, because the physical and emotional benefits are nothing to laugh at. So why not give it a try?

If you thought this piece was funny, or just amusing, or maybe even enlightening, why not share a laugh with a friend. Leave a comment or click the like button below.

Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.                                                     — Indra Devi

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