The first Sunday of every May is World Laughter Day. Created in 1988 by Dr. Madan Kataria, this celebration is intended to evoke global consciousness of friendship and unity through laughter!
Dr. Kataria popularized the Laughter Yoga Movement and now has over 6,000 Laughter Clubs around the world. The idea behind the Laughter Movement is to release endorphins, or feel good hormones through a good chortle, causing a sense of relaxation and happiness. It brings hope that everyone in the world all tee-hees together, we will achieve world peace.
Even when World Laughter Day has come and gone, you can still find a little time in your day for a good chuckle. Joining a Laughter Yoga Club is a great option to bring a little more joy into your life. Members say after leaving a session they feel compelled to spread cheer around to others in their lives. According to Dr. Kataria, laughter yoga combines unconditional laughter with yogic breathing (Pranayama). Since laughter is so contagious it’s easy to get a group ho-hoing in unison for no reason other than sheer amusement.
Laughing yoga is also making headway in healing, as researchers learn more about the effects of a good guffaw on stress reduction, immune response, and increased oxygenation. This exercise practice is now being used with cancer patients, those who suffer depression, and the elderly. Ready to jump about the laughing train? You can find a local Laughter Yoga Club near you or join a group online at Laughter Yoga University.
The Big Question: What does laughter bring to your life?