24 years ago this month, Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Madhuri began laughing with three friends in a city park in Mumbai, India. Within two weeks they had some jokes & almost 50 people, within months over 100 people and a life changing new exercise program! Eventually their local news took notice. Within a few years the world.
It’s not just in India and the USA. Laughter Yoga has spread to more the 70 countries around the world. In my almost 11 years of leading and teaching (my anniversary is next month), I have met folks from all over the world. Many who are using Laughter Yoga with its true and original mission - World Peace Through Laughter- as a way to spread peace in their corner of the globe. Israel, Venezuela, Iran, Canada, Mexico, Denmark, England, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Singapore and many more.
Laughter Yoga is a concept based on a form of communication which humans have used for millennia - LAUGHTER - but its used in a unique and structured way. Chanting, clapping, laughing and deep breathing are combined with childlike playfulness.
I am often in awe when I sit back and think about how many lives have been changed, because Dr. Kataria was passionate about something and shared it with others and eventually the world. It is nothing short of inspiring! Sooo …
Happy Birthday Laughter Yoga!! And Congratulations Dr. K.
Laughter Yoga is simple and brilliant. It has truly changed my life. It is not always easy for everyone. As adults in the United States, we have been socialized to be serious, responsible and productive. Our Puritan work-ethic, means we have a specific way that those things should look. Laughing doesn’t fit the bill or the mold, yet, humans crave this form of connection.
Laughing and playing together builds social bonds and stimulates creative problem solving. Businesses like Google and Facebook have figured this out, but most of us don’t work in environments conducive to ease, laughter and play. Most of us are stressed out! Laughter Yoga and laughter clubs help fill in some of the gaps that we’ve created with our fast-paced, modern lives.