I was a stress management motivational speaker recently at a wellness event. The other stress management speaker taught the audience about Laughter Yoga. By the end of the motivational speech the audience was light on their feet, peeling over in laughter.
Laughter Yoga is an international movement inspired by Dr. Madan Kataria, from Mumbai, India. While researching laughter as the best medicine, he started telling jokes but found it was too difficult to please everyone. He became more interested in the concept of laughing for no reason at all - laughter for the sake of laughter. Eventually his curiosity led him to form groups to practice laughing for no reason, and he found the idea was welcomed; participants reported less stress and more positive interactions during the rest of the day. They found their physical and emotional health more sound and their outlook sunnier, as though they had gathered benefits of motivational or inspirational speaking. Dr. Kataria called the exercise laughter yoga, and it took hold. There are now over 6000 laughter yoga clubs around the world.
Laughter Yoga encourages silly giddy laughter for no reason, letting down your guard and letting go with laughter.
During the motivational speech that I presented, we practiced the following laughter yoga exercises:
A Silent Laughter.
Physically laugh, but silently. Notice how the body response still feels good!
Namaste and Laugh.
Put your hands in the Namaste position and bend forward at the waist while laughing. Stand up again. Repeat
Ho, Ho, Ha, Ha,Ha
First stimulate the acupuncture pressure points by putting your hands together (like in a prayer position). Clap while saying HO, HO, HA, HA, HA
Laugh at Yourself
Partner up. Point at your partner and start laughing. Now turn your finger and point to yourself. Laugh even harder. Point to different parts of your chest and laugh. Continue.
Walk around the room and shake hands with others while laughing
Open up your budget and start to giggle and than laugh. Turn to your partner and do the same
Breathe in and let it out while laughing
The Slo Mo Laugh
Walk around slowly going ha, ha, ha....with pauses in between "ha ( pause) ha ( pause) etc"
The Measured Laugh
Start with arms together, outstretched pointing to the left of your body. Say (He,hee) and move the right top arm to your elbow... say (He, hee) again and move that same arm from the elbow to the shoulder, say a final (He, hee) and stetch both arms out to both sides. Put your head back and laugh.
The very interactive Laughter Yoga session from the stress management speaker caused some very serious people to take themselves lightly, something I am sure they haven't done in a long time.