A tiny postcard ad displayed at the local health food store prompted me to head for the beach early one August morning. I found a picture-perfect day with warm sunshine, sparkling water—and a group of people who showed up to laugh just for the fun of it! This was my first Laughter Yoga class, where I discovered that laughing for no particular reason—just for the fun of laughing—is more than merely entertaining. It’s actually great for your health. You don’t even have to have a sense of humor to reap the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of this practice, which has now become a worldwide movement. For me, it’s been life-changing.
According to Laughter Yoga founder Madan Kataria, M.D., the premise is simple: “Laughter changes frustration to fascination, frees us from inhibitions, and wakes up the child in us.” In the mid-’90s, Kataria, who lives in Mumbai, India, made a breakthrough while writing an article for his health magazine, Your Own Doctor, about how laughter is the best medicine. Kataria was intrigued by the story of Norman Cousins, who in 1964 used laughter (and massive doses of vitamin C) to beat 1-in-500 odds of surviving a potentially fatal connective tissue disease. Cousins binge-watched Marx Brothers movies, discovering that ten minutes of hearty laughter gave him two hours of pain-free sleep. Click to read full article Mustering Mirth
Originally published in Unity Magazine, May/June 2017