Laughing at Stratford
Laughter Yoga is a physical work out with a difference, benefitting body, mind and emotions. We know about laughter being the best medicine, but the studies of Indian physician, Dr Madan Kataria, show it to have preventative benefits as well. Tests show that laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing anti-bodies that fight infection and by bringing more oxygen to the body and brain, improving the health and general feeling of well being.
Dr Kataria began laughter classes in 1995 in Mumbai with five participants and he has since spread laughter to 65 different countries with over 6 000 laughter clubs. We do not have to fly to India to laugh, however, we can do it right here in the UK. Charlotte Eaton was trained in India by Dr Kataria as a Laughter Teacher in January 2010.
Laughter Yoga is based on the scientific fact that the body does not know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. Since the source of laughter is within us, the body responds immediately to the sounds of laughter as an exercise, and we soon find ourselves involved in genuine laughter.
The beauty of the laughter treatment is that it is as beneficial to laugh alone as it is in a group, following the simple methods learned in the class. Dr Kataria maintains that if the laughter exercises are maintained for 40 days, they become a habit as the brain develops new circuits making laughter a part of the unconscious mind.
Charlotte sees laughter as a fundamental human function, a shared langua
ge connecting people across cultures and generations. She finds that to begin with some people are uncomfortable with the idea of laughing, while others are immediately willing to ‘play’, but by the end, everyone is having a genuine laugh. She has seen people moved to tears by fundamental shifts in perspective after a laughter session. Suddenly, after a good bout of laughter, major worries shrink in significance and the mind opens to seeing solutions rather than problems. A common response is: I didn’t know that I had forgotten how to laugh!
Laughter yoga is successful in mental health and physical disability services, one-to-one situations and in corporate, private and community events, as well as public sessions. For more information contact Charlotte on 07828 413 484 or see www.lifebulb.org. Report by Leza Scott-Ridell, Local Resident
Do you have what it takes to facilitate a laughter session? If you would like to increase the positivity in your own life and help others find theirs, why not become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader? Learn expert facilitation skills and an inspiring variety of laughter exercises. Leave the course with all the resources and know-how to start your own classes and run workshops. See www.lifebulb.org/laughter/#training
Dr Madan Kataria: http://www.laughteryoga.org
Charlotte Eaton: http://www.lifebulb.org/laughter/
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