What is laughter yoga?

Clare Ludlam Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher

What is Laughter Yoga? Do I bring a yoga mat with me? Will we be doing Downward Facing Dog and laughing at the same time?

Really good questions but Laughter Yoga is not like ordinary yoga so you don’t need a mat and you won’t be doing any yoga poses. Instead Laughter Yoga is a unique physical activity where we do stretching, yogic breathing and laughter exercises with childlike playfulness.

But what about the childlike playfulness? Wow…did you know children laugh 300-400 times a day and adults only laugh 10-15 times!! So as adults, we often need help to get back to that place of fun and free laughter…hence Laughter Yoga.

“I laugh more often and more readily now” Gypsy Scott, Laughter Yoga Upper Hutt.

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how laughter yoga started

Laughter Yoga was established by Dr Madan Kataria, a medical doctor in India in 1995.

He was inspired by research showing how beneficial laughter was so he started with 5 people and after their jokes and funny stories ran out, he researched more and discovered that the body can’t tell the difference between real laughing and pretend laughing – the Laughter of Laughter Yoga. 

He started to see the similarities between laughter and pranayama yoga relating to the breathing so together with his wife Madhuri, they incorporated yogic breathing – the Yoga of Laughter Yoga.

Check out their website Laughter Yoga International for lots more information.

benefits of laughter yoga

Laughter is the Best Medicine – you’ve probably heard that phrase and before I went into Laughter Yoga, I really didn’t understand the science and facts behind it and how it really is true!  So some of the science is that laughter provides the body with the following chemicals:

* Dopamine – the feeling you get with ‘well done’ or when you’ve won an award.

* Oxytocin – the love drug

* Serotonin – knocks out cortisol and leaves you feeling mellow, relaxed, optimistic, creative, thoughtful and having better control over your impulses.

* Endorphins – reduces pain and elevates mood.

* Melatonin – helps you sleep better.

but wait there's more ...
A picture showing the general benefits of Laughter Yoga
and more...

Check out specific benefits for Businesses, Schools and Seniors and how you can introduce Laughter Yoga to these groups.


There are times when it’s suggested that Laughter Yoga is not ok to do or you need to take it easy.  If you have existing medical conditions please consult your Doctor first and for guidance, check out Dr Kataria’s Contraindications” 

laughter yoga with clare

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