(Stock Photo) Laughter Yoga combines laughter with yogic breathing exercises to provide one-hour workout sessions that include 30 minutes of laughter.
Laughter Doctor Coming to South Africa
JANUARY 26, 2007By Press Release, Laughter YogaDr. Madan Kataria, the medical doctor who has hundreds of thousands of people laughing every day, is visiting South Africa next month. Dr Kataria is the founder of Laughter Yoga, an exercise and health regimen that is sweeping the world and has spread to more than 50 countries in just ten years.“South Africa is about to laugh as it has never laughed before,” says Dr Madan Kataria, named the Guru of Giggling by The Times of London. “Laughter is the best medicine for stress. I am told that there is much stress in South Africa. With laughter yoga and laughter meditation you can heal your stress.”Laughter Yoga combines laughter with yogic breathing exercises to provide one-hour workout sessions that include 30 minutes of laughter. Laughter Yoga is the fastest growing health and fitness system in the world. It is also known as ‘instant yoga’ as it provides results in days that can take years to achieve in other forms of yoga.It has been featured in a Time Magazine cover story, on CNN and other world media including National Geographic, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, BBC, NHK Japan, Star TV, ABC News, Channel 9 Australia and many more. "Children laugh 300-400 times a day during their important formative years, but adult laughter has reduced to just 5-10 times a day," says Kataria. "Laughter is one of our best defences against the stress, and it is important that we find ways to laugh more to cope with stress and remain healthy in the modern world.""Laughter yoga is a perfect way to laugh and get exercise at the same time. It approaches laughter as a body exercise so it’s easy to laugh even if you’re depressed or in a bad mood."Laughter Yoga is offered for free in more than 5, 000 social laughter clubs around the world. It is now being offered commercially in yoga and fitness centres, aged care facilities, schools, hospitals, business and government offices.HEALTH BENEFITS OF LAUGHTERHearty laughter provides an aerobic workout that exercises the heart, diaphragm, abdominal, intercostals, respiratory and facial muscles. Laughter yoga workouts include flexing and exercise of the arm, leg, and back muscles. The exercises strengthen facial muscles and reduce wrinkles leaving us looking younger.Twenty minutes of hearty laughter is equivalent to 10 minutes on an exercise bike.Scientific studies show that sustained hearty laughter has a wide range of beneficial effects on our mental and physical health. Benefits to our bodies include improved cardiovascular health and reduced blood pressure. Scientific studies show that laughter boosts our body’s oxygen and energy levels and also boosts levels of immune cells that attack cancer, infection and virus. Laughter releases endorphins, a natural pain killer that is responsible for the ‘runner’s high’. Laughter yoga sessions stimulate the lymphatic system and boost our immune system, and can reduce levels of stress poisons in our bodies by 50% or more within an hour. Laughter is used in hospitals around the world to speed healing and improve patients mental outlook. It can be especially beneficial to cancer patients.
Laughter also improves our mental health. It can treat and often cure depression and improves our ability to cope with stress. Studies show that laughter boosts creativity and communication skills and also boosts our self confidence.Laughter is the nature’s antidote to stress. Stress kills, laughter heals. Stress switches off our digestive, sexual and immune systems. Laughter switches them on and boosts them. WHO SHOULD BE LAUGHING?Everybody needs to laugh more, says Dr Kataria, but certain groups need laughter more than others. Laughter is especially important for people who are stressed as it can undo much of the damage caused by stress and provides techniques for coping with stress more easily.People who are sick or who get sick often should laugh more as medical research shows that laughter strengthens our immune system and helps us to fight off disease, colds, flu and even cancer.Laughter is especially important for older people as it also provides a gentle aerobic workout, boosts energy levels, maintains flexibility and helps to prevent depression. Laughter yoga is practiced in aged care facilities around the world.Laughter yoga is also being introduced into the workplace by small and large companies and government departments around the world. The benefits include reduced stress levels, increased efficiency and team building, a happy atmosphere and reduced absenteeism.In many countries laughter yoga is also being used in schools, hospitals, sporting clubs and also in orphanages, hospice, prisons and also mental institutions.SOUTH AFRICA VISITDr Kataria will hold public events that include public seminars with laughter yoga practice in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Capetown and Stellenbosch. These events are open to the public and an entry fee will be payable to cover venue costs if sponsors are not found. Persons wishing to become laughter yoga leaders can participate in training courses in Johannesburg and Capetown. Registration and information for the two-day courses is available on the website. Laughter yoga leaders are certified to run laughter yoga sessions.The courses are open to anyone who wishes to operate a social laughter club, or to offer laughter yoga commercially or in their company. Yoga and fitness teachers, HR managers and corporate trainers, nurses and health care workers, school teachers and sports coaches, alternative, physical and occupational therapists and tour guides will find the training especially useful.