Laughter does not seem to be contemplated in the classical Yoga tradition. Today we are talking about laughter therapy. The "yoga of laughter" represents an activity that combines the deep breathing exercises of Yoga, stretching and some exercises of play and laughter stimulated to laugh without needing any reason to do so.
Why laugh untruthfully? A spontaneous laugh lasts too little, a few seconds. We need to laugh longer. And above all to laugh at the diaphragm and the navel. It is not always so because sometimes laughing in this way is not appropriate to the situation in which we find ourselves. To enjoy the benefits of laughter you have to laugh out loud.
Laughter therapy is recommended as anti-stress and anti-depressant. Improves respiratory functions, abdominal functions, self-esteem and social relationships. It strengthens the immune system and fights arteriosclerosis and heart problems. Therefore, continuous laughing involves a series of medical and social benefits, which are indispensable in all contexts of everyday life.
Thanks also to the yoga of laughter, which is hugely successful in all parts of the world, a new branch of social psychology acquires awareness and new areas of intervention are born for the prevention and care of individuals and social groups, intervening on the quality of life.
Madan Kataria and laughter therapy
It is March 1995 when Dr. Madan Kataria, a gelotologist with many years of experience in Bombay, writes an article for a specialist medical journal, after conducting research on the benefits of laughter . Laughter is only good, you know, and nothing to object to.
But Kataria realizes that very few people really laugh, so she decides to organize a laugh group and start studying her theory. He finds himself with four other colleagues and, for ten days, they tell each other jokes. After a while, jokes, like laughter, run out.
The dott. Kataria comes to a conclusion anyway: if you laugh to laugh, even pretending to do so, the body does not distinguish between a true and a false laugh . So start considering laughter as an exercise . It brings together fifty people, experiments with some games and notes that even fake or induced laughter is contagious and soon turns into a real taste of laughter.
The dott. Kataria is also a practiser of Yoga and pranayama (breath control and fourth stage of Yoga), so she marries laughter and breathing. Thus he senses the benefits of laughter therapy.
The fundamental point is obviously the breath . The lungs must be well filled. According to Kataria, we get sick because we breathe little and badly. Laughter helps breathing, properly, with the diaphragm . Deep breaths combine a series of movements with arms extended and upwards.
Kataria conceives the so-called Laughter Club, "laughter club", in which she teaches her own method to laugh and stay fit. Anyone can laugh, no need for a reason. In groups we start laughing as a form of exercise and soon the laughter becomes true.