Laughter Yoga for Seniors & Children
with Jonathan Stein, Certified Laughter Yoga Instructor
Laughter Yoga (LY) offers participants an opportunity to have lots of fun while simultaneously discovering the transformative and healing power of laughter. …And you don’t need to have a sense of humor!
Laughter Yoga: Simple, playful, fun exercises with benefits that include:
Stress Reduction – unwinds the negative effects of stress by reducing stress-related hormones (cortisol).
Feel-Good Hormones – releases endorphins, a self-manufactured natural opiate that has been scientifically shown to:
- act as a natural pain killer,
- stimulate feelings of caring and forgiveness,
- create a positive state of mind,
- boost optimism,
- boost self confidence, and
- increase feelings of self-worth.
Emotional Intelligence – promotes childlike playful behavior leading to ease in learning social skills and improving emotional intelligence.
Catharsis or Emotional Release – Laughter can dislodge blocked emotions stored in the body leading to stress reduction, lower anxiety, clear thinking and ease in decision making.
Building Community and Social Connection – LY provides caring social interactions shown to be one of the most important reasons/causes of happiness besides food and shelter.
Immune System – increases levels of anti-viral and anti-infection cells.
Oxygen and Aerobic Exercise – a combination of deep inhalation and full exhalation inspires excellent ventilation, excellent cardio and mid-body workout, wonderful rest and profound release.
Jonathan Stein, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader
“My friends know my sense of humor and how much I love to laugh. Quite frankly, in our world today, laughing is one of the ways I stay happy, healthy and sane.
For me, sharing my joy in the form of laughter and playfulness is one of my greatest pleasures and I can see how much it transforms others.
As a Laughter Yoga leader, I find that laughing on a regular basis is as therapeutic for me as it is for participants. We all need fun and laughter in order to say healthy in body, mind and spirit and Laughter Yoga is group fun for the soul.
As a creative arts therapist of 25 years, I know how important it is to be creative, and I also know how therapeutic it is to laugh. I can’t guarantee that laughing will make all your problems go away, but you sure will have a great time trying!
To learn more about Laughter Yoga, click the drop-down menus below.
Laughter Yoga is a series of move ment and breathing exercises designed to stimulate laughter and cultivate an inner spirit of joy. It is a technique that invites laughter without using jokes or humor. Laughter Yoga is a blend of yoga-based deep breathing, gentle stretching, simulated laughter exercises and playful games and activities. Laughter Yoga was created in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria, a family physician in India who wanted to find an alternative way of treating his patients, many of whom were suffering from illness related to stress.
Laughter Yoga was developed by Mumbai family physician Dr. Madan Kataria and his wife Madhuri Kataria, a yoga teacher. In 1991, Dr. Kataria was writing an article about laughter and was inspired to create a laughter club. The first laughter club functioned more like a joke club where people gathered together to tell jokes.
From this experience, Dr. Kataria understood that humor and jokes can be exclusionary and wanted to find a way to stimulate laughter in his group without relying on jokes. After remembering the research he read on Neuro-Linguistic Programming, he remembered that the body and brain doesn’t know the difference between what it imagines and what is real so he devised the technique of using simulated laughter to stimulate laughter.
Dr. Kataria’s humble beginnings from a laugher club of 5 people has grown into a worldwide movement of over 6000 laugher clubs in over 60 different countries all spreading laughter as a way to promote joy, health, and peace. Dr. Kataria’s personal mission is world peace through laughter.
For more information about laughter yoga and Dr. Kataria, visit www.laughteryoga.org.
For centuries, people have known about the healing characteristics of laughter. Recent scientific studies now confirm the old adage that “laughter is the best medicine”. Laughter helps all systems of the body- the respiratory system, the circulatory and nervous systems, and the endoctrine and immune systems.
Boosts the immune system
Decreases blood pressure
Relieves muscular tension and emotional and mental stress
Helps with pain management
Provides aerobic exercise for the whole body
Stimulates digestion and internal organs
Oxygenates blood and brain making one feel alert and energetic
“Laughter takes you from moping to coping to hoping.”
Dr. Joel Goodman
Laughter helps lift the spirit and inspires a deep trust in Being. It balances negative emotions and opens us up to our innate joy and hope.
On a social level, laughter helps dispel lonliness and alienation. It breaks the ice, makes people feel at ease with each other, and improves communication.
If you have questions about Laughter Yoga, please feel free to contact me.