Yoga is considered to be one of the more popular forms of exercise here in KL. After a hectic week at work, a calm, quiet and soothing session of yoga usually helps the fast-paced KLites unwind and get refreshed for another day of work.
However, there’s a new craze in town that’s slowly getting a following. It’s still yoga (if you’re not aware, there are many different types of yoga), but with a comical difference. It’s Laughter Yoga. When I first heard the name I was like “Huh? What IS Laughter Yoga? Does a stand up comedian take center stage, in place of your yoga guru?”
So I dug around for more information. It seems that quite a few health gyms around KL offer this variant of yoga, and though they declined to give pictures (as most of their participants feel self-conscious, very Malaysian), the sessions do have a number of regulars.
Laughter Yoga, founded by Dr. Madan Kataria, a doctor from Mumbai India, uses laughter as a means to exercise your muscles. During the session, participants are guided to do different types of laughter (to exercise different muscles) and I must say, if you were an observer, you would have cracked your ribs laughing as well! There’s the “pretend you’re a laughing lion” laughter, “drinking the tarik” laughter, “peering at a credit card statement” laughter (although in my case, I usually cry when I get my statement, hahaha… oh hey… I’m laughing already).
Although it may sound difficult to comprehend, laughter yoga seems to be working for quite a number of people. A study revealed that 100 laughs a day is equivalent to 10 minutes of jogging. While jokes and comedy can only take you so far, apparently your body (take note, body, not mind) can’t tell the difference between a real laugh and a fake one. So even if you’re strolling around the room, faking a continuous laugh, your body will release happy endorphins, and make you feel tons better. Also the fact that when you look at people around you faking laughs as best as they can, the fake laughter eventually turns into genuine laughs!
So for those of you who feel like you need a break from your daily migraines, try Laughter Yoga! Who knows, you might just be laughing your way to a happier, healthier you!
I couldn’t find a video on a local Laughter Yoga session being held, so below is a 5-minute video on Laughter Yoga courtesy of The Discovery Channel.