As the saying goes, “Laughter is the best medicine”. And believing this, Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian physician, developed an exercise routine combining yoga breathing and laughter, bringing more oxygen into the body and brain. The assumption being that the brain does not recognize the difference from a real laugh and fake laughter; therefore, any kind of laughter is beneficial to the body and the mind. Dr. Kataria started with a group of five followers, and now there are over 6,000 laughter clubs around the world.
According to Dr. Kataria’s web site, Laughter Yoga helps:
- Aid digestion and stimulates circulation
- Eases pain in serious illnesses such as cancer
- Helps in depression and enhances good mental health, creating a feeling of happiness
- Reduces stress
- Increases good cholesterol
- Boosts immunity
- Lowers the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
Due to the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement, founded by Dr. Kataria, the first Sunday in May is now officially designated as World Laughter Day.