While laughter has been, in recent decades, recognized as a successful form of self healing, other cultures have revered laughter shamans for centuries. The concept of laughter yoga was first introduced in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria in Mumbai, India who wrote a paper for his monthly magazine on the benefits of laughter as the best medicine. Dr. Kataria was so impressed with the work Dr. Lee Berk was doing at LomaLinda University in California and by the amazing book “Anatomy of an Illness” by Norman Cousins who credits laughter with his own miraculous healing that he decided to run his own field test on the benefits of laughter.
Heart rate decreases
Blood pressure decreases
Inflammation and pain are reduced
Stress hormones decrease or attenuate
Immune system is optimized
Dr. Kataria started the first laughter club by telling jokes with only a handful of people. Within a couple of weeks there were more than 50 participants. When the good jokes ran out and became offensive Dr. Kataria went back to the drawing board and learned that simulated laughter can evoke many of the same positive responses in the body as does authentic laughter. With the inspiration of his wife Madhuri, he incorporated breathing techniques from her yoga practice with simulated laughing exercises and “laughter yoga” was born. Much like traditional yoga practices, laughter yoga brings a person in to the present moment. In the moment of ‘now’ a person can transform their perspective, their energy field and ultimately their health. Laughter yoga is easy for most anyone to do regardless of age or state of health and it is fun!
Today, there are more than 6000 laughter clubs around the world in 60 countries that share Dr. Kataria’s vision to promote health, joy, and world peace through laughter.
According to Dr. Kataria, the founder of laughter yoga, laughter just may very well be the best medicine.
Three myths about laughter:
I need a reason to laugh.
I must feel happy to laugh.
I must have a sense of humor.
“If it is not fun, why do it!”
– Jerry Greenfield
Laughter”Hasya” yoga sessions are one hour long and are available at the place of your choosing (travel fee applies).
Prices vary depending on location and number of participants. For more information for ‘One on One’ or ‘Laughter Groups,’ call 808.987.6010. Available for inter-island engagements. Here is what the laughing yoginis are saying:
– Ho – Ho – Ho – Ha – Ha – Ha –
“During our family reunion and Big Island get-a-way, we had a private laughter ‘Hasya’ yoga session with LaRen. This was an all-around complete FUN yoga class including nice imagery, breathing and stretching exercises. It included not only the primary laughing exercises but all of the other rituals of yoga. We had an amazing time. It helped us let go of inhibitions and brought our family together; it was very bonding. Super Awesome! I imagine this is an experience that our entire family will never forget.
LaRen is making a difference. May she keep doing it.”
– The Garg Family, Chicago, IL and San Francisco, CA January 2018
“Laughter yoga was totally new to me. It was a crazy cute laughing adventure. LaRen puts together fun exercises theme tailored to match the interests of your particular group. It is thoughtful, uplifting, and it is terrific exercise to boot. I will definitely do this again. I was tickled to death. What can I say: it was a gas.”
– Maria M., Retired Yogi, Oceanside, CA December 2017
“Wacky and fun, this is better than drinking. Let your hair down and your inhibitions go. Bordering on ridiculous, LaRen will awaken your kid within. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Laughter yoga is a real hoot!”
– Jeanne M., Retired, Waimea, HI September 2015
“My first experience with laughter yoga was insanely hysterical. I was mesmerized by the craziness.
It is the stupidest thing I have ever done; I loved it nonetheless.”
– James P. C., Kaloko, HI August 2013
“This was the most fun I have had in ages. LaRen had us all in stitches. It is just as she says, ‘ Laughter yoga is not only good for you; it is fun to do.’ She weaves a series of breathing and light stretching exercises with silly group laughing exercises along with intermittent joyful free dance. I can’t wait to do this again.”
– Betty T., Music Teacher/Wellness Consultant, Kainiliu, HI March 2011
“A time to get goofy, LaRen will get you laughing even if you are not in the mood. This is both weird and crazy fun too. She accommodates old fogies quite well and can adapt any exercise for someone who needs to be seated. This was a riot and brought us all closer. We all left with big grins and belly aches.”
– Bernd B., Retired Chef, Waimea, HI June 2010
“I never thought about laughing just for the fun of it, nonetheless as a catalyst for healing. LaRen facilitated a lovely introduction to help me understand the value of laughter for the body and mind. It was such a pleasure to share laughter yoga with her. It was hilarious or as she said, ‘healarious’ and while I initially felt apprehensive, after the first 30 seconds I was sold. She is goofy, quirky and bright, this is a gift she shares from her soul.
A good time was had by all. I will look for more of this back home. “
– Michael, Retired, San Diego, CA June 2009
Laughter yoga is not meant to be a substitute for a one-on-one relationship with a qualified
medical professional and is not intended as medical advice. Results vary widely;
Laughter yoga is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.