Laughter Yoga (Hasya Yoga) is a Yoga modality that involves continued, deliberate laughter. Laughter Yoga was spread by Madan Kataria, an Indian doctor, who popularized the work of earlier teachers of Laughter Yoga. Today, the modality is taught and practiced around the world.
The concept behind Laughter Yoga is that voluntary (or induced) laughter has the same physiological and psychological benefits as real, spontaneous laughter. In fact, it’s thought that the body doesn’t know the difference between fake and real laughing, and as such reacts similarly.
Usually, Laughter Yoga is practiced in a group setting. Apart from deliberate laughter, it also includes other exercises, such as warm-up techniques, chanting, clapping, Pranayama Breathwork, eye contact, stretching, and body movements.
As for the health benefits, it’s thought that laughter can diminish depression, stress, and anxiety, stimulate social bonding, increase pain resistance, give energy, boost the immune system, and promote general well-being.