Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Laughter Yoga.
Q: What is Laughter Yoga?
A: Laughter Yoga is a method of stimulating group laughter through a series of laughter games/exercises. It is lead by a certified Laughter Yoga Leader. (See below on how to become certified.)
Q: What is a laugher game/exercise?
A: A laughter game or exercise is a short activity that can stimulate laugher in the participants, even if they don’t feel like laughing. For example: breathe deeply, hold it, and let it out with a laugh. Exercises are typically very simple, fun, and do not require you to “be funny.”
Q: Do people tell jokes? Do you have to have a sense of humour?
A: No. We do not rely on jokes or humour. Instead, we use the physical laughter games to get us all laughing.
Q: Do you do Yoga poses (asanas)? Do I need to be flexible, fit, or have prior Yoga experience?
A: No. This is completely unlike other forms of Yoga that you may have seen or heard about. It’s all about participating in laughter games to get us laughing together.
Q: Why do it? Are there any benefits?
A: Research has shown that laughing is very good for you, on many levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally. Please see here for more information. Also, it can be a lot of fun and a great way to connect with new people.
Q: Is Laughter Yoga suitable for everyone? What about seniors, children, or people with medical conditions?
A: Almost everyone can benefit in some way from Laughter Yoga. Exercises can be modified to fit any ability. However, there are some contraindications. Please see the question at the bottom about when is it advisable to not participate.
Q: What if I don’t feel like laughing or cannot laugh on demand?
A: In Laughter Yoga, we encourage people to fake laugh if need be. We say “fake it ’till you make it” or “simulate to stimulate.” Research says you get the same health benefits whether your laughter is real or simulated.
Q: What if I am a serious person or easily embarrassed?
A: While it can be more challenging for some people who are of certain temperaments, there have been many people who, seeing the benefits that others are getting, persevere and push through their feelings until they are able to fully enjoy the sessions. For some it’s love at first laugh while for others it takes a few sessions before it clicks for them. We encourage you to give it a few sessions to see if it grows on you.
Q: What should I wear and bring? Do I need a Yoga mat?
A: We suggest comfortable clothing. No Yoga mat or other props are needed. A full water bottle is recommended.
Q: Are there any recurring Laughter Clubs near me?
A: Probably! If you live in Metro Vancouver, please see the Clubs ﹀ menu above. (Otherwise, please see here.)
Q: Can a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader come into my organization and lead a session for staff and/or clients?
A: Yes! If you live in Metro Vancouver, please see the Facilitators ﹀ menu above. (Otherwise, please see here.)
Q: When is it advisable to not participate?
A: If you have any of the following, you should consider delaying participation until a later date:
* Recent major surgery
* Serious chest infection
* Serious abdominal pain
* Flu, cold, or other infectious disease that may be spread to others
* Late term pregnancy
* Please see here for more
Q: How do I become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader?
A: Once a year, we host a Laughter Yoga Leader Training weekend. To find out more, please see here.