Laughter Yoga is an innovative health and wellness practice in which anyone can laugh heartily without relying on jokes, humor or comedy. The concept is based on scientific knowledge that the body cannot differentiate between real and self-stimulated, or faked laughter — both forms of laughter generate physiological and psychological benefits. During a Laughter Yoga session, participants initiate laughter as exercise in a group setting, and through eye contact and a sense of playfulness, the laughter soon becomes contagious and genuine. Laughter Yoga is not postural yoga and requires limited physical ability, only a willingness to laugh. The practice is called Laughter Yoga because laughter exercises are interspersed with gentle yogic breathing and stretching exercises. The breathing deepens the laughter and enables participants to take in more oxygen to better support optimal mental and physical functioning. Dr. Madan Kataria, an Indian physician founded the Laughter Yoga movement in 1995. The concept is now practiced in over 80 countries worldwide.
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