You don’t even have to have a sense of humor to discover this funny technique, which consists of laughing for no reason… but with happiness.
The torsion … of the zygomatics
Developed by Madan Kataria, an Indian doctor from Mumbai, in 1995, laughter yoga is not based on complex sequences of postures, as its name suggests. It’s about forcing yourself to laugh in order to feel the same benefits as if you had paid yourself a lot of money. Because, as Françoise Rousse, professor and founder of the University of Laughter in Paris, emphasizes, “the brain does not distinguish and in both cases produces endorphins”.
Back to childhood
“We are in the playground,” announces Françoise Rousse at the start of the session, which takes place outside, in a wood near Paris. We start with breathing exercises to open the diaphragm – to prepare it for the contractions that will come. Before moving on to laughing things: we clap our hands while hopping and humming “oh-oh-ha-ha”, we pretend to relieve ourselves like a little dog, we imitate a hen, then a gorilla … apprehension of the ridiculous, one ends up curling more or less deployed throat. It’s not really natural, but seeing your playmates struggling as much as you are reassuring.
Over the hour and a half, we see the cheekbones go up and the faces light up with broad, completely genuine smiles. After a few minutes of final relaxation, lying on a large blanket, we leave lighter… and in great shape. The advantage? Laughter drives away stress and grief. It would even boost the immune system and help to better resist colds and other small ailments of winter.
For all and by all
Everyone can participate, even if it feels even more good when you have a little bit of the blues. No need to invest in an outfit: clothes are no fun and you just have to feel comfortable. No, the hardest part will be to find a session (10 or 15 €), because the online directory of the Laughter Yoga Observatory is not very up to date. But you can always try an Internet search by entering the name of your city …
Humor under the covers, friend or foe?