madan kataria’s laughter yoga: laughing as a practice

We had no idea we could laugh at will until we read The Laughing Guru in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Madan Kataria promotes Laughter Yoga, which he says can be a cure for all sorts of physical, psychological and spiritual ailments. We have a few of those, so we thought we’d try it. We wondered if laughing at will would just add up to a kind of false, phony-baloney laughter to dupe ourselves into thinking that things are fine when they’re not.

We found we COULD just laugh, and once we started, it was easy to keep going. Then we tried laughing with a friend on the phone (he had read the article and had been privately trying it out). We found ourselves laughing so hard we were holding our bellies. Forced laughing, when done with other people, soon becomes real laughing, like some wild and beneficial virus. We discovered that laughing has a strange effect, a REAL effect totally different than we were imagining. It seems to short-circuit anxiety and shift the view immediately. Try it for yourself!

Says Kataria: “Laughter is a choice. A connector of people. No barriers. No language.”

In this YouTube video,  250 people came together at dawn in Mumbai, to LAUGH like crazy.

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