Is this Yoga or Comedy or.......?
It's neither and yet it's both! My classes follow the lines of Dr Madan Kataria who started Laughter Yoga in India in 1995. He called his sessions "Laughter Yoga" because he incorporates Yoga breathing during his laughter sessions. So do I. This is known as Pranayama in Yogic terms, or as we call it in the West, diaphragmatic breathing.
Yoga is all about awakening the body's energies or life force as we may call it, or the shakras or prana as it would be called in the East. Laughing certainly moves energy, motion creates emotion - and we do move around in Laughter Club - and Laughter certainly has an effect on the whole body, physically, emotionally and psychologically. My Laughter Club can therefore also be called Laughter Yoga................or not, if you don't want to. What we won't be doing is holding poses as you would expect to in a "normal" Yoga class, neither with nor without laughing!
Is this a private club or can anyone join?
This is not a private club at all. It's not really a club either. I decided I didn't want to call this group a workshop, or a class or a lesson or even a group...........so what should I call it? Aha, a club!
What happens in a Laughter Club meeting?
This is the first Laughter Club ever in Bath, so it's not surprising that you may not really have any idea what to expect if you come along to one of our sessions.
You will not have to perform. You will not be expected to crack jokes. You will not have anyone laugh at you. You will not laugh at anyone else.
All you will need is a willingness to laugh. It has been proven that even if you pretend to laugh, the brain thinks you are laughing, so you will still get all the physical benefits as if you really were laughing. Isn't that great?
I run the meetings and lead the group. We start by doing rhythmic clapping, deep breathing, as described above, and moving around the room with the clapping, sometimes in a dance-like fashion. Then I give certain exercises to the group. As an example of something we do, this is what we call Greeting Laughter: we greet each other with a handshake, and instead of saying "Hello" we look at each other, shake hands, and........laugh! Never forget how infectious laughter is; once one person starts laughing, whether they are faking it or not, very soon, the laughter becomes real. The more people in the group, the greater the effect, as more and more people quickly become infected with.....laughing for no reason. Ask yourself, when was the last time you did that?
What we do during a Laughter Club session is good, clean, harmless laughter. This will lift your spirits, make you smile and you will feel the benefits long after the end of the class. You will also have had a real physical work-out and come out smiling. What could be better? Smile, be happy and laugh your socks off!