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Laughing Yoga: What Is It and Does It Work?

by | Sep 29, 2023 | CST Articles | 0 comments

Laughing yoga is a popular movement and breathing exercise that aims to cultivate joy, bring out your inner child, and help you let go of daily life stressors.

Considering that laughter is contagious, it’s no surprise that laughing yoga has grown from one small group in Mumbai, India to over 5,000 clubs worldwide. Though advocates claim it relieves stress and reduces your risk of chronic disease, you may wonder whether it really works.

What it is

Laughing yoga, also known as laughter yoga, involves a series of movement and breathing exercises to promote deliberate laughter. 

It’s used as a remedy for physical, psychological, and spiritual ailments, as advocates believe that intentional (simulated) laughter can provide benefits equal to those of spontaneous laughter (e.g., laughing at a joke).

Though laughing therapy has been used for decades, laughing yoga was discovered by Dr. Madan Kataria, a family physician in Mumbai, India, in 1995.

Dr. Kataria claims that laughing yoga will help lift your mood, reduce stress, strengthen your immune system, increase energy levels, improve your quality of life, and help you better manage hardship. 

He believes that learning to laugh on cue can help you deal with stressful situations by promoting optimism and positivity. Since you cannot always rely on external influences to make you laugh, learning to laugh on your own can be a valuable tool.

Along with this, laughter yoga is believed to help you better manage stress through controlled breathing. This allows for greater uptake of oxygen, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, your body’s natural relaxation system.

As adults become busy with life, activities that promote laughter can go to the wayside. As a result, laughing yoga was designed to teach people how to laugh on cue rather than relying on people or things to bring them joy.

Laughing yoga is accessible in over 110 countries and becoming increasingly popular online. Furthermore, laughing coaches are bringing laughing yoga workshops directly to people in places like college campuses, workplaces, and senior living facilities.


Laughing yoga involves various movement and breathing exercises to promote intentional laughter. It’s used as a remedy for physical, psychological, and spiritual ailments.