For Immediate Release
Contact: Matti Anttila, Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher 250.477.8608 Victorialaughteryogaclub@gmail.com
Victoria, BC. Laughter Club Yuks it up Every Sunday in Beacon Hill Park
Victoria Laughter Club puts smiles on faces when they laugh for no reason in the park.
“Laughter Yoga” is the brainchild of a medical doctor from India, Dr. Madan Kataria. His paper on “Laughter is the Best Medicine” caused him to start a club to explore the benefits.
The idea spread to over 70 countries and Victoria caught the laughter bug a few years ago. Now local laughers can’t get enough and meet two to three times a week to spend an hour doing “laughter exercises.”
Local Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher Matti Anttila says the idea is to “fake it ‘till you make it.” He goes on to say: “The laughter exercises are meant to simulate laughter. Moving the diaphragm up and down is an aerobic exercise. The difference between Laughter Yoga and other exercise routines is that, with movement and eye contact, the simulated laughter can easily become real laughter. Arguably, it’s also a lot more fun that other types of exercise.”
The comic Victor Borge is quoted as saying: “Laughter is the shortest distance between people.” Does this apply to Laughter Exercises?
Yes, says Anttila: “When a new person joins in for the first time, very often they feel a kinship and a closeness with other laughers, who minutes ago, were total strangers.”
As comedian and Monty Python John Cleese says: “It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance and any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.”
The Laughter Club meets Sundays at 10:30 am for an hour by the sun dial in Beacon Hill Park. All are invited to join in the fun.
Laughter Yoga Based on “Laughter is the Best Medicine” Concept, Now Proven by Science.
“Laughter Yoga” was the brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria. Dr. Kataria was doing research for a paper on “Laughter is the best medicine.” What he found was an abundance of research showing the many health benefits of laughter. So he said to himself, if laughter is so good, why don’t we do it?
He started with 5 people in a park in Mumbai, India in 1995 and Laughter Yoga has taken on a life of its own, growing to over 7,000 laughter clubs around the world.
Laughter Yoga Has Changed Lives.
Local Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher Matti Anttila says his life changed: “I found I am
now able to many of the daily stresses of life, from anxiety at work to simple things life a driver cutting me off in traffic. I used to get upset at some drivers. Now I smile and often laugh. Not at the driver but just to release the stress. I am a more relaxed driver now and actually enjoy driving a lot more. In fact, I enjoy just about everything more these days.”
Stress is the Number One Killer
Constant stress has contributed to the health challenges we all face. By releasing stress, we improve our lives.
Improved Work Performance.
Independent scientific studies have now shown that when we are happy, we:
1) are 31% more productive,
2) make 19% fewer mistakes, and
3) make 37% more sales is we are in sales**
We Need 10-15 Minutes of Sustained Laughter to Get the Health Benefits
Laughing at jokes doesn’t give the real and proven medical benefits that laughter can bestow. We need to laugh for an extended period of ten to fifteen minutes for the “feel-good” hormones such as the endorphins to kick in.
The benefits of laughter have been known instinctively for a long time. It’s only in recent decades that actual scientific research has proven the old adage “Laughter is the best medicine.” Dr. Kataria, who founded the first Laughter Yoga club with 5 participants in a park in India in 1995, read about how Norman Cousins laughed himself back to health from a debilitating disease.
His subsequent research for a medical article on laughter lead him to a large body of scientific studies validating the health benefits of laughter. Laughter Yoga has since grown to over 7,000 clubs in over 70 countries.
Some of the benefits noted:
* Efficient Exercise (One minute of hearty laughter is the equivalent of 10 minutes on a treadmill. -Dr. W. Fry in Journal of General Psychology, 1938)
* Tap “The Inner Spirit of Laughter.” (Founder Dr. Madan Kataria says Laughter Yoga principles can provide a powerful life changing experience.)
* Conquer stress (Laughter Yoga participants report feelings of relaxation while still feeling energized following a session.)
* Improve circulation (Any exercise can do that, but even fit participants find they may have to pace themselves because of the aerobic aspect of Laughter Yoga. Regardless, those with physical challenges find they still receive many benefits.)
* Slow the Aging Process By re-discovering “child like play,” participants find many cares and woes dropping away, or at least retreating into the background for a time. This has helped many to retain youthfulness and a youthful attitude.
* Boost Imnunity Both the laughter itself and the deep breathing techniques from yoga help to release the “feel good” hormone endorphin into the brain. Endorphins have been shown to increase the immune function.
* Assist in Clearer Thinking More oxygen to the brain helps to clear up “fuzzy brain.”
* Help Fight Cancer Dr. Otto Warburg, President, Institute of Cell Physiology, Nobel Prize Winner (twice) says: “Deep breathing techniques increase oxygen to the cells and are the most important factors in living a disease-free and energetic life. When cells get enough oxygen, cancer will not and cannot occur.” (My bolding)
** From Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage
The Benefits of Laughter Go Way Beyond Entertainment