“Laughter helps us cope with challenges and conflict better because it gives us a better perspective. Issues appear to be less overwhelming. Laughter allows us to stand about an issue, acknowledge it, and treat it lightly. We become aware that we are touched by the issue, but not contained in it.”–Madan Kataria, MD, Founder of Laughter Yoga
“It has been my observation that people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” –Abraham Lincoln
Laughter Yoga brings people together to laugh in a worldwide movement that includes thousands of weekly groups in dozens of countries. Madan Kataria, MD, started the first laughter club in India in 1995. Through his research, Dr. Kataria discovered that the mind does not know how to differentiate between fake and genuine laughter—either way it produces happy chemistry. Consequently, people don’t need to feel happy nor rely on humor, comedy, or jokes to benefit from laughter. The Laughter Yoga technique blends 1) yogic deep breathing, 2) stretching, 3) simulated laughter exercises, and 4) cultivated child-like playfulness. Essentially people come together to laugh for no reason and receive physical, emotional, mental and social benefits of laughter.
Laughter Yoga Leaders are charged with guiding the activities and overseeing well-being of the group. The Laughter Yoga Leader training teaches the physiology of laughter and its many health benefits; how to start and run laughter yoga groups; special techniques for diverse populations; how to use and teach laughter as a coping skill and life skill; and the structure, norms, counter-indications, and logistics of a laughter yoga club.
Participants who successfully complete the training receive a Laughter Yoga Leader Certificate demonstrating their competency in understanding the laughter yoga concepts, proficiency in the techniques of laughter, and embodiment of positive emotions and respect for themselves and everyone who is present.
In order to receive a certificate as a Laughter Yoga Leader, participants are required to attend a 2-day training consisting of a minimum of 8 hours per day. Participants will be invited to re-connect via an optional one-hour teleconference approximately one month following the training. During the call, participants will give an update on their own laughter practices, report their progress to establish a laughter yoga group. And enjoy some laughter.
- Participate in the spirit of fun, collaboration and cooperation
- Attend both days and be on time.
- Make the facilitator aware of any special needs.
- Be playful and experimental.
- Take responsibility for your own experience, physical needs, safety and learning.
- Support others by being attentive and cooperative when they ask questions or lead the group.
- Communicate upsets and concerns immediately to the facilitator and/or to the persons involved.
- Agree not to teach these Laughter Yoga leadership methods to others.
- Agree not to disseminate the Laughter Yoga Leader Training materials for others to teach.
This training enriches health and fitness teachers, management professionals, medical professionals, psychologists, social workers, eldercare workers, life coaches, complementary therapists, and anyone wanting to add more laughter to their lives and the lives of others.
As a participant, you will be able to
- understand the scientific research and physical, mental, and emotional benefits of happiness, laughter, and Laughter Yoga;
- understand how to use and teach simple exercises and techniques (including deep breathing, meditation, visualization, relaxation, playful activities) to increase joy and health and decrease stress;
- organize and lead laughter programs for individuals and diverse groups including healthcare staff and patients, seniors, children, and corporations.
The focus of the Laughter Yoga Leader Training course is primarily experiential where participants learn, practice and lead laughter yoga exercises and facilitation techniques. Additional learning methods include a training/resource manual, video, field practice, program design, and follow-up accountability.
- Video will be used to demonstrate Laughter Yoga group facilitation.
Participants will also receive a comprehensive training workbook including:
- Introductory Techniques
- History of Therapeutic Laughter and Laughter Yoga
- Concepts and Principles of Laughter Yoga
- Benefits of Laughter and Laughter Yoga
- Guidelines in Leading a Laughter Yoga Session
- Laughter Meditation
- Solo Laughter
- How to Start and Promote a Laughter Group
- Leaders’ Code of Ethics
- Laughter Exercises
- Laughter Yoga Information and Liability Release
- During the training participants will lead exercises, meditation and relaxation, and practice introducing the Laughter Yoga concepts.
- Participants will create a design and implementation plan for a Laughter Yoga group at their worksite or community center.
- (Optional) Participants may participate in a one-hour teleconference approximately one month after the training to laugh, discuss their progress, receive updates, and give and receive support.