Q: What exactly is a Laugh Club?
A: Based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter, a laugh club involves meeting in a group which is led by a certified laughter leader who will guide you into prolonged voluntary laughter in 15 second to 5 minute intervals.
Q: I heard it's pretty weird. Is this true?
A: Since laughter exercises involve eye contact and childlike playfulness it makes some people uncomfortable which is why they label it as "weird." These very things also make us feel younger, healthier and happier and feeling these things aren't for everyone. You know what's weird? Throwing away the box from your microwave meal and then immediately having to fish it out to find out how long to cook it.
Q: Is it a class?
A: Class, meet up, session, meeting. You can cal it whatever you’d like.
Q: Are children welcome?
A: Yes! We get about 1-2 kids each month and they really enjoy it. Our youngest has been 4 and our oldest 18. (Though last week we had a baby who stayed for the entire session). The space is set up in a way that young kids have the freedom to participate in all the activities or just the ones they want.. And when they don't want to participate, just being in the room with people laughing can be a really positive experience.
Q: I feel like I'm too shy to attend. Should I come anyway?
A: Absolutely. For some reason, laughter yoga tends to attract introverts and so, for those of us who are on the shy side it's the perfect place to feel right at home with others who probably feel the same way.
Q: Is it led by a teacher?
A: Teachers receive training and certification through Laughter Yoga University and are technically called Certified Laughter Yoga Leaders. Since they aren't teaching you how to laugh it's not necessary to call them a teacher. If you like you can call him/her your friend.
Q: Is there yoga involved?
A: This is the million dollar question everyone asks. It does not involve yoga poses. The “yoga” aspect of it is the mindfulness and the deep breathing exercises we incorporate.
Q: How long is each class?
A: 60 minutes.
Q: Do I need a mat or special clothing?
A: Nope. Most people come in jeans, t-shirts, shorts or even work clothes. We do recommend a fun pair of socks or bare feet.
Q: Is it free?
A: I consider this part of my service work and so I volunteer my time. However, I have a donation basket where you can pay what you can (I also accept Venmo). It’s not necessary to donate, but I sure appreciate it. As a healthy, self-sustaining organization, your donations help me pay the rent and other costs associated with our website and promotion materials.
Q: I'm recovering from an injury or surgery or have problems with my back. Should I still come?
A: Absolutely. Classes take place in a safe, supported and nurturing environment and chairs are always available for those who are less mobile or if you're just feeling less energetic.
Q: Who started it?
A: Laughter Yoga was started in Mumbai India in 1995 by Dr. Madan Kataria as a way to promote the use of laughter as a form of physical exercise. For more information visit: www.laughteryoga.org