Last weekend I graduated five beautiful laughter souls and sent them into the world to spread the silliness as newly certified laughter yoga leaders.
It so happened that I learned much more from them than they learned from me. The most important lesson being that the idea of laughter without humor is profound in its simplicity. Why did no one ever think of this before?
Up until 1995 no one ever considered laughter as an activity in and of itself. There had been much research done on the health benefits of sustained laughter, but all of the studies employed comedy to make the subjects laugh.
Even Dr. Madan Kataria, who started the laughter yoga movement in 1995, began his first laughter club using jokes to provoke laughter. It was only when the jokes ran out that he hit upon the idea of using childlike playfulness, instead of jokes, to generate the guffaws.
This idea, as with all ingenious inventions, spread rapidly throughout the world and became bigger than the man who invented it. As Dr. K explains in his most recent diary entry, “I had always felt that the Laughter Yoga movement had spread like wildfire to so many countries in a very short period of time without advertising and marketing because an undeniable Higher Force was guiding and promoting it. I knew it was not about me, but about the work, the people and the benefits it provided…”
I have been a laughter yoga practitioner for over two years and have just now come to really understand the depth and perfection of this simple idea. The laughter yoga movement will go on without you Dr. K, but I will be forever grateful.