Frequently Asked Questions

I have never done yoga and/or I am not flexible, can I still participate in Laughter Yoga? Yes! Laughter Yoga, or Hasya Yoga, is not a traditional asana yoga which focuses on alignment and poses. Laughter Yoga incorporates deep breathing in between laughter exercises. The term yoga is therefore a reference to yogic breathing or pranayama. The term yoga translates to "union" or "yoke", so you can think of Laughter Yoga as the union between laughter and breath. In addition, we use playfulness, chanting and clapping (sometimes even singing & dancing), coupled with our intentions to facilitate laughter as a group.

Do I need to bring a yoga mat?  Not unless specified for your particular event, or if you prefer to use your own equipment. We usually only sit or lie on the floor at the end of a session during laughter meditation. Many of the studios/locations already have mats, blankets and pillows available for use. , bu. You may want to sit on the floor in the beginning or at the end, so pants are better suited than a skirt, but any clothing is okay.

Do I need to wear workout clothing? Casual or workout clothing is not necessary. Wear whatever is comfortable for you. Usually whatever you are wearing for the day is fine, although pants are better suited than a skirt. We do sit and/or lie on the floor at the end of most sessions. During the session, we will not be doing any traditional yogic poses or stretching, although we will be milling about and interacting as a group. Laughter Yoga does count as aerobic activity, however, so you may wish to dress accordingly if you overheat easily. Layers are always good!

Since Laughter Yoga counts as exercise are there any contraindications?  Yes, there are a few. If you are sick or recovering and still have a cough it is better that you not participate. Laughter, like other aerobic activity, can loosen up any underlying congestion and end in a coughing fit. If you suffer from asthma, please know that intense laughter can also trigger asthma attacks in some people, especially those with exercise induced asthma. Most people with asthma know if laughter is a trigger for them. If you have asthma, please bring your medication with you. Pregnancy is also contraindicated. Overall, if your doctor has agreed that you can exercise safely you should be okay. For a complete list of contraindications click here.  Feel free to contact Andréa prior to your session if you would like to ask any questions about a specific health condition or contraindication. These are not hard and fast rules, but suggested guidelines. If there is any doubt or concern, please contact your medical provider.

What are some of the benefits of hearty laughter?

10 Benefits of Laughter

Did you know that laughter counts as exercise? Seriously! Laughter has an amazing array of health benefits!

  1. Laughter is a stress buster. It reduces the levels of stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol in the body.
  2. Laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing Natural Killer Cells, the cells that attack virus and cancer cells.
  3. Laughter is an inexpensive anti-ageing product! It naturally increases blood flow to the face, nourishing the skin and making it glow.
  4. Laughter counts as exercise! It is an aerobic activity, because it increases pulmonary and cardiovascular function.  Bonus, it’s fun!
  5. Laughter is believed to increase endorphins — the body’s natural pain killers.
  6. Laughter helps control high blood pressure by reducing stress hormones and thereby allowing the blood vessels to dilate.
  7. Laughter helps alleviate depression and anxiety by increasing serotonin production.
  8. Laughter increases creativity and imagination and improves your sense of humor by lending perspective and putting you in the present moment.
  9. Laughter can shrink the hurts of everyday life and interrupt power struggles by defusing and releasing anger and other “negative” emotions.
  10. Laughter improves an individual’s self-confidence and self-expression.

Additionally, here are some of the benefits for companies and organizations: 

  • increased energy levels;
  • a rapid decrease of stress levels and better ability to deal with stress;
  • improved commitment and motivation;
  • increased performance, efficiency, innovation and problem solving abilities;
  • stronger team spirit;
  • reduced absenteeism and improved health leading to decreased sick leave and lower medical costs
  • increased energy levels;a rapid decrease of stress levels and better ability to deal with stress;improved commitment and motivation;increased performance, efficiency, innovation and problem solving abilities;stronger team spirit;reduced absenteeism and improved health leading to decreased sick leave and lower medical costs

See some of the science here.

Watch videos of actual Laughter Yoga sessions here.