Laughter Yoga Is No Joke

Thursday, December 11th 2008, 11:28 pm
By: News 9

By Audrey Esther, INsite Team

Oklahoma City --  Laughter yoga is no joke and is catching on in Oklahoma. It's a worldwide fitness fad that combines laughter exercise with basic yoga techniques.

"We don't use any jokes or comedy. We use laughter as the exercise and through eye contact natural laughter happens," said Christopher Slater, local laughter yoga instructor.

The first laughter yoga club began more than a decade ago with five people in Mumbai India. Today more than 6,000 clubs exist worldwide, including several in the metro.

"Laughter is the best medicine," Slater said. "But some people don't know how to laugh so this makes it easy for them to learn how to."

Slater trained in Pairs to become a certified laughter yoga instructor. He helps teach even the most hesitant how to let loose and just laugh.

"Adults tend to learn that they have to use their sense of humor to laugh and they kind of forget they can just have fun and laugh and relax," he said.

A good laugh is good for your health because experts say laughter is the body's natural stress reliever. Slater said laughter is also good for the heart, lungs, digestive system and eliminating pain.

Local laughter yoga participants agree.

"It's just so beneficial to your body and easy. It's contagious," said laughter yoga participant Emily Fitzpatrick.

Fellow club member Ellen Mercer said if more people would be willing to let their childlike playfulness come out they might see the benefits too.

"When I'm stressed, maybe driving an I think I'm late or I've got something going on I can just decide, hey I could laugh and it would probably help and it usually does," Mercer said.

All local classes are free and open to the public.