COURSES & APPOINTMENTS
LAUGHTER YOGA AND LEARNING
Laughter yoga is a series of exercises, combining laughter from the depths of your belly with some basic yoga breathing exercises. It is a group activity, led by a conductor who stimulates you to laugh for no reason, using mime, facial gestures and playful acting. Even if initially your laughter may be slightly fake, the very action of laughing leads to it becoming real and genuine. Aside from being a fun activity in its own right, the effect it has on your body is quite astonishing and needs to be practiced to be believed.
It was started by an Indian doctor in Mumbai in 1995. He set up the first Laughter club with 5 people and just 14 years later, there are over 6000 clubs all over the world. It is used in some hospitals, schools, prisons and companies.
I discovered it myself in Rome in 2005 and started using it with some of my students. It was then that I saw the potential of this simple activity. It transformed my lethargic and cautious students into charged up and energised people, looking for action and ready to deal with anything I cared to throw at them. They not only participated actively in the lesson, but left the lesson loaded up with adrenalin to take with them.
Laughing in a group is an essential part of stimulating laughter. Scientific research shows that laughter is about bonding. If you watch the same comedy alone, however funny you find it, you will laugh much less than if you watch it with a group of friends or even complete strangers. Go to the cinema and observe for yourself! Observe people in groups at bars and pubs. Notice how many of them burst into fits of laughter at regular short intervals, while in the group. It is not only due to what they are saying at that moment, but all the thought patterns behind it. The effect of one person laughing stimulates the others. Take any of these same people when they are alone. It doesn’t matter how much they may reflect on this humorous situation, they may smile, even laugh out loud, but not as much as when in the group.
For more information on this subject, read my article, Laughter yoga in English Language teaching
as well as the official international website:
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