Julie's Laughter Story
Julie found out about Laughter Yoga on the first Sunday of May 2013. She was working on the May Day Walk for the Healing Center, a grief support group in Seattle, where she co-facilitates the children’s grief groups. She was preparing a booth where families were coming to write a message to their person who had died. When Julie was getting the booth ready, several people came up to her and asked where Laughter Yoga or World Laughter Day event was. Finally, intrigued, she asked what laughter yoga was. A young man from Olympia described it, and told her there was a certification program for it. Julie was excited about it, but needed to get back to her booth. So, she filed it in the back of her head and continued doing her job.
Then the families came and wrote the notes and attached them to a string. Now imagine 75 people holding a string like they were in preschool. Julie led them down towards lunch like the Pied Piper with her guitar. The mood was reflective and contemplative. We were on the right-hand side of the path and the World Laughter Day participants were on the left-hand side.
One by One my clients started to laugh, it was the most amazing thing she had ever seen. Julie started googling laughter yoga and found a class the very next week, on Mother’s Day of 2013.
Six weeks later, Julie went to Olympia and became certified as a Laughter Yoga Leader, and started The Eastside Laughter Club. It has met every other Sunday since July of 2013.
In September of 2014 Julie travelled to Bangalore, India and Laughter Yoga University and was certified to be a Laughter Yoga Teacher by Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga.
Today, Julie teaches Laughter Yoga classes, facilitate trainings to certify
laughter yoga leaders, leads workshops and presentations for corporations,
nonprofits, schools and organizations.
WHY LAUGHTER YOGA
Several scientific studies have proven the health benefits of laughter. According to these studies, in order to get the full health benefits of laughter we need to laugh continuously for at least for 10 to 15 minutes every day. When we do Laughter Yoga as an exercise, we can prolong our laughter as long as we want. Natural laughter, on the other hand, comes for just a few seconds here and there, and is not enough to bring about the desired physiological. biochemical changes in our bodies.
To reap the health benefits, laughter must be loud and deep, coming from the level of the diaphragm; it should be a belly laugh. It is not always socially acceptable to laugh loudly, so Laughter Yoga clubs provide a safe environment where one can laugh loud and heartily without any social strain.
In Laughter Yoga clubs, we are not leaving laughter to chance; we are doing it out of our commitment to improving our health by using the proven benefits of laughter and laughing together.
5 Points about laughter yoga
- Without relying on humor, jokes or comedy, Laughter Yoga is a unique
concept where anyone can laugh for no reason.
- We initiate laughter as an exercise individually or in a group; with eye
contact and childlike playfulness, real and contagious laughter happens.
- Combining laughter exercises with Yogic breathing results in “Laughter
Yoga” as a modality for good health. Laughter brings more oxygen to
the body and the brain, which makes one feel more energetic and
- The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on the scientific fact that the
body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. Laughter
Yoga, when done with willingness, provides you the same physiological
and psychological benefits.
- It was started by Dr. Madan Kataria, a medical doctor from India with
five willing people in a Mumbai Park in 1995. It has fast swept around
the world and today there are thousands of laughter clubs in more than