Laughter yoga (Hasyayoga) is a modern aerobic exercise involving prolonged voluntary laughter. This type of yoga is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides similar physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. It is usually done in groups, with eye contact and much playfulness between participants. Intentional laughter often turns into real and contagious laughter.
Laughter Yoga was developed by family physician Dr. Madan Kataria of India, by combining laughter exercises with yoga concepts and philosophy. Dr. Kataria ingeniously modernized and simplified the work of earlier laughter for health pioneers,  who taught similar health concepts starting in the 1960s. Dr. Kataria wrote about his experience in his 2002 book Laugh For No Reason.
Laughter Yoga leaders are now found in 53 countries. There are about 5,000 Laughter Yoga clubs worldwide, with roughly 200 of those in the United States.
Our own Rev Sharon Q is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader trained with Dr Madan Kataria in India, the founder of Laughter Yoga. For more information about laughter for stress reduction please contact Mind Body Institute of Ireland at www.mindbodyinstitute.ie