Online Laughter Yoga Clubs on Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms have gained in popularity during the COVID 19 pandemic. Laughter Clubs are loosely defined as gatherings of people who just want to laugh as a form of exercise with other like-minded individuals. Now with the global pandemic, people from all over the world are laughing together with the click of a button! With so many remote Laughter Yoga sessions being facilitated online, Laughter Yogis are more connected than ever. And that’s a good thing because the positive social interactions that happen in a supportive, non-judgmental environment bring about even more benefits than the laughter itself.
Need a good laugh? Try my free Laughter Yoga classes.
We meet online for 20 minutes twice weekly. In the Laughter Yoga sessions, I guide you through a gentle warm-up, a series of laughter and deep breathing exercises, a special laughter meditation where we enjoy free-flowing laughter, and a guided relaxation.
Follow these tips to get the most out of your Zoom Laughter Yoga session:
Download the Zoom app. You can join a meeting just from your browser, but it’s best to download the application if you haven’t already. Download Zoom.
Set up your space. Before you join the session, decide if you want to sit or stand. I personally like to stand when I do Laughter Yoga, but you can also sit if that is more comfortable for you. Whether you are sitting or standing, place your computer or phone at eye level. Try to refrain from adjusting your device once the session starts because this can be distracting to other participants. If you must adjust your setup, you can briefly turn off your audio and video.
Virtual backgrounds. You can use a virtual background to hide the chaos and clutter of your home. There are specific hardware requirements and most modern computer setups should be able to manage — but the virtual background works best with a green screen and uniform lighting.
To set up a virtual background, go to the desktop app, “Settings,” and choose “Virtual Background.” You can try out different screens or add your own image/video instead. Once you’ve enabled and selected a virtual background, while in a meeting, you can toggle them off/on next to the “Stop Video” tab.
Be seen and heard, but be courteous. Zoom allows for us to join with audio and video on so that we can see and hear each other in real time. Seeing and hearing other people laugh while allowing ourselves to be playful is what enables contagious laughter. For this reason, joining the Zoom meeting with audio and video on is best. If you have background noise, be courteous and mute your microphone. If you need to step aside for a moment, turning off video is appreciated. Otherwise, please turn on your audio and video so that you and the other participants get the most out of the session.
Speaker or Gallery view. At the top, you can pick one of two view options: Speaker view or Gallery Active Speaker is the default video layout in which the person talking is shown on a larger screen. There is also a Gallery view that brings in every participant on one screen through a grid. I usually keep my setting on Gallery view so that I can see everyone laughing at once, Hollywood Squares style.
Choose to laugh. Just laugh, when you want to, because you can. No need to judge the quality of your laughter. Making laughter a conscious choice creates an open and positive mindset and will help you with your practice. It may feel awkward at first but this is because many of us haven’t laughed intentionally in this way before. Allow yourself to choose to laugh and the initial awkwardness of this new experience usually passes after a few minutes.
Going through the motions is a good start. If you have trouble laughing, just go through the motions of making laughing sounds with your voice. You can make sounds like “HO HO HO, HA HA HA, HEE HEE HEE! Even just making laughing sounds can function as aerobic exercise. Think of your laughter as exercise and just go through the motions of laughter by making laughing sounds.
Believe so that you can achieve. Approach the Laughter Yoga practice with an open mind. Believe that Laughter Yoga can work for you. Simulate laughter with sincere enthusiasm. If you laugh with passion and enthusiasm, you end up with a natural high. Ask yourself “What can I do now with a positive attitude?” This is a recipe for wellbeing.
Allow yourself to play. Laughter has serious benefits, but Laughter Yoga is all about playfulness. So play with your laughter! Once you are engaged in play, you don’t have to try to laugh. Laughter comes as a natural outcome of your playfulness. Simply allow yourself to be playful and laughter will come naturally.
Practice regularly. A regular Laughter Yoga practice will give you the most benefits. Practice for 21 days and laughter will become a new habit for you. Start by laughing for 10 minutes and gradually increase the duration. A morning practice is ideal because it allows you to start your day with a cheerful mood and good feelings. That being said, a practice at any time is better than no practice at all. Play with your practice and see what works best for you. Here are some tips for how to laugh while alone.
Respect the people around you. Intentional laughter may not be for everybody. If it is possible for you, laugh in a private space where you won’t be disturbed. If laughing alone is too noisy for those living with you, tone it down, do it silently or find a different location or time of day if you can. Top of Form
Please join me for my Online Laughter Yoga Club on Zoom.
We meet Tuesdays from 7:30-8:00pm EST and Fridays from 11:30-11:50am EST. You can convert to your time zone using World Time Buddy. I am located in Atlanta, GA, USA. So come on and laugh with me y’all!
What Happens in a Laughter Yoga Session?
Are you considering trying Laughing Yoga but you’re not sure what to expect in a session? This article explains each of these components of a complete Laughter Yoga session, as originally outlined by Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of the worldwide Laughter Yoga movement.
What Exactly is Laughter Yoga and How Does it Work?
Laughter Yoga is health concept whereby anyone can laugh without the need for jokes, comedy, or even having a sense of humor. You can start laughing even if you are feeling sad, angry, depressed, any emotion. As long as you are willing to laugh, you can laugh.
Both self-simulated and genuine laughter are shown to produce beneficial effects similar to aerobic exercise. So whether a person is laughing at something funny or whether they are just going through the motions of a laughter and making laughing sounds on purpose, both are shown to be beneficial.
In Laughter Yoga sessions, laughter is initially simulated as a physical exercise. You just go through the motions of laughter at first. But as you make eye contact with the others in the group and allowing yourself to be playful, the laughter soon becomes real and contagious.
Laughter Yoga is called Laughter “Yoga” because it combines Laughter Exercises with deep yogic breathing practices known as Pranayama. This brings more oxygen to the body and brain, so we feel healthier and more energetic.
Laughter Yoga was developed by a medical doctor, Madan Kataria, in collaboration with his lovely wife, Madhuri, a yoga teacher. They begin with a just five people laughing in a park in Mumbai, India in 1995. Now there are thousands of Laughter Clubs in over 100 countries worldwide.