Laughter Meditation is a period of free-flowing deep laughter in the present moment interspersed with periods of silence. Laughter Meditation typically occurs later in the Laughter Yoga session, after the exercises and before the concluding guided relaxation. The Laughter Meditation is a time in the session in which we drop the laughter exercises and just allow ourselves to laugh. There is no talking or performing in order to make others laugh. It is simply a time of free-flowing laughter and silence in the present moment.
Periods of breathing naturally happen during the Laughter Meditation. In fact, a good Laughter Meditation will have several periods of laughter and silence. Regular breathing interspersed throughout the Laughter Meditation helps the laughter to last longer.
When I teach Laughter Yoga in person, I find that the Laughter Mediation often lasts 10-15 minutes. When I teach online, I find that the Laughter Meditation (and the session overall) is shorter than in person.
If you are a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader or Teacher leading the Laughter Yoga session, when it is time to transition into the Laughter Meditation you can remind participants to refrain from talking or performing to make others laugh. This is not a time to make funny faces or sounds or try to communicate in any way. Let participants know that this is a time for them to enjoy free flowing deep laughter in the present moment. Laughing in this way functions as a dynamic meditation.
If you are laughing together in person, rather than online, you can begin Laughter Meditation with participants sitting comfortably in an inwardly facing circle and gradually progress to lying down. You can experiment with other postures. I especially like sitting back-to-back with another participant and feeling each other’s laughter while at the same time just feeling supported by that person. If you are laughing in a Laughter Yoga session online, just invite participants to be comfortable in their space. They can sit, stand, or lie down if they wish — whatever feels good to them.
Remember, we have dropped the Laughter Yoga exercises at this point. Let participants know that this is a time to let any remaining laughter flow naturally. Invite participants to let their laughter flow and to feel free to intersperse periods of deep breathing.
Invite participants to begin the Laughter Meditation with the eyes open. Engage in Laughter Meditation for about five minutes. Then take a few breaths and observe a moment in silence. After a moment, start laughing again and gradually deepen the laughter. You can allow your laughter to flow for another five minutes. Once the Laughter Meditation begins flowing you can invite participants to lie down and close their eyes. With eyes closed, participants can better internalize their laughter. You can continue in this way for another five minutes. After the laughter meditation, engage in guided relaxation. The five components of the Laughter Yoga session is discussed in this article.
Engage in Laughter Meditation for 10-20 minutes, but no more than 20 minutes. If the group gets into hysterical laughter, calm the group by giving instructions to breathe deeply. Cathartic moments are okay during the Laughter Meditation. I have personally witnessed people cry tears of sorrow and also tears of joy during this part of the Laughter Yoga session. Sometimes deep belly laughter brings up blocked emotions and it is normal for those emotions to come out during the Laughter Meditation. If this happens in your group, let participants know that this is normal and that cathartic laughter is okay!
What have been your experiences with Laughter Meditation?
New to Laughter Yoga? I have two free Laughter Yoga classes that meet online twice weekly. You can find out more information about the Laughter Club here.
What are the components of a Laughter Yoga session?
Step 1: Welcome
Step 2: Gentle Warm-Up
Step 3: Laughter and Breathing Exercises
Step 4: Laughter Meditation
Step 5: Grounding Activity
How do I learn how to teach Laughter Yoga?
If you want to learn how to teach Laughter Yoga, the first step is to get trained as a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. The Laughter Yoga Leader certification is an internationally recognized certification from Laughter Yoga International and Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga. Up until 2020, Dr. Madan Kataria only allowed Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Trainings to be facilitated in person. With the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, Dr. Kataria has blessed Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers to deliver the Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Trainings online.
How long has Celeste been teaching Laughter Yoga and what is her experience?
I became a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader in 2010 and a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher in 2011 with Sebastien Gendry and Jeffery Briar, respectively. In addition to learning from their expertise, I have taken advanced workshops with Dr. Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga.
For over a decade I have facilitated in person and online Laughter Yoga sessions and interactive keynote presentations. I have taught dozens of Certified Laughter Yoga Leader Trainings.
A highly sought-after speaker, I have presented at TEDx Centennial Park Women and to numerous Fortune 500 clients from a variety of industries, including Cox Communications, Deloitte, and Invesco. My work has been featured in a number of media outlets, including CNN, Forbes.com, Psychology Today, 11Alive News, and Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta.
I have also hosted a free Laughter Club for over a decade. My free Laughter Yoga club meets online on Zoom twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. The group is completely free and is open to everyone. Please join us anytime!