Saturday, September 12, 2009


This article about laughter yoga and our laughter yoga tour of Chile was printed in El Diario De Concepcion, the newspaper of Concepcion, Chile on September 12, 2009. The translation from Spanish to English is by Tosha Tobias.

There are simple exercises and games
that allow you to develop your imagination
Laughter yoga: the prescription to learn how to be happy

It has been proven that laughter generates chemical and physical reactions that are positive for the human body. Also it is a universal language that seeks to look at the world through the eyes of love and happiness without allowing the space for negativity.

M. Francisca Bravo Coddou

“Ha ha ha” may seem like just a combination of letter without any meaning but if you repeat them out loud, your body will believe that you are laughing and will translate it as happiness. Unfortunately the problem is, according to Tosha Tobias, a disciple of Dr. Hunter Patch Adams and Dr. Madan Kataria, that adults have forgotten to laugh. On the contrary, children do it frequently throughout the day with no reason at all.

That is why laughter yoga enables us to recover the inner child that all of us have inside: to play with that child and do exercises that allow our minds to relax so that we can expereince a laughter that comes from deep inside.

Madan Kataria, she continued, found out that laughter is good for health because it produces positive chemical changes and gives no space to negativity.

Not only that, according Psychologist Barbara Munoz, when we laugh our posture and facial expression create the sensation of feeling good, which informs our minds that there are no dangers, that everything is okay.

And that is why Tosha Tobias has no doubt in saying that these laughter yoga exercises allow us to create life-changing laughter. It is a healthy, natural drug that causes a change in attitude.

Laura Gentry, founder of the Iowa School of Laughter Yoga in the United States added that this may sound simple and ridiculous but it is incredible how it can change the mind and the heart because it opens you to the sensibility of unconditional love.

Laura and William, her husband, are visiting the country to have a a cross cultural experience and see if the exercises of laughter yoga that are being taught in the United States are as effective in Chile. The unanimous answer is that yes, they are.

“We must not forget that laughter is a universal language and it is important to be able to be connected on such a sensitive and historical date as this one is (September 11th). What we are doing is working to create universal love.” emphasized Laura Gentry

According to her, it is fundamental to understand that through the practice of these exercises (which also boost creativity). ”Whatever happens, I can be happy and I can live life through happiness.”

Children, Tosha Tobias added, are not contaminated and that is why they can laugh about anything. We adults have been contaminated with the rhythm of modern life, forgetting to live in the now.

We must remember that a happy person is healthy and that the prescription is not difficult to follow. If you are not a person who laughs easily all you need to is to repeat the combination of “ha ha ha” and your body will assume that you are laughing.

This is because our body doesn’t differentiate an induced laugh from a real one. Both unleash all the benefits that laughter brings with it, explained Tobias.

This, she explained, could be a very potent treatment for addictions because it generates the same sensation of well-being as people try to achieve through substance abuse.

For now you can start with a very simple exercise: extend your arm imagine that in the palm of your hand you have laughter pills. Take one, smile. If it doesn’t work take another one and if you are now laughing, then don’t forget to share them.

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