Laughter Yoga In Tehran


Laughter Yoga is fast catching on in Tehran, which today is a somber place as people face political suppression, economic hardships, and culture wars. These make life more stressful than need be.

Many Iranians have found relief in Laughing Yoga class led by Mahro Sameni, one of Iran's 250 laugh instructors who said, “Today, unfortunately we forget the child within us; we need to find that and shut the rest of the brain down... (Laughing) changes our view of life, political problems and helps us forget all the outside issues, and be with people."

Wherever it takes place, Laughing Yoga apparently feels awkward at first, with forced "ha-ha-ha-ho-ho-ho" chants. But as minutes go by, somehow body and brain join in and create irresistible, real laughter. It's infectious. Rooms dissolve into belly laughs, at first at the absurdity of the experience, then with genuine happiness. It's somehow automatic. As Dr. Kataria discovered, our bodies can't distinguish between fake and real laughter. Start the former and eventually, you'll get the latter. This is called “happy chemistry."