Laughter Yoga Uplifts My Mood

Helen Thyrvin

Kylie Willows, Sydney: I first heard about Laughter Yoga at a Yoga Expo in Sydney a couple of years ago. It was the final day of a 3 day conference and I was exhausted from participating in many practical workshops.

I was just about to head home when an announcement came over the loudspeaker that a new unusual style of Yoga was coming up next on the main stage: Laughter Yoga! I was intrigued. I nearly didn’t stay to watch the session because I was tired, but on impulse and at the last minute, I decided to check it out.

Laughter Yoga presenter (Kathy Popplewell) explained that the audience must participate, and not just watch the presentation. She led us through about 15 minutes of Laughter Exercises, and finished with Laughter Meditation. Those 15 minutes of laughing completely transformed my state! I went from being exhausted to being completely energized. I laughed so hard; I was nearly crying.

I was hooked. Although I had been practicing Hatha Yoga for 8 years and partially studied Yoga Teacher Training, I knew Laughter Yoga was what I had been searching for. I completed the two-day Laughter Leader training, and started attending laughter sessions. I found that doing Laughter Yoga uplifted my mood for days afterwards. It also helped me not to take life so seriously. I’d also found a community of people who enjoy laughing (for no reason) as much as I do. Now, I’m able to laugh in situations that I previously found stressful. I’m also able to laugh more deeply and allow the laughter to flow rather than stifle it out of politeness or habit. I run my own classes in Sydney, and have a great time connecting with people