Laughter yoga is on the rise. But even with its increasing popularity, many people still don’t know what it’s all about. 

Put simply, laughter yoga is a combination of traditional yoga with bursts of laughter. It helps to invoke feelings of calmness, relaxation, joy, and provides better ways to deal with life  (and its many stresses!)

If this is your first time hearing of laughing yoga, you may wonder how laughter is connected to yoga.

Good question. 

And it all starts with fake laughing. Yep, during the yoga session, there will be periods where you’ll fake a laugh – which will progress into something very real (and very funny!). 


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How to perform laughing yoga

First, the basics.

There are three levels of laughter yoga classes; beginner, intermediate and advanced. Participants in every group perform different levels of yoga differently but follow some common vital steps. A laughing yoga class lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the level. If you’re a beginner, don’t worry about missing out on the advanced poses – you’ll still reap the benefits. Your coach will also help you to familiarise yourself with the poses and make them manageable for your ability.

Of course, all yoga laughter groups are slightly different, but you can use these simple steps as a guide:

Steps for doing laughing yoga

Step 1: Welcoming all participants

This is an essential step – whether it’s a group of novices or experienced participants. For beginners, it makes them feel welcomed and have a sense of belonging. Additionally, it’s the point where the yoga leader briefs the group on the safety measures and everything that’s about to take place. 

Step 2: Warming-up 

The warmup step is crucial, and you shouldn’t miss it. It helps to relax your muscles, which is  a necessity for performing yoga poses. You are more prone to injuries when your muscles are tight and stiff, so get warming up!

Step 3: Breathing exercises

Again, this applies to all levels. Just like the warmup stage, deep breathing helps to achieve total body relaxation. Mental relaxation is a big part of this step where you become calm, less stressed and joyful during and after the session.

Deep breathing isn’t a continuous exercise – you should break it up through chanting and clapping after a few minutes, then going back to your breathing technique. There are various methods for clapping and chanting, and you can do what feels appropriate. 

Learn the 6 ways Laughter can improve Children's Wellbeing

Step 4: Child-like play

This step is all about being playful and joyous, just like a child! Use plenty of happy phrases and chants but make them lively, unlike in the previous stage. Carefully follow the chants provided systematically by the coach or any laughing yoga video. Know which one starts and finishes to maintain the flow.

Step 5: Laughing and meditating

This is where you’ll do most of your laughing and giggling. While it is normal for it to feel a little strange or even embarrassing at first, you’ll soon notice that your fake laugh will progress into real laughter without stimulation. Start with short periods of laughter and then lengthen every new episode. Once you’ve enjoyed some belly-jiggling laughter, try meditation as a form of transition toward the end of your laughter yoga session. 

To sum up

Performing laughing yoga can be difficult for first-timers. Laughing with no external stimulation is tricky, but you will get the hang of it with time. Start by warming up to relax your muscles, do breathing techniques, indulge in some child-like play, and then laugh and meditate. These steps describe laughing yoga in a simplified manner though the intensity of each varies as the levels advance. The more you participate, the easier it is to do yoga practise and enjoy its many benefits!

I hope to laugh with you soon. Find me on LinkedIn.