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Mojo Mondays: Try Laughter Yoga

Lissa Rankin's picture
The Certified Laughter Yoga Instructors Taught by Carmela Carlyle

The Certified Laughter Yoga Instructors Taught by Carmela Carlyle


Howdy, Pinkies! Happy Mojo Monday. Last week, we got a little bogged down in Memorial Day festivities, so I didn't want to post about Laughter Yoga until I knew you were listening. Are you there now? Have you ever heard of Laughter Yoga? You gotta try it. It's a hoot. My friend Christa Scalies, founder of Giggle On, signed me up to become a Certified Laughter Yoga instructor, and I had no idea how much fun I'd have. We took a laughter yoga instructor certification workshop with Carmela Carlyle (who is a total Pink Goddess). As it turns out, Laughter Yoga is a great way to get your mojo back.

Me with Carmela, celebrating my Laughter Yoga Instructor Certification (in many ways, way more fun than getting my MD!)

Me with Carmela, celebrating my Laughter Yoga Instructor Certification (in many ways, way more fun than getting my MD!)


What is Laughter Yoga?

Laughter Yoga was developed in India by a Western-trained medical doctor, Dr. Madan Kataria, who started the first laughter club in a park in Mumbai in 1995. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 social laughter clubs in 60 countries. Dr. Kataria became curious when reading medical journals about the health benefits of laughter. He figured that if laughter is good for you, why not induce laughter so everyone could enjoy the health benefits? He began by sitting around a Mumbai park with five people, telling jokes. But as you can imagine, the jokes turned sour, people got offended, and Dr. Kataria was left searching for ways to get the benefits of laughter without pissing anyone off. Enter Madhuri, his wife, a yoga instructor. She suggested that perhaps people could achieve the benefits of laughter by laughing-for no reason at all- and breathing deeply. So Laughter Yoga was born. Laughter Yoga is a combination of laughter, child-like playfulness, and yogic breathing (Pranayama). The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on the scientific fact that the body doesn't know the difference between fake laughter and real laughter. Your body benefits from the endorphin release, cardiovascular exercise, deep breathing, reduction in cortisol levels, stress relief, and increase in oxygen that occur as the result of engaging in Laughter Yoga. Plus, if you do this in a group, I promise- you'll have a blast and build community while you're at it. You'll laugh so hard you'll pee your pants, and your Pink Posse will love it. So if you've lost your mojo, and you don't feel like laughing, fake it 'til you make it.

The Mojo HO HO

If you have the chance, take a Laughter Yoga class, but if not, here's the Mojo HO HO, an exercise you can do with you Pink Posse or by yourself. To become certified, I had to make up a brand new, totally unique Laughter Yoga exercise that had never been done before. So this was mine. Here's moi- leading the group in the Mojo HO HO. Okay, so I know I look totally goofy (I swear it seemed normal if you were there.) So forgive me my geekiness, trust me on this one, and try it with a group of girlfriends. Once you convince the neighbors you're not drunk (really! I swear! All we drank is green juice), it'll be a great conversation starter!

This is my very favorite story that came out of our Laughter Yoga workshop. Carmela teaches Laugther Yoga to a group of elderly folks, and one women relayed this story: Every time she wakes up, she throws her arms and legs up into the air, laughs her ass off, and yells, "I'm alive! I'm alive!" I think I'm gonna have to start doing that. You too? Here's what it looks like:

Whadya think, Pinkies? Are you laughing? If so, mission accomplished. Interested in trying it? Happy Mojo Mondays!

He he ho ho ho (and a few gigantic giggles),


Fish laughter

Fish laughter


Andrew Pelt's picture

Of course, what a great site

Of course, what a great site and informative posts, I will add backlink - bookmark this site? Regards, Reader.

Lissa Rankin's picture

Thank you Andrew! So glad you

Thank you Andrew! So glad you liked the post! We welcome the "Link Love" policy and would be happy to offer links to you as well. If you'd like us to link to you, submit your info here:

We're happy to have you here!

Lissa Rankin's picture

Me too, Pa! Hahahaha....Big

Me too, Pa! Hahahaha....Big love to you all- joy is everywhere.

Pa Gianni's picture

I'm thinking of you kindred

I'm thinking of you kindred spirits as I practice LY. Just thinking of you laughing makes me laugh!

Christa's picture

This Laughter Yoga weekend

This Laughter Yoga weekend was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

I wrote about it here:


I am so energized to start a Laughter Yoga club here in Wilmington, Delaware. Laughter Yoga will give me the mechanism to deliver my message of resiliency, hope and laughter.

Yes, Laughter Yoga seems ridiculous. At first, I thought it WAS ridiculous. On the way to the LY workshop I was very upset. I was caught up in drama (love life drama) and felt every sad, very confused. My heart hurt.

But after the first hour of laughing with Carmela, Lissa and the rest of the Giggle posse, my worries washed away.

I felt "alive", energized and filled with joy.

If you doubt the effectiveness of Laughter Yoga, all I ask is that you simply try it once.

Giggle On ladies (and gents)...Giggle On!

Sally_K's picture

The first thing that came to

The first thing that came to my mind was "only in Marin". Ha ha. Thanks for making me smile! I love that morning routine: "I'm alive! I'm alive!" and the idea of Laughter Yoga!

Lissa Rankin's picture

YEAH! You get it, Susanna!

YEAH! You get it, Susanna! Yes, that's a lot of what we experimented with at our workshop this weekend- getting in touch with that sense of childlike playfulness. We had so much fun just swinging. And Laughter Yoga just made us more receptive to getting into our Inner Child. I've also found that, like anything, laughter gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the more easily it bubbles up. :)

Susanna's picture

I have to say that the first

I have to say that the first thing that comes to mind is, "This is ridiculous!" But then, I simply find that it is ridiculously funny. Hahaha! I was watching the video, and sure enough, I was laughing hysterically with you. There must be a method to the madness.

Do you remember when you were little and for no reason at all you would just break out in laughter, and their would be no stopping you? Well, I always think that many childlike behaviors are the healthiest, often carefree, stressfree, and innocent (even temper tantrums to an extent). I was just thinking that, while I do laugh quite a bit, I cannot remember the last time I burst into laughter for no reason like I used to do when I was a kid...what does that mean?

Thank you for making me laugh, Susanna


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