Heartsong offers Laughter Yoga

EAST LONGMEADOW — Laughter Yoga combines fun, easy to learn, laughter exercises with simple, calming Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). This program is offered on the first Sunday of each month at Heartsong Yoga on North Main Street.

The next sessions with Robert Rivest will take place Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.

Laughter Yoga is a complete well-being workout that is sweeping the world. In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria, a physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club with merely a handful of people. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6,000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.

Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between laughter exercises and real laughter. Anyone can laugh for no reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy and get the same physiological and psychological benefits (boosts to the immune system, release of endorphins, increased oxygen intake, decreased stress hormones, creation of a joyful connection with others, and enables people to laugh more easily at life’s trials).

In Laughter Yoga Clubs, laughter is joyfully simulated in a group with full body laughter exercises/games and childlike playfulness. The “simulated” laughter soon turns into real and contagious laughter that lifts the spirits and carries over into every day lives.

Rivest is a certified Laughter Yoga Leader, a comic mime artist and a stress management educator. Since 1983 Rivest has given more than 5,000 presentations on mime, laughter, health and stress management. From his initial training in mime, dance, theater, and improvisation in Paris and New York City, Rivest expanded his studies to include meditation, tai-chi, yoga, qigong, and Laughter Yoga.

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