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Residents in Hong Kong try laughter yoga

CCTV.com

07-14-2014 00:17 BJT

Nothing eases the tension quite like a good laugh. But what about combining a good chuckle with stretching and yoga breathing techniques? The idea was hatched in India by a Mumbai-based cardiologist in 1995, and now it's gone global. We head to Hong Kong, where busy local residents are finding out if laughter really is the best medicine.

Nothing eases the tension quite like a good laugh. But what about combining a good chuckle with stretching and yoga breathing techniques? The idea was hatched in India by a Mumbai-based cardiologist in 1995, and now it

Nothing eases the tension quite like a good laugh. But what about combining a good chuckle with stretching and yoga breathing techniques? The idea was hatched in India by a Mumbai-based cardiologist in 1995, and now it's gone global.

Bad day at work? The purveyors of Laughter Yoga hope to help ease mind, body and soul among stressed out Hong Kongers.

The consultancy firm "Inspire 2 Aspire" runs Laughter Yoga classes for corporations, which partner Mahesh Pamnani believes eases stress, and increases productivity and creativity.

"It doesn't get expressed in the normal working environment." Mahesh Pamnani, Partner of "Inspire to aspire" said, "But when they are doing laughter yoga with us, they actually love it and want to express appreciation and gratitude, but somehow in the workplace they think 'oh, I don't think it looks that good. So that builds very good relationships. Productivity goes up, creativity goes up I think in the workplace." 

Can't touch your toes? No worries. Laughter Yoga just wants you to be happy.

Central to Laughter Yoga is the tenet that the body cannot differentiate between fake laughter and the real thing.

"The whole concept of laughter yoga is that you fake it until you make it." Veena Dansinghani,  Partner of "Inspire to aspire" said, "Your body doesn't recognise, or you mind doesn't recognise if you're laughing for a reason or not. Your entire body is being exercised. Your internal organs, your heart is being exercised. You're getting a great cardio workout. Ten minutes of belly laughter is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardio."  

The exercises are unapologetically silly, and very short in order to move away from critical thinking.

Another goal is to connect with colleagues.

"Oh they go crazy about it. It's remarkable, we've seen remarkable results. We see many happy faces. The day after our session, one of our colleagues, the first thing she said to me, is 'Ho! Ho! Hahaha!'. I can see the difference." Euby Yu, Learning & Development Manager of Ocean Park said.

With his face still painted from the morning, 23-year-old children's entertainer Isaac Cheng says it's his second time at Laughter Yoga.

"Yes, I'm loving it. This is the second time I come to do this laughter yoga. And I would do it at home. Sometimes when I am washing or when I am taking a shower then I would laugh." Isaac Cheng, Children's Entertainer, Ocean Park said.

A blend of yogic deep breathing, stretching, and laughter exercises that cultivate child-like playfulness, Laughter Yoga was developed 19 years ago in Mumbai.

Today, laughter yoga is a global movement, with over 600 clubs in Asia, America and Europe.

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